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The Happiness Pie - Have you got your share?

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Happiness pie 2The Happiness Pie is used to describe where our happiness comes from in comparison to the happiness of others. Sonja Lyubomirsky found 50% of our happiness is genetically set, this gives us a starting point in the game of happiness and a general predisposition. Initially when faced with the genetic component of happiness many people feel instantly hemmed in by their genes.

Fortunately, a new field of science called epigenetics gives us hope. Epigenetics indicates that although our genetic code is fixed, the way those genes are expressed is largely determined by the environmental factors within our bodies. Imagine planting the seed of a tropical tree fern in a hot, dry desert, it’s simply the wrong environment for it to grow. Genetics work in the same way.

Only 10% of our happiness is attributed to outside circumstances, which is often the things we work so hard to change, like our income, where we live, or if we get a distinction in an exam. Most people invest all their time in this area, working harder to earn more so they can be happy. In reality, it contributes very little to actual wellbeing and on average the effect is entirely gone after 12 months.

Laura at School 2017OK, So you may not have heard about Positive Education YET, but believe me, it's coming to a school near you! Positive Education is an offshoot of Positive Psychology (the study of well-being) and quite simply is the application of Positive Psychology into an educational setting. It's well researched and there's now an amazing amount of information and studies about how it can transform schools. Positively of course!

Yes, most schools do have a well-being program or two, some even have a PBL strategy (Positive Behavior for Learning), but where Positive Education is different is it places the well-being of both students and teachers at the centre of the school system rather than on the periphery. It's a critical shift that makes all the difference. "The fundamental goal of positive education is to promote flourishing or positive mental health within the school community." Norrish, 2013. 

Positive Leadership - A snapshot!

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Sean Cooper Laura CooperMy husband was recently accused of bullying…. By our six-year-old daughter. Laura came home from school telling me how she learned all about bullying at School. Later that evening when my husband, very respectfully I might add, asked her to put her pyjamas on for bed, she turned around, put her hands on her hips (with all the theatrics of an indignant six-year-old) and said “Stop bullying me Dad!” You can see by the picture how strained their relationship is. LOL. 

Generally, in our society, we focus on the problem not the solution. Teaching children about bullying gives them a vocabulary that expands their thoughts in that direction. Every three hours, one person in Australia chooses to end their own life, that’s approximately 8 people a day and is greater than our National road toll, tragically, in 2015 our suicide rate was close to three times that of our road toll.

primary school kidsIt became apparent after Laura’s first week in kindergarten last year that getting her to talk about her day at school was like pulling teeth! I’d expect a 14 year old boy to shrug and grunt when asked “So, how was your day?” but seeing my little 5 year old princess doing the same thing got me thinking. How can I communicate differently and start a conversation about her day? So, I came up with “The Good, The Bad and The Utterly Ridiculous.”

At some point after School each day I ask Laura to tell me about something Good that happened, something Bad that happened and something Utterly Ridiculous that happened in her day. It may be on the walk home from the bus stop, over dinner or just before bed, but she then has to genuinely think back on her day and reflect on what went well, what she found challenging and what was just totally random. (I always use the example of the teacher farting for the Utterly Ridiculous one.)

SkateboardingWell, It’s been over three weeks of Skateboarding every day and I’m happy to report that I’m definitely getting better. I can slow down, (which is pretty important) I can turn in figure 8’s and I’m starting to really enjoy cruising around the streets with the kids. In fact, today I’m grateful for the rain as my left calf is killing and it really needs a few days off!

There are a few things that I think are really cool about skateboarding and I wanted to share them with you because they are pretty applicable to business in general.