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Nothing would give me more pleasure than telling you that after 11 years as a coach, and studying the ins and outs of happiness, that there’s a golden light at the end of the tunnel where you live happily ever after and life is a long string of joy, love bubbles and blissful moments. However, I don’t deal in bull... dust, I deal in positivity, and quite frankly, there is no pot of gold to find. (Sorry.)

What I have discovered, is that regardless of how positive you are, life still throws you challenges. No matter how mindful, engaged or compassionate you are, bad stuff still happens and weather you’re generally more optimistic or more pessimistic, when disaster strikes, it still sucks! The pain feels the same regardless of your disposition, it’s what comes next that separates us. I think most people believe that the optimist is like an endangered species on a protected list that is simply immune to disaster or negativity, not so my friends. The optimist is the guy working overtime to make sure that when disaster strikes it doesn’t’ take him (or those around him,) down with it.

I get a lot done. I manage to enjoy large parts of each day. I make time for my kids, husband, family and friends and I exercise religiously and take time to meditate each day. I’m not some sort of super hero or energiser bunny, and I’m certainly not perfect, I simply have really good habits that work.

Habits are essential to success. People with positive habits will consistently move towards their goals, while others with weak and inconsistent habits will progress much more slowly, if at all. Taking time to set up good habits will make life monumentally easier and help you become more resilient when things go pear shaped. Today I want to share with you some of my habits and hopefully inspire you to develop some of your own.

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For those of you that know me well, you'll recall that my kids have always struggled with separation anxiety. I like to tell myself it's because I'm a much better option than going to school, but in reality I suffered exactly the same debilitating level of anxiety as a child, each time I had to leave my Mum. 

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. 

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