During my career as a Depute Head Teacher in one of Scotland’s West Highland secondary schools, I often had discussions with parents about the aspirations they had for their children. In most cases the number one aspiration could be summed up as: ‘I want my child to be happy’.
This is a commonly held aspiration for most human beings, yet it is a state of being which sadly eludes many people throughout their lives.
I was therefore delighted to discover that happiness, or the lack of it, is perceived to be important, and that a charity exists to research and promote happiness.
Action for Happiness www.actionforhappiness.org was founded in 2010 by individuals who are passionate about creating a happier society.
A recent piece of research by this organisation has identified ten keys to happier living. Based on a review of the latest research about what really helps people flourish, these ten keys are areas which have a crucial influence on people’s happiness levels. For those who find personal happiness perpetually elusive, there is good news because these ten keys are all areas that are within an individual’s personal control. The ten keys to happier living are:
Do things for others Connect with people
Take care of your body Notice the world around you
Keep learning Have goals to look forward to
Find ways to bounce back Take a positive approach
Be comfortable with who you are Be part of something bigger
As a born again Christian I know that the Bible has a lot to say about being happy. The Hebrew word in the Old Testament for happy is ‘esher’. The Greek word in the New Testament is ‘makarios’. Both words are translated as ‘blessed’, thus a person who feels blessed is happy.
In the Old Testament the book of Psalms tells us that: ‘Happy are the people whose God is the Lord’.
For me true happiness comes from being God’s friend. Now that’s really being part of something much bigger!!
Members of Action for Happiness make a simple pledge: to try to create more happiness in the world around them through the way they approach their lives. The Pledge is:
"I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me".
Let’s all take the pledge.