Coaching Happiness - Is it Possible? by Ian Lynch

One of the hottest topics to hit the news in recent weeks has been on the subject
of making Happiness part of how we define the success of our nation. This is
no small thing.

Until recently, happiness was often treated as a touchy-feely subject by the media
and the government, fun for a newspaper or TV story, but no more than a filler item.
Against such a back-drop, The Happiness Project championed the need to have conversations
about happiness, for individuals, for relationships, and for true work and life success.

As part of the Happiness Project, Dr Robert Holden created an 8-week program to teach people to become happier. In 1996 the BBC aired the QED documentary "How to Be Happy" which charted the progress of several of the program's delegates. Seen by millions, this successful documentary was also part of a live Oprah Television Show in 2007 with Robert as the main feature.

In 2011 the work of The Happiness Project continues to shape thinking on how we can all help each other to be happier, and to create real meaning and success in our lives. Together with Success Intelligence, The Happiness Project has inspired countless thousands of people in learning tools and exercises to help them create happier and more meaningful ways of living and working.

Is it possible to become happier? Thankfully, yes it is. Is it possible to coach each other on how to become happier? Yes it is!

The Happiness Project has recently completed a one week course on coaching people
who wish to help themselves and others to be happier. The outcome? A stunning success. Based on 17 years of running a program famously tested by independent scientists and,
hailed as a 'genuine fast-track to happiness', the course gave 60 people the space, the opportunity and the exercises, to get clear on what happiness is for them, what supports it, what nurtures it and what sustains it.

Such is the success of this program, it is now going to be run for the very first time outside of the UK in New York this November, in conjunction with Hay House (Robert's publisher). Is this program for everyone? I would say it is for those who wish to experience a deeper, lasting joy and, to be able to share it with others.

What would you gain from joining this program? Well here are a couple of reflections
Kay Cook - Coaching Happiness Testimonial at www.YouTube.com
Louise Magee - Coaching Happiness Testimonial at www.YouTube.com
Emma Cousens - Coaching Happiness Testimonial at www.YouTube.com
Annie Blampied - Coaching Happiness Testimonial at www.YouTube.com

As cynical as we may be at first, times are definitely changing, and the first fledgling steps
are being taken by both Action for Happiness and the UK Government in conjunction with The Office for National Statistics, to make happiness a metric and a compass for our society. In addition, there is a London Conference on How to be Happy, on Saturday May 7th, where Robert will be the keynote speaker. Happiness is now here at last!

Ultimately, your own happiness is your gift to the world, and in sharing your happiness with others, you help to bring joy, peace, fun and love to the world and thus, truly make a difference.

May you be happy.

Arise and Shine by Ian Lynch

Its another day, the light has come, the birds have sung, and the alarm clock has chimed. In this twilight moment, how do you respond? Is it a snooze button press, an extra duvet dive or a yippee, bounce out of bed hurrah?! Personally, it varies for me, depending on the demands of the day to come or perhaps the excesses of the night before. What I do know, is that how I spend that first half an hour of the waking day will have an extraordinary effect on the way my day unfolds.

In this first opening phase, I am still present to my waking dreams, which often carry messages for me of hidden concerns and blockers in my life, as well as the seeds for solutions to them and new opportunities for me as a result. When I can, this is priceless time to write down my thoughts, echoing the 'Morning Pages' prescribed by the Creative Artist author, Julia Cameron . Here, over time, lies some of the key issues and desires to help live a greater life. There are pearls of wisdom, patterns of behavior, fears and doubts, and beautiful ideas all pouring out onto the page.

Doing this immediately is not always easy, and two cats jumping on the bed and howling for their breakfast, often make for a sensible compromise of cat food, bathroom, cup of tea and back to bed to sit up and write. In doing so, I feel that the night can be put to bed, so to speak, and that I start to feel excitement and meaning for this day ahead coursing through me. I am energized, though still a little tired.

Next up, the shower awaits. It is a ritual for me, and a way of really getting going. In this wonderful space lies the opportunity to be bathed in hot streams of powerfully jetted water that awakens my skin, and also my mind. It is time to be refreshed and inspired for the day. What is so interesting, is that that shower is often a moment to think about how I will be during the day.

It is uncanny, but if I am feeling tired and not on my best form, I can influence this simply by deciding from 1 to 10, how happy I choose to be today. This simple question makes me smile, for even on a day when I feel fit and energized, I notice that I don't choose higher than a 9, usually going for either a 7, 8 or 9! I guess I am still holding back something. However, if I had simply rushed into the day, which I have done many many times, my day would most likely have turned out to be a 5 or 6. By choosing a 9, I watch myself being kinder, lighter, less judgmental, more open, and much more likely to be present, than I would have been otherwise. My day is by virtue of this choice, a richer and happier experience. Why not try it yourself, just for today?

By coincidence, if there is such a thing, I had fun talking with Roger Crabb of the shower manufacturer Mira Showers, about some recent research his firm had conducted on how showering can effect our mood, and also gives us some of our best thoughts and ideas. It is sometimes surprising when talking with CEO's, that the boardroom does not always score so highly as the place for grand thinking and vision! Together, Roger and I got to discuss this fact, and I shared with him 5 simple tips from our work at The Happiness Project, that help bring more happiness to the day. A happy life is born from living each day well, and to help anyone be even happier, our annual Be Happy program, run once a year in London (the next one starting in October), is a fast-track to a happier life. After all, it is what we all want, to be happy.

And just for fun, the next time you take a shower, whether first thing in the morning to awaken or in the evening as a de-stressor and relaxant before bedtime, do so with consciousness. Just how happy do you wish to be today or tomorrow, from 1 to 10?
How will you interact with other people to be at this level of happiness?
What would it be like to be one point higher, just for fun and personal research?

As Robert has often said, 'today will never happen again', so what is there to lose?!
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