A friend of mine mentioned a while back that he had attended a talk and listened to the UK’s first Doctor of Happiness. Thinking this might be a bit of a joke I waited for the punch line… but it didn’t come!
He had attended the talk in his capacity as an Executive Headmaster. Apparently, Dr Andy Cope really is the first Doctor of Happiness in the UK, or perhaps more technically he is a Doctor of Happiness and Positive Psychology. In the context of his talk to my friend, Dr Andy Cope and his team have developed a model that embeds positive attitudes across school communities by introducing well-being.
But it’s not just relevant for schools, it has connotations for us all. Andy states that “most people are a million miles away from feeling as great as they could be!”
He talks about being in a rut of sameness. Thinking the same old ways. He asks whether there is a better way and suggests that we all have choices. Through his studies he found that genuinely happy people did not live a gilded existence. They too had their problems but what differentiated them was how they dealt with their problems.
Happy people “had better ways of coping with difficulties” he says. “They also did not wait for a special occasion to be joyful”. The rest of us get weighed down by the “morbid obesity of responsibility” and we end up counting down the days to the weekend, the next holiday and in effect, we are wishing our lives away and “sleep-walking through life”.
Powerful stuff. When I started reading about his work it really resonated with me. Here at Blue Sky we focus on helping our clients reduce anxieties, explore possibilities and enabling them to be excited about the future. If you don’t plan and consider the options, you won’t necessarily understand the choices you can make. Only this week we have heard from new clients who have taken the bold step of retiring from their professional careers at age 48. Brilliant! Their planning experience with us empowered them to take more control of their life and not ‘dance’ to other people’s tunes. If they had put this off, they wouldn’t be aware of the choices.
My advice is not to sit back and accept your lot. Get on the front foot and influence your life in a positive way.
Andy Cope goes on to say we should look for happiness in the ‘now’ not in the future. Once again this resonates with us as we encourage our clients to spend their money whilst they have good health.
Many of our clients are now clapping their hands, are you?
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA