Monthly Archives: April 2012

Is your environment conducive to living better and longer?

 This is (sadly) our last look at Dan Buetner's Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way.

Dan identified six life domains that we can shape to boost our chances for happiness for the long term. He calls them Thrive Centers, and they’re all interconnected and you can think about each one in relation to your workplace:

Community—The nation, state, county, city, or suburb in which you live. Does your government create an environment that helps you to feel good about your life and to live out your values?

Workplace—Your job site, or wherever you spend most of your working hours. Have you selected an engaging job that lets you exercise your talents without consuming you? Does your workplace environment facilitate meaningful work?

Social life—The circle of friends, acquaintances, and others with whom you come in contact regularly. Do your friends influence you to eat right, to be active, to laugh, and otherwise to reach your potential? Or do they load you down with negative feelings?

Financial life—The savings and spending strategies you adopt. Do you have too much easy credit or spending cash? Is it easier for you to save or to spend?

Home—Your house, apartment, or condo and the yard or grounds around it. Is your home set up to nudge you into behaviors that favor happiness and away from behaviors that generate discontent?

Self—Your education, sense of purpose, and health strategies. When it comes to happiness, does your inner self include a capacity for gratitude, openness to give and receive love, and an appreciation of the arts?

I very much enjoyed reading this book, and in this article I share some of my favourite "bits" from the text. I did read this on my Kindle, so I am unable to give you the page numbers.

I believe that there is much here that can be applied in the workplace to enhance our experience of workplace wellbeing. What do you think?

The true keys to happiness lie in changing the way we think and behave, seeking out experiences such as savoring a beautiful moment and taking a picture of it, thanking a friend, writing a gratitude journal, or performing random acts of kindness. Such habits add up to create an upward spiral that boosts happiness. How would it affect your workplace if people were seeking out positive experiences and opportunities to express appreciation or gratitude? And a timely reminder for timely action. 

“It’s important to focus on the things (recognition)  in the here and now, I think. In a month, the flower will be shriveled and you will miss its beauty if you don’t make the effort to do it now. Your life, eventually, is the same way.”

True happiness involves the pursuit of worthy goals. Without dreams, without risks, only a trivial semblance of living (working)  can be achieved.

Surrounding yourself with people who are happy is going to make you happier. Conversely, if you’re married to (work with) a negative person, it’s going to take a toll on you. The problem is that we adapt: We really have to work to appreciate what we have.

…  a rich person is not necessarily the one with a lot of money. It’s the one who really has a lot to be grateful for: nature, the company of other people, the capacity to enjoy a good book, and an understanding of philosophy. The more things for which you develop a fondness, the richer the life you live. Be in the business of cultivating fondness.”

Live (work)  in trustworthy places, surround yourself with trustworthy friends, and be trustworthy yourself.

Is your environment conducive to living better and longer?.

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