Ripples, not Results

July 6, 2015 at 7:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” – Dennis Wholey

A few weeks back I was fortunate to be at the 2 day ‘Happiness and its Causes’ Conference at Luna Park, Sydney. The line up of speakers, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, were from all corners of the world and covered in their presentations a variety of research findings, life experiences, themes and implications for us as individuals and communities. I love any opportunity to listen to world class facilitators and speakers, there are always many take aways that challenge, expand and widen my own personal and professional growth and development.  The conference proved to be an inspiring 2 days, an opportunity to as Stephen R. Covey refers to, ‘sharpen the saw’.

“Suppose you came upon someone in the woods working to saw down a tree. They are exhausted from working for hours. You suggest they take a break to sharpen the saw. They might reply, “I didn’t have time to sharpen the saw, I’m busy sawing!” – Stephen R. Covey

Our journeys of potential really are universal. They may seem or look different to another, or take different twists and turns along the way, but if you dig deeper into the human experience, happiness, health and connection would be central to what each of the 7 1/2 billion of us wish for more of in our lives. Obviously, certain conditions or circumstances that we face along the way can impact an individuals or groups happiness, health or connection. But what we have or the conditions or circumstances that we find ourselves in do not entirely determine our happiness, health and connection on their own. Research has shown that our happiness for example is made up of: 50% hard wired (genetics), 10% life circumstances and the rest is made up from how we think and act.

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
– Chinese Proverb

Each of us I’m sure could identify at some level with the proverb above within our own lives (maybe not the inherit a fortune bit). Rather than focusing our attention on needing a particular result or outcome to happen (past or future) before happiness can be experienced, we can choose to immerse ourselves mindfully in using our daily thoughts, words and actions to make a difference in our own and others lives. This process reminds me of our mantra for this year that I wrote about in January, really listen and intentionally act, and how creating ripples provides us with opportunities for presence in the moment, feelings of being inspired and also animating the individuals and communities around us.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles

How would you define happiness in your own life? What role does where your attention and focus lies play in the journey of happiness, health and connection for you? What daily thoughts, words and actions open opportunities for you to experience greater levels of happiness, health and connection through the ripples that are created?

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