International Day of HappinessHappy international day of happiness to you. Yes, that’s right, the General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed the 20th of March annually to be International Day of Happiness.

I’ve blogged around this time last year about happiness being hijacked by the distractions created by the current me-now-want-spend society (which marketers and advertisers have a vested interest in maintaining).

And while science validates that ‘being happy’ is good for your health, longevity, relationships, and overall well-being, living a ‘good life’ is of course more than just being happy… it’s about flourishing, prospering and living a meaningful life.

There’s a great post today from Dr. Mark Williamson in the Huffington Post on how happiness has been hijacked which is well worth a read.

Quite simply, I reckon today as international day of happiness, is a great day to ask yourself whether you’re living a happy, flourishing and meaningful personal and work life.

It’s also a great day to use my Intentionomics blueprint of 9 inescapable truths as a checklist to see whether you’re ticking all the boxes on what we know from the research in positive psychology that helps promote well-being, happiness and a ‘good-life’.

Here’s the checklist for you:

1. Define what a happy, flourishing and meaningful life is for you (most people know what they don’t want in their life, but find it hard to articulate what a happy, flourishing and meaningful life either is for them, or might look like for them).

2. Take stock of your truth (how close are you to living your happy, flourishing and meaningful life?)

3. Define your intentions (make a list of your life roles… parent, partner, sibling, leader, coach, team member etc., then write out intention statements for the people you impact through those life roles – define what you want for them… and not what you want from them).

4. Control your inner voice (you might not be able to control what pops into your consciousness all of the time, but once it’s in there, whether it’s positive or negative self-talk, you can control what you intentionally take action on)

5. Develop intentional success habits (what are your habits that are helping you be healthy, positive, engaged in what you do, in supporting the relationships you have, in living a meaningful life, and in helping you to achieve in both your personal and work life?)

6. Set intentional aspirational goals (the only goals you’ll never achieve are the ones you don’t set – science validates that setting and pursuing intrinsically motivated goals that are aligned with your personal values boosts your overall well-being).

7. Build intentional trust relationships (of all the 9 inescapable truths, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s the relationships you have in your life and the time you invest in those relationships where you are most happy)

8. Develop a thirst for intentional learning (science validates there is a direct association between well-being and life-long learners.. if you’re not learning, you’re not growing – and if you’re not growing… no matter what your age, your potentially stagnating).

9. Make intentional choices and actions (your intentional choices and actions amount to approximately 40% of your overall potential to live a happy, flourishing and meaningful life… make good decisions).

And a footnote if you’re not feeling happy…

Well, that’s it for International Happiness Day… and while it’s easy to say ‘be happy’, for some people it’s not that easy… and I’d like to just say, if you’re struggling to feel happy, if you’re suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, don’t suffer in silence… people care for you and can help you. Call 131 114 (LifeLine) or 1300 22 46 36 (Beyond Blue).