Today is the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness… what will that mean for you?

In a previous post I (with tongue in cheek) challenged the need for such a day – shouldn’t every day be a day where we choose intentional actions that will help us live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives?

As I write this post, I’m going to make the prediction that people around the world are going to potentially be a little confused as to what the International Day of Happiness is all about.

Why?

The problem rests with the range of topics and issues that ‘happiness’ impacts. Here is a sample of topics that we will more than likely hear, watch and read on this International Day of Happiness:

  • Happiness – feeling and being happy
  • Happiness and well-being
  • Happiness to help mental health
  • Happiness and mindfulness and meditation
  • Happiness and laughter classes
  • Happiness and aging
  • Happiness and youth suicide
  • Happiness and employee engagement
  • Happiness and corporate social responsibility
  • Happiness and meaning in life
  • Happiness, positivity and resilience
  • Happiness and relationships
  • Happiness and flow theory
  • Happiness, habits and success
  • Happiness, charity, altruism and giving
  • Happiness and spirituality and religion
  • Etc

Please don’t misunderstand me here. What I’m not saying is that these topics are not noble or worthwhile. Quite the contrary – they of course are, each in their own way, and the International Day of Happiness will raise the awareness of all of these topics and the agendas of those who will be writing, posting, broadcasting and televising their points of view (including my own here).

However, with such a broad range of topics, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I fear the result will be an International Day of Confusion.

That’s where the organisation Action For Happiness is taking a step to help clear the confusion. They’ve formed alliance partners on an international scale and have given clear direction on how to take intentional action on this International Day of Happiness and you can check it out at http://dayofhappiness.net.

Their noble focus is for each of us to personally and collectively take part on the day by doing something at home, school, work or in our local community to bring more happiness to others.

You might want to join in and do as I’ve already done, and jump on the site and make a pledge to how you will take intentional action to bring more happiness to others. It’s a great idea and a way for each of us to hold ourselves accountable – at least on this one day of the year, to practice what I refer to as Intentional Practical Altruism.

While there are some ‘out there’ ideas on what people are pledging and doing (free hugs, bringing music to sad places, laughing on public transport just to name a few)… for those of us less ‘outgoing’ or a little more ‘risk-averse’, here a just a couple of practical things to consider:

  • Calling friends, family who we haven’t spoken to for some time
  • Donating to a specific charity (before they tele-market us)
  • Thanking a busker with a smile and donation
  • Thanking people we meet with who are doing their every-day job who rarely get thanked
  • Hold our hugs with our loved ones just that little bit longer
  • Volunteering to help in community and/or charitable projects

While none of these are earth shattering or life changing ideas and actions, they are practical and most of us could easily pick one or more of them to implement (and not just for today).

In my own way, I’d like to think that my communication and education on the philosophy of Intentionomics with its focus on the platform principle that People Get Your Truth and the impact of your intentions on yourself and on others, is playing a part, not just on this International Day of Happiness, but each and every day in the lives of our on-line and off-line communities.

So maybe I still believe we don’t really need an International Day of Happiness, but now that it’s here, let’s take some intentional action that makes a difference for others – which will add to our own sense of living an intentional life.