Since the 1970’s we’ve seen many theories and strategies to personal growth and people management including Transactional Analysis, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Situational Leadership, Time Management, Self-Leadership, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, One Minute Managing, and the Who Moved My Cheese movement. Some have lasted the test of time, while others fell away as the ‘next big thing’ was introduced as the new panacea for personal and business success.
Where will the Well-Being movement be in ten years from now? Will it be seen as just another trend?
I’m confident that the Well-Being movement will not only still be around, but that it will have grown considerably and become a part of the DNA of our political, economic, business and personal lives.
Governments are realising that the traditional measure of a country’s GDP is not enough to make mindful judgements on the value they are creating for their citizens.
The founder of Positive Psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman and many of his academic colleagues, and specialist consultants are now working with Governments, Departments of Education and the Business world to develop strategies that can measure and enhance well-being.
In a recent article in the Courier Mail by Christopher Bantik titled ‘Have we overcomplicated the search for true happiness’ (Dec 12, 2012), Bantik writes “But surely the fact is that even Neanderthal man knew when he was feeling groovy. Are we making too much of trying to be happy?” And this is an important question for us to ask and resolve. On the one hand, over-analysis just complicates things… sure, most of us know when we ‘feel’ happy, but the issue is more than just feeling happy. A good joke, a comedy sketch, a funny moment all can make us laugh from the belly and when it’s sustained for a while, it can cause us to even have tears of laughter.
The key difference is in whether we just focus on the ‘happy’ piece, or whether we are really talking about long-term sustainable well-being – which is about pursuing intentional actions that will help us live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.
The reason Well-Being will not be a passing fad or trend is because it is (and has always been) with us all the time. Our well-being impacts on our physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, creative, and productive selves – as individuals, collectively in teams and in corporations, in society and in nations.
So let’s not get distracted by just focusing on ‘happy’ – otherwise our skepticism will only see ‘laughter classes’ and ‘hug a tree’ type of interventions that will blind us from the potential of fully understanding what it truly means to take intentional action on maintaining or improving our overall sense of well-being.