Practicing this character strength will help you overcome all of your obstacles.
Welcome, Happy Activists! What is a Happy Activist? A Happy Activist is someone who, through kind words and intentional positive actions, strives to make the world a better place. Live Happy invites you to join our #HappyActs movement! On the 20th of each month, we encourage everyone to incorporate kindness into your daily lives by participating in each month’s planned activity. The more who join the #HappyActs movement, the more positive impact we’ll all have on our homes, workplaces and communities. What you think and do matters!
June's happiness theme is perseverance. In Ryan Niemiec’s book Character Strengths Interventions, perseverance is defined as the ability to take pleasure in getting things done. Studies have repeatedly shown that perseverance has been tied to academic, personal and professional success. When we engage in perseverance, we are actively engaged in our lives, which can often lead to a state of flow. During this experience, all of your stressors melt away as you focus on the task at hand. All it takes is time and effort.
June’s Happy Act is optimism. A key factor in perseverance is maintaining optimism. If you feel good about yourself and your abilities to complete your goals, then you are more than likely going to cross the finish line. Small defeats are just bumps in the road on your journey to success. Plus, the more optimistic you are, the greater chance that the people around will be too. Happiness attracts happiness.
The next time you experience any setbacks, think about the positive angle to having these adversities:
What have you learned from the adversity?
How can you grow from your setback?
How will this new knowledge help you in the future?
Spend 15 to 20 minutes pondering these questions, then write down how you may benefit from it. Ryan calls this exercise benefit-finding. Research has shown that people who practice benefit-finding often become more forgiving, which is another character strength that can make you happier.
Our May Happy Activist is Paula Francis. She is the co-founder and president of Gross National Happiness USA (GNHUSA), as well as a Chief Happiness Walker. A little over a decade ago, she became one of the original founders of GNHUSA, an organization that champions and encourages the use of Gross National Happiness to measure human progress and flourishing. She then traveled to Bhutan, a country that adopted GNH in 1972, to see how it all works. Since then, she has dedicated her life to promoting happiness for all people. In 2014, she committed to The Happiness Walk, a 10,000-mile trek across the country, interviewing people and to bring awareness to human happiness and what matters most in life. She is scheduled to complete her journey this fall in New England, where her happiness journey began.
“It has been an incredibly rich journey for me personally. I have learned many things along the way,” she says. “One of them is to not hold on to fear and to allow things to happen. And when they happen at their own time it’s usually in the best possible way.”
She says she has also learned that people are kind, generous and want to connect with one another. “That’s a very positive message for me. And what this brings to people that I meet, I hope, is the opportunity to reflect on the things that are truly important in life.”
For more information on how perseverance can help you thrive, read the articles listed below.
Time to up your #HappyActs game. Help us spread global happiness by becoming a Happy Activist and host your very own Happiness Wall. Learn how you can host a wall at your school, business or organization and find out how to create your own fantastic wall using one of our Happy Acts Wall Kits.