The Wisdom of Happiness

26 Nov 2020, Lynette McFadden

The Wisdom of Happiness

After a long year, a lot of change and an extraordinary property market, it’s time for me to take a breath.

November, the month where I normally start to wind-up, plan and prepare, has found me weary and eager for the end of the year to arrive.

Planning for summer – planning full-stop – has always been an integral part of my life. Lists, always lists, long ones that would follow me around … and me ceaselessly working through them, adding large double ticks to indicate tasks that had been completed. I know I’m not alone in this list-making habit and the weariness that comes as a result is equally noticeable in friends and colleagues.

This year has seen so many changes. In fact, 2020 has been the most unusual of years and all of us will have learnt from it. I’ve decided, out of wisdom and a certain fatigue, that this summer I’d rather rest than rush. I’d also like to focus on a number of insights and strategies that I learnt recently whilst participating in a wellness seminar facilitated and attended by some magical people. The topics of self-awareness, compassion and connection all came under review. As did the observation that happiness springs from several simple elements (so simple that we tend to overlook them) that contribute to a good life. Now I’m not only practicing them; I’m sharing them with anyone who cares to choose more happiness.

So here are a couple according to Lyubomirsky (2007) whose studies have identified that the happiest people usually practice the following:

Devote time to family and friends – I’ve found family and friends to be absolute saviours and having a son who can’t return to his occupation in the Northern Hemisphere is a cause for celebration for myself and John!

Express gratitude – yup, be grateful. It’s hard, but the entitlement I’ve observed at times in 2020 is not nice. It’s time to show some grace – and it’s worth it.

Make physical activity a habit – nothing to add here, we all know it’s a good idea.

Finally, happy people are often the first to offer others a helping hand despite having their own share of issues.

How simple are these habits? So simple, in fact, that we often forget to practice them ourselves.

Instead, many of us spend more time on social media than on exercise and more time looking at our cellphones than at the faces of the people we’re with.

So prioritise and practice these habits, as will I whilst I balance and move through the 100 plus auctions our company still has ahead of us before the end of the year in a market that continues to roar.

2020 has delivered some enormous personal challenges as well as some professional highs, but rather than shout ‘next’, I’m choosing to whisper ‘thanks’.