Posted 17.04.2020 in Industry Updates
During this momentous period, I am struck by how resilient and adaptable we are as humans. Our lives and our world are changing so fast, yet we have altered our outlook on life to cope and evolve.
For a start, it seems we are kinder. We acknowledge our leaders for doing their best in impossible circumstances to support our community. Not long ago we were divided on party lines.
We laugh at our first-world deprivations, and despair at the images of our fellow humans suffering. Far from resenting the curbs on our freedoms we comply, in order to keep the vulnerable among us safe.
Regardless of one’s religion, Easter is a time of warmth, connection and family, and the conversations we are having with our clients this week have been fascinating. Far from hearing complaints about what we’re missing out on, we’re hearing gratitude for what we have. Rather than refusing to try new-fangled technologies, we’re zoom-calling and webex-ing for work and to socialise.
At Easter, our thoughts are with the millions who have lost their jobs in the large-scale lay offs in retail, hospitality and so many other sectors. I feel for the small business owners who have taken risks to create jobs and wealth, and whose future prosperity now hangs in the balance. With so much turmoil we are reminded that the road to happiness is not clearly signposted.
We also share our gratitude for health workers, here and abroad, whose commitment and courage is inspirational.
Psychologist Tim Kasser, relates three sets of fundamental needs for the wellbeing and happiness of humans:
The need for safety, security and sustenance. These are the essentials of life – food on the table, a dry place to sleep and clothing to keep warm.
The need for competence, efficacy and self-esteem. This is the feeling that we are capable, self-reliant and able to do what we set out to do and achieve the things we value.
The need for connectedness, autonomy and authenticity. We need to pursue interests and work that challenge us, and where we can express ourselves and feel a sense of control and ownership.
One benefit of this crisis is that it has made people stop and consider what is important to them. As the noise of our consumer society quietens, we momentarily get to enjoy the present.
When I wrote Wealth with Purpose in 2016, I dedicated a chapter to Happiness, discussing how clear purpose helps us navigate the trials in our life. Here is an excerpt from the book which I think is a great reflection point for this time of our lives.
Professor Martin Seligman is considered a pioneer in the school of positive psychology. He believes happiness is more than obtainable and is the natural result of building up our wellbeing and satisfaction with life. His theory of happiness identifies the building blocks of wellbeing in his PERMA model. Each of these elements is essential to our wellbeing and satisfaction, and together they are the foundation upon which we can build a happy and flourishing life.
Positive Emotions: When we are asked whether we are happy with our life or achievements, the answer will depend on our outlook and mood. If you are positive, you will view your progress to date with satisfaction, and you are more likely to look forward to the future with hope and a sense of positive expectation.
Engagement: Humans thrive when we are engaged and feel useful. Much of the work of positive psychology involves identifying and cultivating our strengths and talents. When we identify our strengths, we can consciously engage in work and activities in a way that makes us feel confident, productive and valuable.
Relationships: As social animals, humans have a need for connection, love, physical and emotional contact with others. We enhance our own wellbeing by building strong networks of relationships around us, with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and all the other people in our lives.
Meaning: Studies have shown that when we belong to a community and pursue shared goals, we are happier than people who don’t. It is also very important to feel the work we do is consistent with our personal values and beliefs. Day to day, if we believe our work is worthwhile, we feel a general sense of wellbeing and confidence that we are using our time and our abilities for good.
Accomplishment: Creating and working towards goals helps us anticipate and build hope for the future. Past successes make us feel more confident and optimistic about our future attempts. There is nothing bad or selfish about being proud of our accomplishments; indeed, when we feel good about ourselves, we are more likely to share our skills and secrets with others.
As we all begin to navigate the next chapter of the Covid-19 adventure, I hope you can find some quiet time to reflect on your PERMA – to find some real positives out of an extraordinary period of our lives. From all the Capital Partners team, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy Easter break.
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