Had recently listened to a wonderful podcast on 2018 Best Countries on @WhartonBizRadio
podcast by @Danloney21. There were a few surprises.

Listened to another brilliant podcast on #Happiness, with the author ‘Blue Zones of Happiness’.

(Bullet points are my random thoughts, rest of it is from the podcast)

  • After Blue Ocean Strategy & it’s updated version recently, it is good we have something on ‘Blue’ zones of happiness. It is still sad we have a few zones of happiness across the globe! The entire planet is not a blue zone.
  • The sky is blue, the ocean is blue, Hindu God Vishnu, who sustains the creation, is blue. But sapiens have made great effort to make most of the Earth red.

I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability — Oscar Wilde

  • Any economic development is not worth it if people are not happy. We have a good example in our neighborhood — Bhutan. To visit Bhutan is on my bucket list!

What Can We Learn from the World’s Happiest People? In the happiest countries, enlightened leaders took the focus away from economic development alone. That created an upward spiral in well-being.

  • What we need is enlightened leaders, in all areas, at all levels. Are we really creating and nurturing such leaders, who will take the myopic, transactional economic parameters as measures of success or transformational, visionary leaders who will take a long term view of real development, beyond GDP, to happiness? Is it not time for us to demand for such leaders at corporate and not-for-profit entities, and not just in the government. For that to happen we have to ensure health and education of the child and the mother. Yes, the mother, for the seeds of values & ethics are sown at a tender age. The learning that happens on a mother can not be received anywhere else. Also, our education system, which has not kept pace with changing times.

As part of the happiness project, they set out to check out on ‘the world’s happiest places’…
Can we really measure happiness? Looks like it is easy to measure lifesatisfaction, daily emotions, and purpose, scientifically.
151 countries (95% human population) were covered under the study.

“Happiness does not happen on its own. A clear genesis to it”
1. Visionary leaders — leadership is at the core.
2. Focus on not mere economic development, which is relevant to poor countries, and not developed countries. Kids’ education, mothers’ education, healthcare (not the American model of caring for the sick) focusing on great public health that ‘catches diseases’ before it becomes big, a sense of equality (through policies, taxation, what people honour)

Happiness @ workplace — set up the environment to be more happy. Gallop’s survey covering 2 million workers in America: what matters to the workers is not the pay, not the boss… but, do you have a best friend at work? On a bad day at work have someone to have a meaningful conversation.

  • A good friend can surely help. It would still be better if the colleague-friend is trained as a coach, to provide a coaching conversation, which is often most meaningful.
  • Internal coach Vs external coach is also a relevant topic to consider (Disclosure: my thought on an internal-coach is an oxymoron!)

Power 9 seems to be an interesting summary of the book ( I am yet to read the book).
If we were to change a behavior, we may fail. For example, our efforts to lose weight, exercise… one of the most common example we quote in coaching and coach-training.

  • A coach can help overcome the mental constraints to achieve the identified goal, in an empowering way, co-creating with the client.‘Our minds are indeed hardwired for novelty. We get bored quickly, and we lose discipline’:
  • Can’t agree more. Did not know that it was a universal problem. ?

It is easier to lose discipline, and practice positivity:

  • I agree with the author. It is about remembering to do, day after day, till the goal is achieved. The Coaching process and ICF coaching competencies, 9, 10, 11 on the action, take care of it. I love these competencies, next only to coaching presence.

6 domains you can influence to be more likely to be happy — a blueprint, the ecosystem

What makes us happy? Statistically speaking…
Food, healthcare, meaningful work, married to the right person are the foundation.

What is more important is where we live! And author reminds us, ‘if you are not happy, just shift to another place’! Wow!!
An average American adult moves over 9 times
Canada is a happy place, one of the top 7 happy places, where many people are moving to today to find happiness.
Geography is the key…

Top 3 happiest places are: Denmark, Costa Rica, and Singapore

For more on the podcast, check out

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