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What we value most about happiness - Part 1 of 2

Happiness is one of the core values of our Collective Results team. Our happiness value statement is: we believe that happiness and optimism fuel our success and through habits and small shifts in our mind-set we are able to bring the happy in all we do. In part one of this two-part blog, Amy and Lindsay share some thoughts about what happiness means to them.

Lindsay: One of my favourite quotes is “Happiness is homemade” which I like because I think it has a dual meaning (pretty impressive for just 3 words!). First, the quote suggests that homemade or hand-crafted things tend to bring us great joy, often because of the positive emotional responses they evoke. Baking homemade

cookies using your grandmother’s recipe, cooking a meal for someone you care about, or repainting an old bench to make it look new again are all little things that can have a big impact. Second, the quote implies that happiness can be created. In Dan Gilbert’s TED Talk, The Surprising Science of Happiness, he talks about “synthetic happiness” whereby we have the ability to change our views of a situation to feel better about it. He shares how there is a misconception that synthetic happiness is inferior in quality to ‘found or natural happiness’ when in fact it is every bit as real. I apply this principle to my work by reframing my mindset when something happens to make me unhappy. For example, if we are unsuccessful in an application to work with a new client or a facilitation I was leading did not produce the intended result, I allow myself to feel disappointed for a moment but do not dwell on it. Instead, I look for ways to reframe the experience to find the positive – such as, now I have time to pursue other great opportunities or I learn a new facilitation technique to help guide decision-making for the next time. Some people may say that it feels fake or that you’re pretending, but with any skill, it takes practice to shift your mindset to look for the positive.

Amy: I read a book recently called “The Happiness Advantage”, by Shawn Achor, which is all about the application of positive psychology to work and life. In this book, Shawn says that “Happiness isn’t the result of success - it’s the cause of it”, and I found that I really identified with that statement. I believe that if we are cultivating a positive mindset among our team and with our clients, we will be more creative, more productive, more successful, and we will have a better experience overall. But what does this look like on the ground at Collective Results?

  1. We find ways to cultivate a positive mindset and improve our moods throughout the day (aka we have fun!) - we are kind to each other, we share jokes and funny .gifs, we infuse fun and positivity into our work by gamifying it, we promote exercise and work this into our team time, and we recognize and make use of everyone’s strengths.

  2. We are constantly learning and growing - we look at all of our experiences, good and bad, as opportunities for learning and growth. We are constantly asking ourselves “what can we learn from this”. We document our learnings, and we improve for the next time. We learn from our experiences now to create better, happier, experiences later.

  3. We celebrate the big and the small - we are a group that likes to celebrate, and we’re building celebration rituals to celebrate the big and the small with our team and with our clients. This is especially important because some of our projects are longer-term projects where it can be challenging to sustain momentum. We are constantly scanning our work for the small wins and the milestones, celebrating them, and sharing gratitude with each other for our achievements.

  4. We create opportunities for social connection - we are a remote team with team members all over Ontario. Because of this, we have to be intentional about creating opportunities for social connection. We add opportunities for social connection into our team meetings and we plan in-person retreats throughout the year to make sure that we can stay connected.

What are some ways that you embed happiness and optimism into your life? We would love to hear about your favourite happiness quotes, books, songs, podcasts, etc. as well!

Look for Part 2 of our Happiness blog next week where more of our team members share their thoughts and helpful resources!

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