Thursday, September 14, 2006

The secret of happiness

As a business psychologist, most of my work is to do with organisations and helping managers and individuals achieve business and career success. But sometimes I do wonder whether my clients are doing enough to chase their personal happiness as well as their professional success.

So I was interested to read in the latest issue of The Psychologist a piece about Vanuatu, the 'happiest place on Earth', as determined by research conducted by the New Economics Federation.

Peter Forster, a psychology lecturer at Webster University in Leiden, The Netherlands, explained the finding by saying:

Vanuatu is a very poor country in some ways of measuring that. Very few people have access to any of the governmental safety nets we take for granted when people have problems. In their place they have strong social support systems within their villages and extended families. When they are fit and healthy they work for their community. When they go through hard times they are supported by others.

He goes on to say:
Studies under the mantle of positive psychology indicate that it is our positive, supportive relationships that contribute most to our happiness.

So bear that in mind as you claw your way up the career ladder, set up your business or seek other forms of professional success.