The happiness effect...

Last week I had the privilege of speaking in front of 250 advisers at the Humans Under Management conference. This is a conference where the focus is on managing clients’ behaviour and what we do help people.

I decided to try and help other advisers with some tips for creating a happy and positive frame for the conversations we have. I decided some of the material would work well in blog format so here, in part one, I will talk about how the importance of prioritising your internal happiness.

Here is an extract from my talk.

Firstly, I don’t think you can truly focus on making other people feel happy if you don’t feel it yourself.

I thought I would give some context and it might be useful if I start with what makes me happy and why it’s important to me. Lots of things make me happy. However true happiness for me comes from being able to be the master of my own time, to the have feeling that I’m dictating my own path and that there is meaning and purpose to my days.

In late 2016 I made the decision that I needed to start my own business. For me I saw it as a way I could truly be able to be in control of my time. Time is important to me for a couple of reasons.

Until my three young daughters see me as a complete embarrassment in front of their friends, and I’m pushed aside, I want to be there to see them grow up. I take the baby to nursey and the older two to school most days and I’m usually home for bath and bed time. My weekends are spent going to farms or parks, cinemas or trampolining and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are a fundamental source of happiness for me. I should note that they can also be a fundamental source of frustration and a financial nightmare!

The other reason that time is so important to me is related to losing my dad to cancer when I was fifteen, and he was just 46.

It left me with the fear of something happening to me before my time as well. It’s not something that keeps me up every night, but it does mean that being around whilst my children are young takes precedence over anything else for me.  It has made me very aware of the value of time, which I think is a very useful trait for an advisor.

Recognising and understanding what makes me happy makes it easier for me to fit these things into my life. I’m sure you’ll all agree that when you’re feeling good, life is generally better. It’s obvious. So if it’s obvious why do we do things that put those feelings in jeopardy. Self-selecting my time allows me to feel much better about my days and thus in turn, less stressed and happier overall.  

So, tip no 1 – this is a little task that Stevie and I carried out when we were starting Engage:

Make a list of what makes you happy

Make a list of the things you do every day

Compare lists

Adjust accordingly

Doing this small exercise will help highlight how what you want to do is conflicting with what you are actually doing. And hopefully help you inject a little bit of what makes you happy into your everyday life. If you have the ability to master your time but you aren’t doing what you really want to do, ask yourself why that is……