Sophie spoke to 350 people for the British American Business Council lunch in Los Angeles on ‘Happiness’. BABC is the largest transatlantic business network based in major business centers throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Sophie’s talk was about gratitude over the holidays and how to make the next year your best yet.
British American British Council Speech
In a recent survey done by Ogilvy for LG (Life’s Good) it was revealed that 50% of Americans don’t remember the last time that they actually heard good news and 6 out of 10 wouldn’t even know where to find it.
On top of that – 9 out of 10 believe that if they heard more good news it would help to lift their spirits, they would be happier in their home and work life and we would recover from the recession much quicker.
As an expert in the field of happiness and with 4 books being launched simultaneously on November 27th this year:
- How Happy is Your Marriage?
- How Happy is Your Love Life?
- How happy is Your Home?
- How Happy is Your Health?
I have just help launch LG’s new Good News Billboard in Times Square a few days ago whereby anyone from anywhere round the country can text their good news and it will be displayed.
We are all surrounded by so much bad news from the media; it is very manipulative and in many ways encourages us to think negatively. And with the holidays upon us, which for many can be a difficult time here are 3 tips to help you all get through the holiday season and to make next year your happiest yet.
Firstly, Tip 1: Remind yourself of what you do have rather than what you don’t, because regardless of the media we all have a huge amount of happiness around us.
Maybe you haven’t found your life partner yet, but you have a few fantastic friends.
Maybe you have struggled with work this year, but you also have a beautiful healthy child.
Perhaps your father left when you were young, but you get on brilliantly with your Mother.
There are so many things in each and every one of our lives to be grateful for and it’s important to focus on those.
If you really have a problem focusing on what you do have rather than what you don’t, then have a notebook and pen handy by your bed so that when you wake up each morning you can get in to the habit of writing down 3 things in your life that you are most grateful for that morning and begin your day with those in mind.
Tip 2. Take the pressure off yourself
We all do our best to juggle so many parts of our lives at once.
We try to have a partnership that is worthy of some of the greatest romantic films.
The perfect happy family life, where everyone’s needs are met at all times.
Many deep and loving friends that we have plenty of time for.
A career that excels beyond our wildest dreams.
A spiritual life, whereby we feel like we are almost at Guru level status.
Children that are exceptional in all ways, Loving, bright, funny on their way to Harvard or Cambridge no less. To be a recognized pillar of the community and philanthropist
- Even reading this list is tiring!
Think right now how you personally put pressure on yourself to have it all together all of the time and divide yourself in to little pieces.
Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions can be to stop trying to achieve so much and be all things to all people at all times, especially to yourself and instead prioritize. And number 1 has to be your health; number 2 is without doubt your relationships, the rest, after those two, is logistical!
Don’t let the media or your mind trick you in to thinking that your cup is half empty because you haven’t sorted out every part of your life to the extent that you expect yourself to. Instead focus on which parts of your life are full and over the holidays think of one thing beyond your health and your relationships that you want to focus on next year. It’s not for ever; it’s just a priority for next year!
My last tip, number 3, is to think of the small acts of kindness that you can start doing over the holidays and continue doing for the rest of your life.
For example: If you are in a relationship and you want your partner to butter your toast, butter theirs.
If you are away from your wife for a week why not leave her love letters to open each night by her bedside.
If you are going to be with your parents over Christmas and you want your dad to say he loves you and hug you for perhaps the first time, then hug and tell him.
If it has been ages that you have gone out for a date with your wife because of the children, set up a time during the holidays and continue the dating tradition every week of next year.
If you like someone’s shirt at the supermarket check out don’t just think it, tell him or her you’ll make his or her day.
Use this free time when you’re away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life to start these 3 new habits because no one and nothing outside of you is ever going to change, so it is up to you to change.
And if at any time you find yourself locked in your head then take a moment to bring your mind out of the past and out of the future and literally look down at your feet.
This simple action will bring you back in to the present, because where your feet are is where you are. And right now they are here in this room.
So relax your jaw, drop your shoulders, take a deep breath, let it out and recognize that this second, this moment, is all you have and it is truly a great moment.
Our cups are more than half full. And we are all most grateful.
Enjoy your lunch and may you all have an exceptionally exciting and happy year ahead.