Happiness Matters #BCSLearns

GratitudeAbout a year ago at this time of Thanksgiving in America, I posted about Relentless Gratitude.  I have also written posts about having a Positive Attitude and Making Happiness Your New Years Resolution.  Nurturing these outlooks on life, that help give us a positive vision of the future, make a difference in schools for adults and students alike – more importantly they allow us to live a more self-actualized life personally. The article from NPR Ed, How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed, shares that “more than 15 years of research on schools worldwide…found that positive school climate had a significant impact on academics.”  Using the principles of positive psychology, Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO and founder of Delivering Happiness, shares his companies philosophies: building the very best customer service and customer experience.  He suggests that there is a huge difference between motivation and inspiration.  If it is inspiration for which we are hoping, then get there with your employees in your organization (or with your students in your classroom) by:

  • creating a sense of control
  • recognizing progress
  • instilling meaning in their work, and
  • developing connectedness

Hsieh suggests that “if we get the culture right, most of the other stuff…will be a natural by-product of that.” In a classroom or in our schools, in other words, if we get the culture right, student growth and development will be the natural by-product.  Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct.” Would you agree?  Check out Hsieh’s 4-minute video below.

And if this weren’t enough, from Delivering Happiness, Shereen Eltobgy’s 3 Leadership Attributes that Create a Great Culture:

  1. Presence
  2. Positive Intention
  3. Personal Responsibility

The bottom line is there are abundant similarities in what we know and what research asserts about happiness.  It is about a positive attitude, presuming positive intent, and having relentless gratitude.  These are not additive but causal – they quite literally create happiness in our lives!  How empowering! Want another great view? Check out Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s video on “Flow, the secret to happiness” where he shares his interest in understanding what contributes to a life worth living.

BCS is a great place to be!  A positive, happy school with social and emotional connections, as the NPR article states, “gives our kids not only the skills but also the attitudes…to choose where they go in their life.”  I, for one, am deeply thankful to be a part of a community like BCS who is so passionate about supporting the growth and development of all of us, adult and student learners alike, as well as working to inspire students to lead in the global community through a passion for learning, innovating, and inquiry & design.”

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