This is the final stretch of my Happiness Project – a resolution to explore happiness. I have been attempting 3 new tactics every quarter of 2015, and I invite you to join me!
After much deliberation, the final three happiness tactics are as follows:
Audit & Assess your life – Book an hour or two over the next week. Sit down with a notebook, and be realistic about what a current week looks like for you. Track how much time is spent on different activities. Which of these activities do you enjoy? Which ones do you not? Are there activities which you love or find meaningful which you aren’t currently making time for? Would you rather have more time with family and pay a company to upkeep your home? Could you negotiate a swap with a friend (ie. you fix things up in their home, they cook home made meals for you) to do more of what you love and less of what you don’t? Question long held assumptions. Get creative. Implement changes.
This year, I made a resolution to go on a Happiness Project – a journey to explore if happiness itself can be pursued. My plan is to introduce 3 new tactics every quarter of 2015, and I invite you to join me!
I’m excited to announce the three new happiness tactics are as follows:
Disconnect one night a week – Over the past year, it has become more and more apparent to me how fast and furious I live my life at times. The days whiz by without much notice. I can loose myself in the endless forms of contact, and expectations of timely responses on multiple mediums. I’m exhausted! This quarter, I plan to schedule one night a week to disconnect, to put my phone on plane mode, and not step close to a computer. I plan, instead, to curl up with a good book, go for a walk in nature, meditate, scratch my dog, write. I plan to schedule (yes, in my calendar) a reoccurring mini-vacation, a time to unwind and refocus.
Toju Adelaja is only 14, but is already a strong voice for gender equality. She believes this topic is of utmost importance, not only to women, but to the world at large. She currently lives in England, but grew up in Nigeria.
Toju, at such a young age, you seem to have really explored the issues facing the world today, and have been courageous enough to tackle some of them, such as gender equality. Where was your passion for gender equality born?
My passion for gender equality was born at home. Although I love my family, I was told that I should move and compromise my life – all for one ultimate purpose, to get married. That was the spark. I simply couldn’t (and still can’t) understand why that standard wasn’t held for my brother. I will devote as much as I can to help with women’s rights, because it is the right thing to do.
Jane Porter is a sustainability consultant at Stratos and Co-Founder of HUB Ottawa. She has a Masters of Corporate Environmental Management from the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), and a Bachelor in International Business from Carleton University. Her passion is innovating for sustainability and her specialty is making it happen through thinking big, collaborating across networks, and facilitating dialogue.
Jane, from your experience at Stratos (a leading Sustainability Consultant), what are the largest motivating factors for organizations to integrate sustainability?
Three key motivating factors which I often see in my work, include:
Risk management – Environmental, social and governance issues often represent major risks (and opportunities) that need to be managed by the company if they want to continue to do business.
Executive influence – Executive leaders who have a strong vision for sustainability and Board members who ask challenging environmental/social questions influence the organizations’ values and help ensure initiatives are supported and properly resourced.
Investment decisions – Investors are increasingly looking to make ‘ethical investments’ and many long term investors don’t want to invest in companies whose entire industry may be moot in 50 years (e.g., fossil fuels).
Every season, I share artistic expressions that have inspired me. This month I’d like to share some music that has resonated. In particular, in line with my Happiness Project – I wanted to share some of the tracks that made it to my Happy Playlist. Continue reading →
Promise or Pay is an innovative social platform whose vision is to transform personal promises into wide scale social change. It uses a combination of publicly declared promises and pledges to charities (if promises are not kept) to ensure a win-win outcome with guaranteed impact.
I was absolutely inspired by this concept created by founder Jay Boolkin, an Australian social entrepreneur who used behavioral and motivation research to create this concept. He explains:
Research shows that making a formal declaration of your intentions increases your chance of actually achieving your goal by 33%, and by 72% if money is put on the line.
This year, I made a resolution to explore initiatives to create an atmosphere of positivity and balance in my own life – an initiative I am calling my Happiness Project. My plan is to introduce 3 new tactics every quarter of 2015, and I invite you to join me!
I’m excited to announce the three new happiness tactics (for April to June) are as follows: Continue reading →
I am honored to share an incredible poem, from a brilliant soul – Paul Jensen. I have been blessed to have glimpses into Paul’s life and light, through sharing of his written word. Paul passed away unexpectedly last week, and although his passing is heartbreaking to those of us who knew him, I know his spirit lives on in his creative work. With great admiration, and in remembrance, one of Paul’s poems has been reprinted here. Share in this moment. Reflect. Life’s small miracles are still all around us.
We will miss you, Paul.
Dawn’s Too Early Light
Light on the ceiling
Shadows banished early
Silence all I’m hearing
All life abed too late
Too much light too little noise
The world has changed
The drapes pull back
Blinding white, pure light
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You can find more artistic inspiration (poetic, visual and musical) here.
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Jamie McKay is self described “Husband, Father, principal at Morrison Hershfield (15 yrs), LEED Fellow, adjunct teacher (Carleton University), lecturer (CaGBC & USGBC), engineer, environmentalist, dumpster diver, artist/designer/builder, canoe paddler, skateboarder, and telemark skier – and that about sums it up”. Quite impressive!
Jamie, as a recognized leader in Sustainable Building Design, where was your passion born?
In 1995 I graduated from Civil Engineering at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) and headed to the Yukon Territory, in search of adventure and autonomy. I met many people living radically different lives than anything I’d ever seen before, and was exposed to many new ideas. It was there that I first found my passion for the environment and self-sufficient housing. This was also where I met my wife, a staunch environmental activist. I began to seek out any information I could about the field of sustainable construction, and ultimately moved to Victoria (1997) and Vancouver (1999). It was there that I became involved in the emergence of the green building industry, and got inspired by local legends: David Suzuki, Peter Busby and Guy Dauncey. One of my first deep green projects was Dock Side Green in Victoria, B.C. (a Windmill project) Continue reading →