As part of living the Brighton Jones way of helping our clients, colleagues, and community members live richer lives, we have developed an interest in the science of happiness. Through our research, we have discovered a powerful finding: happiness is a skill. We typically don’t think of happiness as something we can control, but as famed neuroscientist Richard Davidson said, “Happiness is a skill…no different than learning to play music or golf.” This discovery helped spark the creation of our Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence (MESI) initiative, which we discussed in May.
As part of MESI, we are launching two major programs in 2017. First, our organization is putting the science of happiness into practice by developing the skills of happiness. Each month throughout 2017, we will be highlighting a new happiness skill and practicing them daily in order to turn them into habits. We are inspired by research that suggests that not only does happiness drive job performance and organizational success, it is actually contagious, spreading through our social networks up to three degrees of separation.
Our second program is aimed at cultivating global compassion. Our view is that compassion is the emotion most essential for living a happier, richer life. Throughout 2017, we will be seeking ways to develop more compassion in our lives. For our first global compassion project, our entire team is involved in fundraising to help Lift Up Africa, a local nonprofit, build a volunteer guesthouse that will serve two Kenyan organizations: the HELGA Maasai Girls Rescue Center and the Kajiado Childcare Centre. The house will provide urgently needed accommodations for volunteers who care for the special needs of children with disabilities and girls escaping early forced marriage and other difficult situations.
We invite you to join Brighton Jones in making 2017 a year of happiness and compassion. Please visit this blog each month and be part of the journey as we learn a new happiness skill. Also, if you’d like us to send you reminders and help keep you on track, please just let us know. Finally, please consider helping us support Lift Up Africa with a donation. To donate visit: www.liftupafrica.org/brightonjones.
Happy New Year from the entire team at Brighton Jones!