Posted by: Admin | May 17, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

Oh, my goodness, I feel so blessed I could cry (in a good way – the female of the species will understand what I mean. Guys… why try to understand us? Just give us a hug). So many lovely, loving and supportive comments and emails have winged my way this week, both via project50 and through my business, I feel like a huge, furry, purr-licious cat that’s been stroked into a trance, having drunk a bowl of organic double cream. (If I was a cat, obviously – I wouldn’t actually do that…)

To all of you who have taken the time and trouble to connect with me over these past 10 months, thank you, from the bottom of my heart (the bit where the warmed cockles are). You are amazing. People like you reinforce my belief that the good in this world outweighs the bad and gives me strength to endure the pain caused by the (thankfully few) negative people who impact on my life.

That was going to be the end of this post – a simple “thank you”, but after I switched off the laptop, I came across “the Happiness Project” and opened it up again. Serendipitous, no?

Did you know that when the New Economics Foundation asked 42,000 people across 22 European countries how happy they were,  8% of British participants said they were bored “most of the time” and 20% said they felt their lives were “neither valuable nor worthwhile.”

A new UK charity “Action for Happiness” aims to promote “a more co-operative society where people expect more satisfaction from what they give than what they get.” Backed by the latest in scientific enquiry, the charity list a series of 10 things you can do to increase your level of happiness:

  1. Do things for others

  2. Connect with people
  3. Take care of your body
  4. Notice the world around you
  5. Keep learning new things
  6. Have goals to look forward to
  7. Find ways to bounce back
  8. Take a positive approach
  9. Be comfortable with who you are
  10. Be part of something bigger

They’ve condensed the above into a memorable mneumonic: GREAT DREAM and provided a downloadable poster to remind you that yes, you CAN make an appreciable difference to your own level of happiness. Why not sign up and take the “Happiness pledge“?

In the meantime, one simple, effective strategy to keep the blues away is to develop an attitude of gratitude – taking time daily to reflect on what is good in your life, no matter how small, is the very least you deserve. Write a list. You might find that you’re actually happier than you perceive yourself to be after all!

*Reported in the Sunday Times Magazine 3/4/11



  1. It’s good advice Jo. We are all extremely fortunate and I think part of the dissatisfaction and lack of self worth that people experience comes from having too much, not having the skills to make us feel genuinely useful, and giving too little. How often has one sat in a group of people who have made no attempt to connect with you at any level and yet have talked incessantly about the material acquisition that constitutes their lives? How often has the most popular person at work decided to leave and suddenly everyone realises that no-one knows anything important about them at all?

    The work you do, which is in effect, identifying and materialising the beauty in people, is a fantastic gift. Those of us who are not possessed of such a gift can still make people feel good; if I see someoneone in the street looking great or wearing something striking, I tell them so. We can smile at people for no good reason and be resolutely cheerful in the face of miserable git. they have to cave in in the end!

    • You are a beacon of good humour in a dingy landscape at times, WH. Connecting with you via this interweb thingy has been one of the best things to come out of it, especially as we actually got to meet each other! LOng may you battle the world with a smile. x

  2. thanks for the link to the poster—it will be a good tool here in Navajoland, working with so many people who feel helpless and feel like victims… Most of the parts of GREAT DREAM come down to personal choices–not affected by what is happening outside of oneself.

    • Exactly, jecolorfulheart – thank you for commenting 😉 I am so glad that my signpost has been spotted on the other side of the world! I would be very interested to hear more about your work, if you would like to get in touch. x

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