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  • Writer's pictureHanni Berger CEO JOYVIAL

Richard Branson's One Advice to Happiness in Life

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“How are you?” This question used to be answered with a simple ‘good, thanks!’. But these days when you ask your colleagues, friends, or strangers the standard answer has shifted to ‘super busy’, ‘crazy busy’, or another version of it.

Your initial instinct is to declare how busy you are, trying to match their level of busyness if not trump them, affirming how much worse off you are. Working, achieving, and filling every minute of our waking hours being ‘productive’ seems to be often the way we measure our worthiness in society.

Do you ever feel you need to justify your vacation to yourself or someone else?

A hospice nurse who spent time with dying patients asked them what regrets they had and what they would do differently. Common themes emerged over and over again.

Right at the top were:

  1. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” and...

  2. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

When asking a successful person like Richard Branson “What is the key to success” he says “happiness”. More specifically Richard wrote “…people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.”

How do you measure your happiness? Do you think it can be a combination of professional achievements and personal contentment? I do. And when I say achievements I include things that you can measure in numbers ($$, number of happy clients, etc.) but also those that nourish the soul (meaningful relationships, exploring through travel, a good night sleep, appreciating Mother Nature, and so much more).

I encourage you to simply focus on two things...

woman journaling

1. Sit down and define what success looks like for you. What are your values? When you are on your dying bed how do you hope to have lived your life?

2. Then start living your life more closely to your own values. There is no need to make drastic changes overnight, but having defined your own measurements of success, take one or two small steps towards living your life that way and gradually exchange old habits with new ones.

And the next time you are asked ‘how are you?’ I’d love for you to say “I’m doing good/great/wonderful/phenomenal”. With these words you’ll stop the chain reaction of spreading negativity and defeat to sharing optimism and positivity. Because your happiness is contagious…

Let us help you with this process. Our executive health coaches will help you create a vision of what you look like at your healthiest, most JOYful self and will guide you every step of the way. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, click the 'Contact' button in the top right corner or simply send us an email to to schedule your free discovery session.

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