It has been said that “happy employees lead to happy customers which lead to happy shareholders.” And, yet, so many people feel a sense of angst, of dissatisfaction, of “itchiness” when it comes to their lives – at home, at work, and in the community. This observation reminds me of a recent experience my son, Ian, had.
As a young boy, Ian wasn’t really into LEGOs. He thought they were okay, but preferred other toys. Interestingly, as a young adult, Ian is pretty much obsessed with LEGOs! He loves the hands-on, tactile experience of building, they drive his imagination, and, as a student of international business and entrepreneurship, he’s fascinated by the company’s business model and approach. This interest is what motivated him to study LEGO Group and, in fact, visit the organization’s corporate headquarters in Billund, Denmark.
One of the concepts he returned with was LEGO’s company mantra: “bygge hygge” – that is, a culture of “creating coziness” – essentially, the secret sauce of establishing happiness. Though I had heard of hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) before, I didn’t really know what it was. Loosely translated, it means a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. It turns out, hygge is not just a LEGO-constructed idea… Denmark as a whole engages in the practice of hygge as evidenced by the fact that the country has been the #1 or #2 happiest country on earth for many years running according to the World Happiness Report (Denmark’s primary competition if Finland).
It makes me wonder: What would happen if we each committed to bringing a little hygge into our lives? In what ways would we benefit? In what ways would we impact our families, our communities, our companies? Are you ready to commit to a hygge lifestyle? Consider these small actions:
- Have an optimistic and positive disposition. Trite as it may seem, decide you are happy and… you are! Focus on the positive… separate yourself from negativity. Have an optimistic, upbeat attitude.
- Do something kind for a friend, colleague or family member. Helping others can bring you joy and happiness… it could be anything! Send an old pal a copy of a photo of the two of you with a sentence or two reminding them of the fun you had at that event. Pick up your neighbor’s paper and drop it closer to their front door. Invite a colleague to join you for a cup of coffee one morning. It’s these small things that will surely bring smiles to your recipients’ faces and generate a virtuous cycle of happiness.
- Do something kind for yourself. Don’t forget, unless you are healthy, nothing else in your world will be. Take a little time for some self-care. Find your happy place – carve out “me” time. Refuel and feel good about yourself. That could mean a brisk walk around the block, a cup of tea and a good book by the fireplace, a vigorous workout in the morning, or a day at the spa. Do something that lifts your spirits and elevates your mood. The positive vibes you’ll generate as a result will benefit everyone and everything around you.
Fill your life with hygge… happiness will abound! Hygge Networking!
P.S. – As I do each year, in the spirit of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), for each of the next 30 days, I will publish a piece with a focus on the concept of hygge. I will lean heavily on lessons shared by author, Meik Wiking, and his Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stick with me for highly relevant, immediately actionable steps you can take to enhance your relationships and your life.