Ajatuksia onnellisuudesta ja yrittäjyydestä

Jaettu ilo on kaksinkertainen ilo

Vuoden vaihtuessa 2020-21 olin mukana kauniissa ja onnellisessa kohtaamisessa. Vieras oli tullut Pariisista, ranskalainen toimittaja, joka halusi ymmärtää mitä suomalainen onnellisuus oikein on. Minua pyydettiin viemään hänet metsäkävelylle ja kertomaan ajatuksiani luonnosta kumpuavasta onnellisuudesta. Voit lukea lisää vierailusta täältä: Nature based happiness

You can read this article in English here: Some thoughts about happiness and entrepreneurship

Sää ei ollut kovin kaunis, mutta itse asiassa muistamme usein paremmin tapahtumat, jotka eivät ole liian täydellisiä, vaan hetkeen liittyy myös haasteita, kuten tässä tapauksessa räntäsade. Täydellisyys on harvoin ikimuistoinen kokemus!

Haluamme yleensä myös jakaa onnellisimmat hetket muiden kanssa, ja niin oli tässäkin tapauksessa. Kutsuin kollegoita tekemään tästä tilaisuudesta erityisen meille kaikille. Tuo päivä ei olisi ollut läheskään yhtä kaunis ja tärkeä minulle, jos en olisi jakanut sitä muiden kanssa. Jaettu ilo on kaksinkertainen ilo. Kiitos Jonna (Metsänautti), Risto (Adventuristo) ja Ullis (Ullis Travel Studio)!

Mikä tekee sinut onnelliseksi – oletko samaa mieltä PERMA -testin kanssa?

Yalen yliopisto on käynnistänyt erittäin suositun, ympäri maailmaa tunnetun verkkokurssin nimeltä PERMA -testi. Se lupaa kertoa meille, mikä on onnen salaisuus. Testin nimi tulee sanoista Positive emotions (positiiviset tunteet), Engagement (sitoutuminen), Relationships (ihmissuhteet), Meaning (merkitys) ja Achievement (saavutus).

On helppo olla samaa mieltä testin kanssa siitä, että kiitollisuus ja se, että emme vertaa itseämme muihin, ovat onnellisuuden perustekijöitä. Olen toteuttanut näitä käytännössä pitämällä kiitollisuuspäiväkirjaa ja muuttamalla sisäistä puhetta itselleni armollisemmaksi jo muutaman vuoden ajan ja totta on, että tunnen itseni onnellisemmaksi.

Ystävällisyys mainittiin tärkeänä onnellisia ihmisiä yhdistävänä indikaattorina. Ystävällisyys ja toisten auttaminen epäitsekkäällä tavalla saa meidät tuntemaan olomme onnelliseksi. Uskon, että kiitollisuus ja ystävällisyys yhdistettyinä empatiaan liittyvät myös tasa-arvoon ja syrjimättömyyteen. Olen kirjoittanut tästä enemmän toisessa artikkelissa: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Keskittymiskyky liittyy sitoutumiseen ja saavutuksiin. Kuten onnesta kertovassa linkin artikkelissa todetaan, voimme parantaa omaa keskittymiskykyämme meditoimalla. Hyvä uutinen monille on se, että rauhoittuakseen ei tarvitse tehdä mitään virallista meditaatioharjoitusta monimutkaisten sääntöjen mukaan, vaan tarvittaessa vain tuijottaa ulos ikkunasta tai keskittyä hengitykseen.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Tekeekö vapaus sinusta onnellisen?

Kun suomalaisen filosofin, Timo Airaksisen pyydettiin määrittämään onnellisuus, vastasi hän seuraavasti:

” Jos katsoo ihmisiä, niin nehän tavoittelevat kaikkea muuta kuin onnellisuutta: menestystä ja parempaa työpaikkaa, kalliimpaa autoa ja asuntoa. Onni on niin abstrakti käsite, että minä korvaisin sen tyytyväisyydellä. YLE (03/2021)

Filosofi pitää sellaisia arvoja kuin hyvyys, totuus ja kauneus varsin hienoina onnellisuuden määrittelyssä, mutta tarpeettoman juhlallisina. Airaksisen mukaan vapaus on ihmisen tärkein arvo. Hän kertoi, että hänen tiedostamaton päämääränsä koko elämänsä ajan on ollut vapaus ja viittaa vapaaseen kulkemiseen niin ajatuksissa kuin fyysisestikin. Kirjojen kirjoittaminen, matkustaminen – kaikki on ollut pyrkimystä pois normaalista arjesta ja yhteiskunnasta.

Airaksinen antaa ohjeeksi seuraavan: Elämän tarkoitus on tulla sellaiseksi kuin on, eli toteuttaa itseään. Tulla ulkoisesti samanlaiseksi kuin on sisäisesti.

Onni ei siis löydy ainakaan siitä, että yritämme olla sellaisia kuin luulemme muiden meidän olettavan olevan. Olisiko tässä meille hyvä lupaus ja tavoite, ei vain ensi vuodeksi, vaan koko loppuelämän tavoitteeksi.

Paremman tulevaisuuden rakentaminen tekee onnelliseksi

Vapaus tekee minutkin onnelliseksi, eikä vain yksityiselämässäni, vaan myös töissä. Oman yrityksen perustaminen antoi minulle vapauden ja mahdollisuuden toimia omien arvojeni mukaan. Olen kiitollinen vapaudesta, mutta en pidä sitä itsestäänselvyytenä, koska kaikilla ei tässä maailmassa todellakaan ole vapautta tehdä valintoja. Kirjoitin näistäkin ajatuksista tässä artikkelissa: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Tiedän ja ymmärrän oikein hyvin, etten yksin voi pelastaa maailmaa epäoikeudenmukaisuudelta tai ympäristöongelmilta, mutta voin tehdä oman osani ja vaikuttaa muiden kanssa. Parasta, mitä minulle tapahtui vuonna 2021, oli löytää samanhenkisiä ihmisiä, jotka opettivat minulle paljon uutta.

Osallistuin kolmelle espanjankieliselle Uudistavan matkailun -kurssille. Sain uutta inspiraatiota ja olen ollut lähes hämmentynyt siitä, miten elämä todella johdattaa juuri oikeiden ihmisten luo, juuri oikealla hetkellä. Elämä tuntuu olevan palapeli, jonka puuttuvat palat löytyvät, vaikka ei edes tiedä mitä oikeastaan etsii.

Erityisterveiseni menevät tänä vuonna Carlos Briseñolle ja Martín Aranedalle (Turismo Regenerativo), Amanda Selivonille (Ekoways), Anna Pollockille, Anna Drozdowskalle, Anna Rinteiselle ja Nani Angulolle uuden oppimisesta, aidosta tuesta ja välittämisestä, positiivisesta dialogista. Odotan innolla, että pääsemme jatkamaan reilua ja kaunista yhteistyötä ensi vuonna.

Oman näköinen ja oloinen yrittäjyys

Mood of Finland täyttää neljä vuotta 1.1.2022 ja nyt voin paljastaa yhden salaisuuden. Kun perustin yritystä ja tein liiketoimintasuunnitelmaa starttirahahakemusta varten, turhauduin valmiisiin lomakkeisiin ja Exceleihin, vaikka johdatin myös opiskelijoita tekemään samoja suunnitelmia osana opintojaan.

Olin lukenut kirjoja ja tutkimuksia transmodernista yrittäjyydestä gradua tehdessäni vuosia aikaisemmin ja halusin perustaa yritykseni nille arvoille. Jaoin ajatuksiani espanjalaisten ystävieni kanssa ja he tukivat minua, mutta en löytänyt Suomesta samanhenkisiä yrittäjiä. Suunnitelmiani oli vaikea kirjata exceleihin.

Sitten jotenkin sattumalta ja onnekseni päädyin Sampsa Fabritiuksen kokoamaan Transformative Entrepreneurship (Transformatiivinen yrittäjyys) tapaamiseen Helsinkiin. Se oli mahdollisuus ja tilaisuus, joka vahvisti uskoani toisenlaiseen yrittäjyyteen. Tapaamisen aikana meitä pyydettiin kirjaamaan liikeideamme Ikigaita hyödyntäen. Se antoi sillä hetkellä vahvistusta omaan tekemiseen.

Transformatiivinen oppiminen oli minulle jo tuttua. Sen perusajatus on päästää irti vanhoista ja totutuista ajatuksista ja tavoista toimia, ottaa vastaan avoimesti uutta ja ainakin testata sitä omaan tekemiseen.

Transmoderni yrittäjyys ja uudet työkalut

Pari viikkoa sitten RegenLab-yrityksen jäjrestämällä Uudistavan matkailun kurssilla minua pyydettiin kirjoittamaan liikesuunnitelmani uudestaan neljä vuotta aikaisemmin tutuksi tulleella työkalulla. Ikigai on yksinkertainen menetelmä, joka johdattaa huomioimaan tärkeimmät elämän perusarvot. Se houkuttelee ajattelemaan suuria asioita ja kirjoittamaan ne pieneen tilaan.

Nyt minun on tehtävä toinen tunnustus; Ikigai tuntuu myös yksinään liian suppealta menetelmältä ja olen ottanut vapauden päivittää yrityksen suunnitelmia yhdistämällä käytettävissä olevia menetelmiä ja työkaluja. Opettelen nyt käyttämään toista uutta työkalua nimeltä ”Uudistava Flow Map” ja jaan mielelläni kokemuksiani myös muille.

Eri tavalla toimiminen ei tarkoita taloudellisesti kannattamatonta yrittäjyyttä, koska mitään yritystoimintaa ei voi eikä kannata jatkaa, jollei se ole taloudellisesti kannatavaa ja kestävää.

Useiden menetelmien ja oppien yhdistäminen yrityksen kehittämisessä on vapautta ja uuden oppiminen ja oppimisen käytäntöön vieminen tekee minut onnelliseksi nyt tulevaa vuotta kohti siirryttäessä. Onnellinen olen myös silloin, jos pystyn tarjoamaan asiakkailleni ja yhteistyökumppaneilleni uutta ja kiinnostavaa sisältöä – sellaista, jonka avulla tämä maailma on hyvä paikka elää myös tulevaisuudessa.

Kiitos, että seuraat blogiani!

Rakkaudella, Anu

Lopuksi jaan videon, jonka tein yhtenä kurssityönä Uudistavan matkailun opinnoissa suomeksi, englanniksi ja espanjaksi. Se on pieni tarina siitä, miksi Mood of Finland on juuri sellainen kun se on.

Some thoughts about happiness and entrepreneurship

Shared happiness is double happiness

It was at the end of 2020 when I had a beautiful and happy encounter. We had a visitor from Paris, a French journalist, who wanted to understand the secret of Finnish Happiness. I was asked to take her to a forest walk and tell my thoughts about happiness based on nature. You can read more about this visit here: Nature based happiness

Voit lukea tämän artikkelin suomeksi täältä: Oletko sinä onnellinen, kysyy hymyilevä yrittäjä

The weather was not very nice, but in fact, we often remember better the events when the beautiful is accompanied by a small adversity – like wet sleet in this case. Perfection is rarely a memorable experience. We usually also want to share the happiest moments with others and so was the thing in the case of organizing the event to the French journalist. I invited other colleagues to make this opportunity a special moment. That day wouldn’t have been nearly as beautiful and important to me if I hadn’t shared it with others – shared pleasure is double pleasure. Thank you Jonna (Metsänautti), Risto (Adventuristo) and Ullis ( Ullis Travel Studio)!

What makes you happy – do you agree with the PERMA -test?

Yale University has launched very popular online course known around the world called PERMA -test. It promises to tell us what the secret of happiness is. The name of the test comes from words Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement.

It´s easy to agree that gratitude and the importance of not comparing ourselves to others is some of the basic factors. I have put it into practice by keeping a gratitude diary and making inner speech more merciful to myself for some years now and I feel more happy.

Kindness was mentioned as an important indicator which unites happy people. It´s easy to agree that being kind and helping others in unselfish way make us feel profoundly happy. I think that gratitude and kindness are related also to equality and non-discrimination. I have written an other article with such thoughts here: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Capability to concentrate is related to engagement and achievement. As it was said in the article about happiness, we can improve our own ability to concentrate: all you have to do is meditate. Good news for many of us is that we don’t have to do any formal meditation practice according to complex rules; we can just stare out of the window or focus on our breathing.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Does freedom make you happy?

A Finnish philosopher, Timo Airaksinen, was asked to define happiness and answered as following (03/2021):

”If you look at people, they are looking for everything but happiness: success and a better job, a more expensive car and housing. Happiness is such an abstract concept that I would replace it with contentment”

The philosopher considers such values as goodness, truth and beauty to be quite fine when defining happiness, but unnecessarily solemn. According to Airaksinen, freedom is the most important human value. He told that his unconscious goal during the whole life was freedom and refers to free movement both in thought and physically.

Writing books, traveling – everything has been an endeavor away from normal everyday life and society for him. He also told that the purpose of life is to become as one is, to realize oneself; to become externally similar to what is internally.

Could this be a good goal and promise for all of us, not only a New Year´s promise but a lifelong goal.

Acting for better future can make us happy

Freedom makes me happy, not only in my private life but also in professional path. Starting my own business allowed me the freedom and opportunity to act according to my own values. I am grateful but I don´t want to take freedom as granted as not everyone in this world has freedom to make choices.

I am well aware that I cannot save the world from injustice or environmental problems alone, but I can do my part and make an impact with others. The best thing that happened to me in 2021 was to find like-minded people who still taught me so much new.

I attended three Regenerative Tourism courses, two of them organized by a Chilean company called Turismo Regenerativo and the third one organized by a Spanish company RegenLab. I’m still on the path to new learning in transformative way.

I got very inspired and almost confused about how life really leads to just the right people, at just the right moment. Life is really like a puzzle whose missing pieces can be found even when you don’t even know what you’re really looking for.

My special thanks this year go to Carlos Briseño, Martín Araneda (Turismo Regenerativo), Amanda Selivon (Ekoways), Anna Pollock, Anna Drozdowska, Anna Rinteinen and Nani Angulo for your genuine support and a desire to work together. Looking forward to continue to do fair and beautiful things together next year. I am honestly grateful and touched.

Freedom to find your own way to act brings happiness

Mood of Finland company has its fourth anniversary the 1st of January 2022. Now I can reveal one secret. When I started a business and made a business plan for a grant application, I got frustrated with the ready-made forms and excels although I also led students to make the same plans as part of their studies.

I have read books and studies about transmodern entrepreneurship and caring economy while finishing my Master thesis some years earlier and wanted to establish my company based on such values. I shared opinions with my Spanish friends and they supported me, but I didn´t find same-liked entrepreneurs in Finland. My plans were difficult to enter into excels.

Transmodern entrepreneurship and new tools

Then I somehow and luckily ended up in a meeting of Transformative Entrepreneurship led by Sampsa Fabritius in Helsinki. I was faced with an opportunity and a situation that strengthened my belief that there was another kind of entrepreneurship. During the meeting we were asked to write down our business idea using the Ikigai tool. It was something I needed at that moment.

Couple of weeks ago, in one of the Regenerative Tourism courses, I was asked to write down my plans again using the same tool. It is a simple method but leads to important basic values of life. It forces you to think about big things and write them down in a small space.

Now I have to make another confession; Ikigai also feels too schematic and instructive on its own and I have taken the liberty of making my own business plans by combining the methods and tools available. I am learning to use another new tool called Regenerative Flow Map and will be happy to share my experiences for others as well. Combining many methods and doctrines is what I call freedom and makes me happy now when facing the upcoming year.

Operating in a different way does not mean economically unprofitable entrepreneurship, because no business can and should continue unless it is financially viable and sustainable.

I wish happiness to all

The turn of the year, as well as the celebration of the summer solstice, have been and still are a time of magic and beliefs also here in the northernmost part of Europe.

With a loud bang, evil spirits have been harassed and happiness has been foretold and assured in various ways. It was also believed that there is only certain amount of happiness and it is only enough for some. Next year’s happiness was divided into pieces and was given at the turn of the new year. Attempts was made to ensure one´s own share of happiness, for example, by visiting as many places as possible on New Year’s Eve and staying high-spirited all day long. Believe whoever wants to – I hope there is unlimited amount of happiness and it will be shared in fair way – all the year round.

I continue the tradition I have experienced and enjoyed when living in Spain. I’ve modified it a bit so that instead of wishing, I express my gratitude. Every year I eat 12 grapes to the beat of the clock at midnight, and I thank in advance for 12 good things in my life happening next year.

Hope you all the best for 2022!

Thank you for following my blog.

With love, Anu

Finally, I will share a video in which I share the background behind Mood of Finland company in English:

Aquí les comparto un video en el que comparto el trasfondo detrás de Mood of Finland, en Español:

Thoughts from the happiest country in the world: How happiness could be shared equally?

I walk in the forest and don´t need to be afraid of anything

For the fourth year in a row Finland ranked as the happiest country in the world, according to this year’s World Happiness Report. The annual, independent survey is organised by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. (Yle.fi)

It takes into account factors such as healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, gross domestic product (GDP), generosity, social support from friends, perceived corruption, as well as recent emotions of the respondents, both good and bad.

I am well aware that I’m privileged as I live in a safe environment, in a stable and developed society. I can walk alone in a forest or where ever I want for hours without fear of being threatened. I am also well aware that there are millions of persons who live in fear and in inhuman living conditions.

I understand that happiness, if we really want to define it in universal way is not easy target. Finnish Emeritus Professor of Practical Philosophy Timo Airaksinen answered as following in an interview where he was asked to define happiness:

”If you look at people, they are looking for everything but happiness: success and a better job, a more expensive car and housing. Happiness is such an abstract concept that I would replace it with contentment”

Those goals mentioned above might be typical in western countries among those with traditional and modern values as well as in developing countries where the share of the middle class is growing. Fortunately the values are changing; change in values is important not only for happiness and equality, but also for sustainable future. The more we seek immaterial happiness, the less we cause harm to the environment.

I laughed and felt joy yesterday – today I am confused and sad for a reason

For the World Happiness report about 1,000 respondents in each country were asked to, for example, rate the quality of their lives on a scale of zero to 10. Other questions included how many times respondents laughed or felt joy and satisfaction the previous day. Conversely, the survey also took into account negative emotions such as asking how often respondents had felt worry, sadness or anger the previous day. (Yle.fi)

I was laughing a lot yesterday while talking on the phone with my mother and again in the evening when having a dinner and watching a movie with my son. I tend to laugh a lot, I have positive attitude and I don´t have any significant worries in life. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not worried or indifferent to others.

While reading the news about Happiness report I could not ignore this sentence:

The southern African country of Zimbabwe was listed at the bottom of the happiness rankings. Meanwhile the 20 countries found at the bottom of the list were located in Africa, many of which were dealing with difficult situations, unrest or even civil war. (Yle.fi)

At the same time I feel happy and proud that Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world, I feel confused and sad. I feel empathy for the people living in the countries that are the least successful in this report. In my opinion, those countries should be included in the headlines and let their inhabitants tell their story.

Living in global south doesn´t mean that happiness can´t be achieved but however, much remains to be done towards equality and equal living environment.

If we ever again have opportunities to promote what happiness is by the stories of local people as we did in Finland in 2019 (Rent a Finn) I would appreciate a project where the Africans and Finns (and other Nordics) meet each other sharing tips for happy life. We all certainly would learn from each other.

Freedom and happiness

The philosopher presented earlier in this article, Timo Airaksinen, considers such values as goodness, truth and beauty to be quite fine, but unnecessarily solemn. According to Airaksinen, freedom is the most important human value. He told that his unconscious goal during the whole life was freedom and refers to free movement both in thought and physically.

Writing books, traveling – everything has been an endeavor away from normal everyday life and society for him. He also told that the purpose of life is to become as one is, to realize oneself; to become externally similar to what is internally.

It is easy to agree with the arguments of the Finnish philosopher. I admit that freedom is also important to me, especially professionally as it provides opportunities to make choices based on values.

Today, however, my thoughts are with those for whom freedom of choice is not self-evident.

One of Finland’s most noticed news in mid-March (2021) was a report on the Democratic Republic of Congo which is the world ’s fourth poorest country, but full of riches: gold, diamonds, uranium, copper – and cobalt.

The report brought to our attention the brutal truth about unofficial diggers and children digging up toxic cobalt by hand in dangerous conditions. Cobalt is needed e.g. in smartphone and electric car batteries.

Lapsia
Picture: YLE 14.03.2021

Demands are now being made that unofficial diggers should be recognized as an official part of supply chains. Formalization would mean, for example, giving diggers fenced areas, fixed prices and protective equipment.

A decent wage would be essential: when adults had a livelihood, children would not have to work in the mines. In other words, child labor will not be eliminated as long as its root causes are not addressed.

“If parents earn a dollar a day, the kids won’t be in school even if you build 50 schools,” says researcher Siddharth Kara.

I wanted to brought this phenomenon to our attention as an example to remind us that not everybody in this world has freedom to make choices.

Hope and action make me happy

When facing problems or reading news about unfair incidents, I try to think of ways to influence. I often refers to Paolo Freire´s book called Pedagogy of Hope and some of the thoughts he had made well-known worldwide. My favorite is a reminder that there is hope, but hope without action remains hopefulness.

”Paolo Freire´s concern for social justice and education in the developing world remains as timely and as inspiring as ever.  Pedagogy of Hope is a testimonial to the inner vitality of generations denied prosperity and to the often-silent, generous strength of millions throughout the world who refuse to let hope be extinguished.”

In Finland, we all know a fairy tale where ”fools” carry light to a dark cottage with a sack. It has been a good lesson to understand that action is needed but not any kind of action is helpful.

One of the key solutions to make the world more equal is in education. Not only in education export from Finland to developing countries but also in sharing stories for Finnish children (and adults) to strengthen empathy and giving examples of how to act for better future – together and without blaming anybody.

Awareness of problems and distress of others does not deprive us of our right to be happy.

What makes you happy in this exceptional time

At the end of this writing I bring you back to the Happiness report . Unlike in previous years, the happiness index included surveys on how countries have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken the world for more than a year. (Yle.fi)

The causes of negative feelings included weakened economies, health worries of the respondent or a relative as well as job losses and difficulty finding employment. Meanwhile, respondents said positive feelings during the pandemic year had been prompted by volunteering, exercise, caring for a pet or a feeling of general gratitude. (Yle.fi)

Did you find some familiar feelings in the text above? Would you like to share your thoughts about happiness?
Please, do so by leaving a comment below.

You can read an other blog article about happiness here: Nature based Happiness

Thank you for following my blog!
I hereby invite you to a Forest walk with some thoughts of mine.

With love, Anu

Nature based Happiness

a woman hugging and kissing the tree

A French journalist challenged COVID-19 to understand Finnish happiness

As we were living the period of long awaited Christmas Holidays, there were not so many seizing the opportunity to host a French journalist coming to Finland at short notice – to discover the secret of happiness. I did not hesitate a moment when I was asked by Helsinki Marketing to take Corine (our guest)  for a forest walk and talk about nature and happiness.

There was an other reason that visiting Finland in December 2020 was not the easiest moment to come; crossing the borders was not self-evident as we lived in a time of strict travel restrictions because of COVID-19. Corine had taken the COVID-19 test twice with negative result and we agreed to wear masks indoors and keep safety distance outdoors.

I could have hosted the visit by my own, but it´s not the way I want to work. So I contacted other entrepreneurs to share this experience. Doing together makes me happy and it´s one of my company´s main values.

We were four entrepreneurs taking care of Corinne during her visit to Lake Tuusula. Risto Karjalainen (Adventuristo) and Jonna Granroth (Metsänautti) took care of the beautiful winter picnic by open fire during our forest walk. Our national artists as Jean Sibelius, Pekka Halonen, Eero Järnefelt and Eino Leino used to gather together to this same place (Sarvikallio) with their families to have picnic and to get inspired by nature.

Ulla-Maija (Ullis) Rouhiainen (Ullis Travel Studio)  guided us to the stories of the famous artist community of Lake Tuusula and later hosted Corinne´s  sauna experience in Helsinki.

Facts about happiness

Finland has ranked once again to be the number one in the UN´s Happiness report.  It takes into account factors such as healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, gross domestic product (GDP), generosity, social support from friends, perceived corruption, as well as recent emotions of the respondents, both good and bad. (More info Forbes 26052020)

At the beginning of our meeting Corinne wanted to know if Finland’s success in the happiness survey surprised me. No, it didn´t – considering the factors measuring happiness.

I was thinking about happiness a lot three years ago when making the decision to establish my own company and taking an economical risk in my personal life. It was clear to me that establishing own company was about freedom to make life choices, possibility to live according to my values and about having a meaning in my professional life.

If I hadn´t dared to establish company in a country like Finland, I would have been quite a coward as we live in a very supporting society. I have had opportunities to study and got multiple skills – so I trust that if  I am willing to work and adapt to a basic standard of living, if necessary, I survive. Taking account the theme of  our meeting and the studies related to this article, it´s not, of course, only about surviving in life but also about finding the happiness and you can´t measure all in money.

The secret of Happiness

Yale University has launched very popular online course known around the world called PERMA -test. It promises to tell us what the secret of happiness is. The name of the test comes from words Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement.

I red an article about PERMA -test some days before meeting Corinne. The article not only confirmed my thoughts of happiness but also taught something new. Which I totally agree is that gratitude and the importance of not comparing ourselves to others is some of the basic factors. Based on my experience it works; I have been practicing gratitude by writing gratitude diary and changing my inner talk to myself for some years now and I feel more happy.

Kindness was mentioned as an important indicator which unites happy people. It´s easy to agree that being kind and helping others in unselfish way make us feel profoundly happy. I think that gratitude and kindness are related also to equality and non-discrimination.

Capability to concentrate is related to engagement and achievement. As it was said in the article, we can improve our own ability to concentrate: all you have to do is meditate. Good news for many is that you don’t have to do any formal meditation practice according to complex rules; you can just stare out the window or focus on your breathing.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Nature brings Happiness

With the journalist we had some silent moments and breathing exercises in forest as a prove of simple, nature based meditation. We also talked about relationships, the importance of human contact and the lack of it in these days.

a woman hugging and kissing the tree

Picture: Katja Tähjä

We really can´t replace human touch of anything but I invited Corinne to hug and even kiss the trees as it´s totally safe even during COVID-19 and also our way to calm down and get good feeling. Well-being effects of nature, such as lowering blood pressure, have been proved by  researches worldwide.

Many of my foreign friends had said that what makes us different in Finland from our neighbors is our way to connect with nature. It´s something primitive and beautiful where respect and willingness to keep on sustaining our traditions connects with the wisdom that is passed from one generation to another.

Nature indeed makes me happy, in all seasons and wherever I am. My nature is diverse and it´s open to anybody who respects its uniqueness and power which is stronger than us.

I want to thank for this opportunity to work together with wonderful professionals in my last working day in 2020.

Thank you Corine for you inspiring visit in Finland! Hope to see you here again!
It was a beautiful experience to stop and reflect on what happiness really is.

Today I am happy to celebrate the third anniversary of my company Mood of Finland Oy
My decision three years ago to follow my dreams and taking the risk has been worth of it.
I feel very grateful!

Thank you for following by blog.
Wishing you happiness and all the best for 2021!
With love,
Anu

ps. The journalist mentioned in my blog has published a professional article about  Happiness Le Monde – La vie Magazine in French. She was hosted by Helsinki Marketing (Sara Jäntti)

And finally, I invite you to watch the video of some ”haiku” poems I have been writing last year (in Finnish). They are a mixture of nature, love and a hint of melancholy.

The short Story of my life

 

vappu kaksi 2

This white graduation cap has got its story to tell. The story of life.

The story started on the graduation day when I had the great feeling of starting my own life, having all the doors open! Can you see the look of hope, happiness and confidence in my eyes?

I have drank sparkling wine from my cap, I have lost it and found it again. My cap has been travelling with me ten years abroad. I have let Spanish and Latinamerican Tourist to try it during my Guided Tours in Helsinki and  I have told them that it brings luck.

I love my cap and I love the story of it. And I still have the same feeling of hope, happiness and confidence in my life. Life is great and I am gratefull.

Ullanlinnanmäki

There are thousands of  different stories of white graduation caps in Finland, isn´t it wonderful! Wonderful is also the tradition of wearing the cap every first of May! Maybe every now and then  we remember the first time of wearing the cap and we remember the feeling of having everything ahead.