Creating a WORLD of Difference

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As we launch into the fifth year of World WellBeing Week, we’re inviting everyone to celebrate the many aspects of wellbeing.

Wellbeing encompasses meaningful, purposeful work to financial security, physical, mental, and emotional health, social resilience and compassionate corporate and civic leadership, community relations and care for the environment.

Every day this week, together with Channel Eye, we’ll bring you insights from thought leaders in the field, starting with World WellBeing Week Founder, Beverley Le Cuirot who turns her attention to the benefits of living in the now.

In what is often a ceaseless pursuit of the next milestone – the perfect job, an ideal relationship, an opportune moment – we often trap ourselves into the mindset of waiting for happiness. This tendency towards perpetual postponement not only dims the vibrancy of our experiences but also blinds us to the beauty of the present.

I have been inspired of late by a number of compelling stories, most noteworthy that of fellow Yorkshireman and English professional rugby league footballer, Rob Burrow. In his final broadcast message to the world, following his death of MND at the age of 41, he urged us to face our battles bravely despite adversity and our own personal battles, underscoring the importance of living in the now, lest we let life slip quietly by.

The illusion of a perfect moment

The common refrain, “I’ll be happy when…”, sets a dangerous precedent. It fosters a life on perpetual hold, awaiting conditions that may never materialise. Life’s inherent complexity means it will never simplify just for our convenience, and by delaying our joy and waiting for the right circumstances, we risk missing the spontaneous moments of happiness and opportunity that are often right there in front of us.

Too many of us spend half our lives looking back, wishing we’d chosen differently or not made so many mistakes. Our mistakes don’t limit us, only our fears do. Our mistakes teach us.

Embracing happiness as a present activity

Happiness is not a future state to be achieved, but a practice to be engaged in presently. It means finding joy in the here and now, despite life’s imperfections.

This approach doesn’t detract from setting goals or planning for the future but emphasises finding fulfilment in the journey itself. Appreciating the small victories, the simple pleasures, and the lessons from daily challenges, transforms our perspective and enriches our life narrative. As unpredictable as life is, the realisation that every day presents a second chance to do whatever we want, to be whatever we want, is liberating. The only thing stopping us is ourselves.

The consequences of delay

When we put off our actions or decisions, the costs are often greater than we anticipate.

Passions diminish, opportunities fade, and relationships drift apart. Time, relentless and unforgiving, marches on. Children grow, loved ones age, and professional ambitions drift into the realm of ‘what might have been’. Regret, then, becomes a burdensome companion, heavy with missed opportunities and unspoken words. By choosing to act now, we can live fuller lives, marked by engagement and satisfaction, rather than regret.

Seizing the moment

Life, often likened to a fleeting dance, presents moments that will never recur in the same manner. Embracing these fleeting opportunities means spending time with loved ones, pursuing passion projects, or simply savouring a quiet morning. It also means stepping out of your comfort zone at work. These moments are the ones we cherish in retrospect. They are imbued with life’s true essence, untainted by the sorrow of what we failed to do or say.

Practical steps to living in the now

  1. Decisive Action: Choosing to make decisions actively, rather than passively letting life happen, leads to a more fulfilled existence.
  2. Regular Connection: Maintaining frequent, meaningful contact with friends, colleagues and family ensures that relationships on all levels thrive and support us.
  3. Prioritise Passions: Ideally the job we love, although if not, allocating daily time for activities we love, such as art, writing, or sport, will enrich our life and combat regrets.
  4. Response vs Reaction: Responding with feelings of love, forgiveness, or gratitude, rather than reacting on impulse, ensures we don’t act in retaliation. It also means we don’t leave important words which need to be said, left unspoken.
  5. Practice Mindfulness: Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and mindful walking can anchor us in the present, enhancing our appreciation of the now.

Letting go of what holds us back

Fear and insecurity often prevent us from seizing the day. Overcoming these barriers involves embracing vulnerability and stepping out of our comfort zone actions which are necessary for personal growth and happiness.

Life waits for no one. The essence of living a full life lies in not waiting too long to act, hoping for a ‘better’ time, or letting the metaphorical coffee cool before it can be enjoyed, but in savouring its warmth while it lasts. By embracing the present and discarding the illusion of a ‘better time,’ we can lead richer, more meaningful lives. Every day is a new opportunity to redefine our path and pursue our desires without the constraints of our past mistakes.

This World WellBeing Week, let’s choose to live intentionally and openly, starting now. In the end, it’s not the actions we took that we regret, but the opportunities we missed. We have one life; let’s ensure it is lived fully.

Held annually during the last week in June, World WellBeing Week was created in Jersey and now takes place worldwide with a reach of millions. Individuals, practitioners, schools, and an increasing number of businesses embrace wellbeing every day of the year; the week is simply an additional platform to launch and celebrate activities and events, and in so doing to show their appreciation for valued employees, customers, partners, and suppliers.

Please feel free to share your activities throughout the week on social media – and include the hashtag #worldwellbeingweek

World Wellbeing Week 2024

June 24 – June 30

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