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  • Writer's pictureDr. Val Margarit ❤️

Lessons in Cracking the Happiness Code

I don't know about you, but personally, I am intrigued when I hear how people in other parts of the world live, work, and find happiness. I believe that we can all learn from each other and incorporate those lessons into our own lives. In this post, we'll focus on Finland, a country that has consistently ranked as one of the happiest in the world. For the past four years, Finland has topped the World Happiness Report, an annual survey that ranks countries based on measures of well-being, such as income, social support, and life expectancy. In this post, I'll explore the factors that contribute to Finland's happiness and well-being, and how we can apply those lessons to our own lives.

The Secret to Finland's Happiness: Key Contributing Factors

Finland's happiness can be attributed to several factors. First, Finland has a strong social welfare system that provides universal access to education, healthcare, and social services. Second, Finns place a high value on trust and equality, which fosters a sense of community and social cohesion. Third, Finland's natural beauty and abundant green spaces contribute to a sense of well-being and connection to nature. Fourth, Finland has a strong economy and high levels of gender equality, which allows for greater economic opportunities for all. Last, the concept of “sisu”, which emphasizes resilience, perseverance, and determination, is deeply ingrained in Finnish culture.

What is and how we can cultivate a “Sisu” Mindset?

The Finnish concept of sisu, defined as a combination of resilience, perseverance, and courage, is known for its potential to foster happiness and wellbeing. We are going to explore five key habits of "Sisu Mindset" and how we can use to promote happiness and wellbeing:

Resilience: Resilience is the ability to adapt and overcome adversity. By embracing resilience, we can approach challenges with a positive mindset and view them as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles to overcome. One effective way to cultivate resilience is to focus on our strengths and abilities, rather than dwelling on our weaknesses. This can be achieved by practicing positive self-talk, setting realistic SMART goals, and seeking out supportive relationships. By embracing resilience, we can cultivate a sense of inner strength and overcome challenges with grace and ease. Moreover, we can be intentional about it and seek challenges that make us better, stronger, and happier.

Perseverance: Persevering with purpose, we can stay motivated and focused on our goals, even when faced with setbacks or obstacles. One effective way to cultivate perseverance is to develop a clear sense of purpose and passion for what we are striving to achieve. Setting meaningful goals, identifying our core values, and taking action towards our dreams will allow us to persevere and achieve our goals. By persevering with purpose, we can achieve greater satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives.

Courage: Facing challenges head-on, even when you feel afraid or uncertain. It's about taking risks, trying new things, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. For instance, in Finland, courage is often associated with the idea of "sisu-juoksu", which refers to the ability to push through pain and discomfort while running, but it also applies to other areas of life. As a runner myself I experienced it first hand what it means to run through pain. To cultivate courage, try doing something that scares you every day, whether it's speaking up in a meeting, trying a new hobby, or having a difficult conversation with someone. By cultivating #courage, we can tap into our inner strength and achieve greater success and happiness. You'll never know unless you try doing something you've never done.

Integrity: Being true to yourself and your values, even in the face of opposition or temptation it's imperative to having a good life. It's about living with authenticity and honesty, and standing up for what you believe in. In Finland, integrity is often associated with the concept of "sisu-kalja", which means the inner strength to resist temptation. To cultivate integrity, try identifying your core values and aligning your actions with them, practice saying no to things that don't align with your values, and seek out communities and relationships that support your authentic self.

Humility: Humility involves recognizing one's own limitations and being open to learning from others. It's about adopting a growth mindset that sees oneself as a work in progress, rather than a finished product. We can develop humility by actively seeking feedback and constructive criticism, practicing active listening and open-mindedness, and acknowledging our mistakes and limitations. We can foster a sense of continuous learning and growth, which can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

The good news is that happiness is not elusive; it is within our reach. Regardless of where we live in the world, happiness is a universal aspiration that we all share. By learning from other cultures and cultivating resilience, meaningful work, health, and relationships, we can all experience the joy and contentment that comes with a fulfilling life. We can raise awareness about the value of these qualities through educational programs, government policies, intentional pedagogy, social media campaigns, and cultural events. We can also serve as role models to inspire others to adopt a similar mindset. By promoting a positive and resilient outlook on life, we can inspire people to pursue their goals and dreams with determination and grit. I am excited to visit @ourfinland and learn more about the #FindingYourInnerFinn way of life, and apply the lessons to my work and my life.

Here's a challenge for us:

If you are ready to discover your inner strength, let’s do this 8-day happiness challenge together. We’ll begin on Sunday, March 26, 2023 and end April 2nd. I will post it on Ig, YouTube, and Facebook @drvalmargarit.

Let’s do it!

8-Day Challenge: Cultivating Habits for Happiness and Resilience

Day 1: Complete a physical activity that challenges you, such as running, hiking, or strength training.

Day 2: Start the day with a cold shower to activate your body and mind.

Day 3: Set a goal for yourself that requires you to step outside of your comfort zone.

Day 4: Take a break from technology and spend time in nature.

Day 5: Connect with a friend or family member and practice active listening.

Day 6: Practice mindfulness meditation for at least 10 minutes.

Day 7: Volunteer or do an act of kindness for someone in need.

Day 8: Practice self-care and treat yourself to a relaxing activity, such as a massage, yoga, sauna, or a spa day.

Bonus Day 9: Celebrate and share your accomplishments and continue to cultivate the habits of sisu in your daily life. Follow me for support and motivation.

CTA: Are you going to join me in this challenge?

Let's go!


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