What comes to mind when hearing Bobby McFerrin’s popular refrain from the 1980s? Great words of wisdom? It sounds so simple. Easier said than done!
Happiness is back in the forefront. More than 650 books with “happiness” in the title were published in 2009,1 and it is difficult to pick up a magazine or journal, including Harvard Business Review, that doesn’t suggest that happiness is something we all want, need, and deserve.2
What about the concept of positivity? Although positivity is sometimes seen as synonymous with happiness, researcher Barbara Fredrickson claims the concepts are more like cousins—related, but not the same.3 For our discussions, we submit that cultivating positive emotions can lead to increased happiness.
This year, we will explore happiness and positivity, focusing on their impact on individuals and organizations, particularly in veterinary medicine. Everyone can recount happy or positive experiences in their life, but it is not always obvious how to intentionally create those experiences.