29 January 2011

Dear Friends

There were any amount of things I could have introduced this page on happiness with.  Any amount ... but, yet again, the philosopher in me alighted on Robert Rowland Smith's Breakfast with Socrates.  Intuitively, I just knew he would have a few pearls of wisdom to set me off to a good start. So, here we are - Robert Rowland Smith writing on the philosophy of everyday life.  For him, 


falling asleep and dreaming

"It's time for bed.  You've had quite a day - fending off the savage hordes on the way to work, running for your life at the gym, keeping your friends from plotting against you - and you can now look forward to some well-earned rest.  Tomorrow you'll fight another day, but for now, as night draws in, blessed slumber is yours.  Unless, of course, you're an insomniac, tormented by the demi-devils who swarm into your mind and prick it with tiny pitchforks of worry, you are for a few treasured hours being let off the hook.  And this going off duty is so important, because it suggests that, apart from restoration, the main function of sleep is to treat us with compassion, ...

"As you fall asleep - and the idea of falling matters, because it's about surrendering control and responsibility - your humanity rises, since there's nothing, while sleeping, you can do to stand out, no action you'll be taking, by definition, to demarcate you from others or testify to your specialness.  Though polarised in the cut and thrust of day-light, prince and pauper, saint and sinner, all, as unconscious bodies, are smoothed out by the hand of sleep; literally a levelling experience, the state of lying asleep displays each resting head as equal, no matter what heroism - or villainy - is perpetrated that day.  ROBERT ROWLAND SMITH, (2009)

After that little sortee into philosophy, I'm back now and absolutely agog with news of an organisation just launching itself on the great British public.  I think you will be as amazed as I am by extracts from a letter (see below) addressed to me from Action for Happiness.  I don't think anyone (including the sender) will be at all upset if I share it with you ...

Dear Marian

It's an exciting week for those involved with Action for Happiness, with TV coverage and event appearances taking our message to a wider audience.  A very warm welcome to everyone who's joined us this month - we're now over 3,000 strong and growing rapidly, with 60 countries represented.

BBC coverage: The 'Happiness Challenge'

As many of you have hopefully seen, we've been working with the BBC to run a series looking at happiness all this week on BBC Breakfast. They have been encouraging viewers to try out some simple actions in their daily lives - including mindfulness, being grateful and acts of kindness for others.  The response has been fantastic so far.

You can see the coverage here:

Coming soon:

We've got lots we want to tell you all about - including our "Ten keys for happier living" which Richard Layard outlined in his talk last Sunday at the School for Life.  Plus we're also firming up plans for our launch event, now scheduled for 11 April, which we'd love as many of you as possible to be involved in and attend.  So watch this space. 

I'll leave you with some great words from the Dalai Lama: "Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own action".

Mark Williamson

Director, Action for Happiness,


To my mind, news of this movement to enhance the happiness and wellbeing of the nation/world - to help us flourish - is very welcome and completely in accord with my own affiliations.  I have waited years for this to come about and often thought it would never happen.  Indeed, I must pinch myself to find out whether I have fallen asleep and am simply dreaming. 

I'm neither asleep nor dreaming.  I am fully conscious and raring to go.

Watch out for more sprinklings of star dust coming your way

and, remember, happiness is contagious.

Marian @ Krysan



Click on the link to download

The Happiness Challenge Workbook

Your printer will produce two copies of the above 12-page workbook. 

Maybe you could give the spare one to a friend.


'Happiness is contagious' 


If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together ... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the most important thing is, even if we're apart ... I'll always be with you.

- Winnie the Pooh

Update from Action for Happiness - 4 March 2011

(extracts from a letter to me)

Dear Marian 

Happiness in the news

To join the debate and discussion on these articles and many more, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Spread the word
Over 4,000 of us have now joined as members of Action for Happiness, which is fantastic. But we want our message about a more positive, caring and fulfilling way of life to reach as many people as possible.
So it would be wonderful if you could take a moment right now to tell your friends and colleagues about Action for Happiness.

And finally…

I'll leave you with these two wonderful, inspiring videos:

Director, Action for Happiness


2,698 its as at 2015-07-11

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