. PSHEeducation | Happiness

The summer is a great time for me to evaluate and research PSHE topics, meet inspiring people, new clients and build PSHE sessions for the next academic year.

It is thus timely that The Children’s Society has just released its ‘Good Childhood Guide’.


On sifting through this research the big news shouts loudly, ‘Children in England scored 0.2 or more less than the average for the other 14 countries for the remaining six items in The Good Childhood Index – family life, school, appearance, health, time use and expectations of the future.’ On reflection of these I find, once again, I am ranting to my long suffering partner… what is this happiness that eludes not just our kids but us adults too? Where have we all gone so wrong?

I shall not be the first nor the last to notice that so called ‘poorer’, ‘underdeveloped’ countries often come higher than us in the happiness stakes, so where is this illusive happiness? What are the golden nuggets that will bring us to its promised kingdom?

I have read 2 books of late which have been both supportive of my own views along with being both educational and inspiring. The first, ‘Beyond Happiness’, by Anthony Seldon, a man dedicated to creative learning and founder of the national body ‘Action for Happiness’, and the well renowned comedian and advocate for Mindfulness, Ruby Wax’s book ‘Sane New World’.
They both speak of the need for the ‘Being’ part of our Human ‘Being-ness’ (my personal definition!) to become stronger.

I can remember as a teenager pondering the question ‘Who am I?’ to which someone replied ‘Well, who is asking?’ took me a few years to grasp that one!

What we think should/could make us happy actually often misses the mark or does make us happy but only for a short period of time before we demand something else for our insatiable ‘happiness appetite’.

My deep belief, through both my personal and professional life, is that nothing outside of ourselves can make us happy – it is an ‘inside job’ and we are getting it wrong if we think we can find it in the material world  - full of enticing, sparkly promises.

We all know this, I am not telling you anything new here, but the trick is to learn how… the answer is simple – CHANGE!

In a nutshell, I believe the answer lies in a shift of our perspective, a determination and a reticent discipline, a re-wiring of our thought processes. As Ruby Wax says, ‘You CAN change your mind and how you think – thoughts are not your master, they are your servant.’