At Thrive Global, our mission is to end the global epidemic of stress and burnout that’s driving people to live lives that leave them exhausted, harried, anxious and unfulfilled. So it was no surprise when I saw a Gallup poll showing that happiness is in decline across the world. These are challenging times and technology is pushing the pace of our lives beyond our capacity to keep up. But what stuck out in the survey was the country that was number one in happiness: Fiji.
As I’ve learned, it’s no accident that Fiji is at the top of the world happiness list. And it’s not just because it’s a beautiful tropical island. It’s because the Fijians are so deliberate about nurturing and sharing their happiness. In fact, they have a term that communicates that devotion: “bula.” It translates literally as “life,” but it has a range of meanings. It’s used as a common greeting to wish other people happiness, as a way of wishing someone good health and even as a blessing to someone who’s sneezed. But most of all, it’s a mindset, a spirit, and a way of living – one that, according to Gallup, is very powerful.
To spread the message to a world that could certainly use more happiness, the tourism board of Fiji is borrowing from the various billionaires lists produced every year and creating a “Bulanaires List,” which will celebrate those who are rich in happiness.
It’s a metric we should all be aspiring to score higher on. Making time to prioritize our well-being and happiness has never been more urgent, and we can do that by learning from the wisdom of cultural traditions like ‘Bula’ that teach us to live in the moment, connect with others and reconnect with ourselves. At Thrive, our core belief is that everyone has a place of strength, harmony and peace inside them — you might call that their Inner Fiji. And while no one can stay in that place all the time, it’s our mission to give people Microsteps to help them course correct and return to that place — to see happiness and wellbeing not as magical traits that some are blessed with and others are not, but as a way of living and working that we can nurture and grow.
Making time to prioritize our well-being and happiness has never been more urgent. And we can do that by learning from the wisdom of cultural traditions like bula that teach us to live in the moment, connect with others and connect with ourselves.
So as they say in the happiest country on earth, “Ni sa bula vinaka,“…wishing you happiness and good health.
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