How do you rediscover a happier, more purpose-driven (and less productivity-obsessed) self in the wake of the pandemic? by Dominic Price (Positive learning and Positive Mindset)

How do you rediscover a happier, more purpose-driven (and less productivity-obsessed) self in the wake of the pandemic? by Dominic Price (Positive learning and Positive Mindset)

How do you rediscover a happier, more purpose-driven (and less productivity-obsessed) self in the wake of the pandemic? Quiz yourself alongside work futurist Dominic Price as he lays out a simple yet insightful four-part guide to assessing your life in ways that can help you reconnect with what's really important.

How do you rediscover a happier, more purpose-driven (and less productivity-obsessed) self in the wake of the pandemic? by Dominic Price (Positive learning and Positive Mindset)
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Ways to live a better and happier life | What's your happiness score? | By Dominic Price (Positive Learning)


my name's don price and i'm a work

futurist which is a made-up job that no

one's called me out on yet but it's got

me here on this stage today

my job's all about predicting the future

the future of work

society the economy and education

which as you can sure you can imagine

this year of all the years it's been

pretty fascinating

now there's a huge amount of self-help

literature out there

that will help you be happier over time

but today i want to talk to you

specifically about being happy

in a year like 2020. it's a year like no


it's a year where many of us haven't

felt as much happiness

or our happy days have been reduced to

happy minutes and moments

and the uncertainty of the future has

quite rightly weighed heavily

on our minds but to talk to you about

a year like 2020 and to talk about how

it's been first of all

i have to tell you how my year has


you see my sister's my best friend and a

few years ago i got the call

that no brother wants to get truly been


with stage four breast cancer and given

that she lived a 24-hour flight away

in manchester england as a single mother

of two boys

i'm sure you can imagine how i felt but

she's stubborn as an ox

and six years later at the start of 2020

she was still with us

then february rolled in i got another


this time it was my doctor telling me

that i had

early stage bowel cancer a week later

i had a subtotal colectomy and i had my

colon removed

strangely the same day my sister went to

see her specialist in the uk

who confirmed that they were ceasing all


she had a matter of months left to live

now post surgery i wasn't officially

allowed to travel due to covert travel


but i managed to get an exemption from

the government and i was on one of very

few flights

out to manchester in april to look after

my sister

and her two boys a few weeks later

on tuesday may the 19th trudy collapsed

suddenly at home

trying cpr she died in my arms before

the ambulance arrived

she was 45.

after some very emotional goodbyes to


the only thing certain in my immediate

future was 14 days in quarantine

but before i got on that plane i gave my

nephews an extra special uncle dumb hug

and in those 14 days in quarantine you

kind of left alone with your own


and it got me thinking where does that


actually come from how can a year

this make anyone happy

and the problem with those thoughts is

when you've got 14 days

you really do get to invest in them and

it got me thinking how can we find our


and as is with death sometimes i

actually started thinking with renewed


about life and work and covid

and all the things that matters in

bonnie ware's book

the top five regrets of the dying bonnie

will tell you

the second biggest regret is i wish i

hadn't spent so much time in the office

but you don't need me to tell you that

you know what's important on your


the love of friends and family the

legacy you're leaving behind

knowing that you've done things that

made you happy

knowing that you've done great things

and yet few of us can honestly say

this is how we're living our lives today

take work for example

work today stems from the industrial

revolution 300 years ago

that's when we were the machines we were

the robots

it was all about presenteeism we worked

on the production line

we were measured by speed and efficiency

it's about how much work you could get

done in one day

let's be honest it's about making your

boss richer

and in that time we had these measures

of success

economic growth and productivity

we're 300 years later and it's simply

not working

productivity growth has stagnated


is one of the worst performing countries

in terms of longer working hours

and this idea of productivity that

governments and businesses speak about

all the time

it measures 10 million invested in a


the same as 10 million dollars spent on

a cold fire power plant

and our most precious resource the

planet is dying

and we have no planet b

so we're not happy at work and we're not


and oddly in the time of the pandemic

when we're touting mental health

and wellness and the importance of

people studies show we've actually

extended the average working day

by 40 minutes since march this year

all in the pursuit of productivity and i

think it's because we first thought that

covid was a fleeting moment

you see kovid's like a snowstorm after

years of what seemed like endless

sunshine outside

we looked out and we saw snow so we did

the right thing

we closed the windows indoors and we

stayed inside

but a few weeks later we looked out and

it's still snowing

and we're like ah it's not a snowstorm

it's winter

so we did the right thing we went online

bought a new jumper

jacket and a scarf but by the time they

were delivered to our door

we realized it wasn't winter it was the

ice age

what was the moment when you realized

that this was the ice age

think about it that moment when you sat

there and thought

it's kind of not an eight week thing

anymore this is it it's been here for a


in fact maybe it's here forever

and how did that moment of realization

make you feel about work

something that you spend about a third

of your time doing by the way

i can tell you how it made 5 000 people

feel across australia

the us japan france and germany

in a recent study commissioned by


despite the fact that people weren't

commuting to work and therefore saving

that time

nearly half of respondents said they had

less time

for personal pursuits personal pursuits

the things that actually make you happy

and the number one complaint at this


work life balance me personally

i've put on five kilos since march i'm

drinking more

and i'm sleeping less that's kobe's


right or is it simply that i'm just not


that in my relentless pursuit of

productivity i've lost sight of what's

really important

now we can spend the rest of this talk

sharing stories about what happy we are

or we can actually flip the tables and

talk about what we can do

i'm choosing to do the latter i'd like

you to close your eyes for a second i

want to imagine a world

where our measure of success is not


i want to imagine a world where instead

of thinking about busyness

and titles and bank balances we think

about our impact on the world

i want you to imagine a world where

status isn't the reason for our


open your eyes i'd now like to introduce


to the personal moral inventory

the pistol moral inventory is inspired

by two pieces of work

the first the work from the world of

finance on something called the


bottom line only getting businesses to

report in a more rounded fashion

the second an exercise that elite

military personnel go through

to self-assess themselves and their


before going into battle i believe that

these four things

productivity and profit people the


and our purpose are the secret to our


and what's important in the time of the

ice age the time we're in right now

is not to get distracted by the things

we can't do but to find the things that

we can do

it's on us to take ownership and control

of our own happiness let's do the

exercise together

what i'm going to do is rate each area

minus one

zero or one one is you're nailing it

high fives all around good on you

zero is you're getting by not awesome

not awful

and minus one is you're struggling

here's mine for this year

for productivity and profit i'm a one i

have a good job

i have a good salary i have a roof over

my head i can pay the bills

but here's the thing you can't score

more than a one

so it becomes impossible to pack all

your happiness into one category

and yet it's like we're all trying to

get to a two on productivity

but to what extent the next area is


people is about how you think think

about your personal

mental and physical health you have to

start with yourself

you have to put your own oxygen mask on

before you can help others

this is also about how you impact family

friends society

it's about being human and having a

positive impact

on humanity for this i scored myself a


planet let's just say i took over 100

flights last year so i'm going to score

myself a minus one

and finally purpose purpose is about the

impact you want to have

and the legacy you want to leave behind

it's the why you do

what you do for this i scored myself a


now i can already tell the king beans in

the room and online are trying to add

this up or net this off

that is not how it works your positive

impact in one category

doesn't mitigate your negative impacts

in another category

for me the fact that i'm financially

well-off doesn't make up for the fact

that i'm killing the planet

it wasn't this realization though that

got me thinking something had to change

shortly after my sister passed away i

did this exercise on her behalf

and it got me thinking for productivity

and profit

she was a zero she struggled financially

in her final few years she couldn't work

but she got by

for people she was a definite one she

really knew her own identity

she invested in her life she had a lot

of fun

you all remember the party you're out

with trudy and she invested in local


community friends and family for planet

she was also a one

she had a very low carbon footprint she

very rarely flew anywhere

she didn't own a car she was avid at

reduced reuse

recycle and if in winter she would make

you put a jumper on

before she'd let you turn the heating on

and on purpose

she was also a strong one she knew the

legacy she wanted to leave behind

she knew exactly why she was on this


purpose isn't about being a superhero

it's not about wearing a cape

or single-handedly saving the world

trudy's purpose was to give those two


the best upbringing in the small time

that she had available

i learned two things doing this exercise

for her

firstly i learned that happiness is


like for trudy the fact that she was

financially struggling she didn't let

that dictate

her happiness she didn't put all her

eggs in that basket

and shut up shop but the second


hit me a lot harder despite everything

trudy was happier than me

where we get to take our happiness

into our own hands what i want you to do

is to think about the areas where you

would score zero

or minus one and commit to doing

something to improve

so whatever you commit to do i want you

to give it a red hot go

in the next summer why well the best

time to plant a tree was 20 years ago

the second best time is today so we're

going to do this

right now for me my worst score was


i'm going to commit to going meat free

for three days a week

and then i'll reassess i've already

changed my energy provider to one that's

carbon neutral

and i've invested in a company that's

trying to save our oceans

small steps but then i can reassess on


i'm going to commit to be more present

with the people i care about

for the last four years i've essentially

been single and if i'm really honest

i was emotionally unavailable but i've

actually been very fortunate to meet

someone amazing

so what i'm going to do is commit to

investing in a relationship

with openness authenticity and


and a little bit of cheekiness

and on purpose a year ago i was actually

a one on purpose

my purpose was twofold it was the impact

i was having on people

through my public speaking and it was

the precious time

i got to spend my sister but in a few

short weeks at the start of 2020

both of those disappeared and in the

months since

i've been really trying to rediscover my

purpose and i'll be honest

i've really struggled to find it and i

think that's okay but then i realized

that i have this today this moment

this is me rediscovering my purpose

what are you gonna do what action are

you gonna take

whatever action you do take you suddenly

realize that you can stop hinging all

your happiness

on one category of the personal moral


instead you invest in taking control of

your own

happiness our future is not


our future is not written and our future

is not waiting for us

i'm building mine and i believe you are

building yours

and how happy we are in our future will

be based solely

on our action or inaction across all

facets of life

not just the working week i am the key

to unleashing my

own happiness and i believe you are the


to unleashing your own happiness i can

safely say

that trudy didn't have any regrets but

she did have one wish

to see me on stage live presenting at


thank you very much


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