Changing Values - DEEPER HAPPINESS.
by John Powderly FRSA

Welcome back to this series of writings dedicated to the work and worldview of Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing. Here I continue to explore the concept of Happiness and dig a little deeper.

Settlers and Deeper Happiness

Unless we move beyond the caricature and get a deeper sense of the whole character, it is difficult to see how we could be more than mildly content when our Settler values underpin everything. As Settlers, often we portray ourselves as pessimistic; however, it is important to know the context. Within our world of family, friends and fellow workers our happiness is much more obvious and visible, which is in contrast to how we see our lives in comparison with the world at large.

Regular experiences often form the foundation for our happiest memories. On our own, this could be attentively watching the surface of a river when fishing, immersing ourselves in a television drama, or walking on our favourite walk that only changes with the seasons. In essence, our happiest Settler memories are often when we switch off, forget our worries, lose our sense of time and allow ourselves to connect with the environment around us.

Singing a well-rehearsed chant with a crowd at a football match, talking with friends at the local pub on the same night every week, or being an integral part of the same work team for many years could all be times when we feel safe enough to drop our guard and allow our sense of self to blend with the group around us. This is when we reinforce our deep sense of belonging.

Prospectors and Deeper Happiness

As Prospectors, social image and the way we present ourselves is important to us, so there is danger that others view us as shallow and lacking substance In practice, a strong public image does not make us happy, but it does help to prevent us from being unhappy.

Validation and reassurance underpins our satisfaction with life, so trusted friends, colleagues and family are great sources of reliable feedback to confirm that we are maintaining our position in the world. Indirect affirmation from respected publications and admired people in the public limelight also help us to feel that we are working towards a better life.

Even though we may not always be loyal, good friends and colleagues are very important within our Prospector world. In fact, it is important for our health and wellbeing, because such company allows us to switch off, enjoy the moment, come back to our senses and temporarily stop worrying about the future.

A more rounded and grounded happiness emerges from our close relationships when we are able to be ourselves, to confide with our closest friends and to let our concerns with how we look take a back seat for a while. In other words, we value time away from being on the stage and on show - to be less visible .... for a while. When time with friends turns into another stage for maintaining our self-image and we do not have quality time out to relax, there is a danger that this could lead to ill health and mental distress. This is particularly relevant for introverted Prospectors.

Pioneers and Deeper Happiness

As Pioneers, our interior Prospector needs to focus on the quest, to achieve something tangible, but, in broad brush terms, our deeper happiness emerges from the questions we ask ourselves and each other, as we immerse ourselves in a search for a meaningful life and meaningful conversations. It could be the big questions, such as Who am I?, What meaningful work can I do? and Why am I doing this?, or it could be the smaller questions that refuse to offer black-and-white answers.

And our deep, long-lasting happiness emerges when we start to get a handle on time and timing, which moves beyond plans and schedules (our internal Prospector needs) and becomes more adaptable, dynamic and responsive in accordance with what is happening and emerging in the here and now.

N.B. All views and opinions expressed through these writings are solely my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cultural Dynamics.

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