The Well-being Code and Why it’s Important to You

So yesterday I blogged about Taking Up the Challenge and today I thought it would be good to tell you why. The 15 day blog challenge is a part of Natalie Sisson’s life changing suite of tools (http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/15-days-freedom-blog-challenge/). The amazing thing about Natalie is that she offers so much to the community before they even become part of her Freedom Plan program. And I’ve looked into a lot of similar strategies and never felt like they quite fit. Until this.

With Natalie there is a sense that this is as much about how accountable you want to be for your own goals as it is about the incredibly well-structured, comprehensive, and personalised information she provides. There are also online communities to support you through closed facebook groups and coaching calls.

All of this provides a huge feeling of safety. And the sense that this isn’t a shot in the dark that you can leave on the back shelf collecting metaphorical dust. This is the stuff of real and genuine progress underpinned by a moral compass, Natalie’s, that wants to point others in the direction of freedom.

So what is freedom? And what’s my idea of freedom? The incredible thing is that Natalie has already asked me that and this was my post:

  • Katherine Flynn Thank you Natalie Sisson! I’m in Brisbane Australia and am very keen to move towards greater freedom while still doing what I love. I’d also love to create a lifestyle where I can do what needs to be done without having to worry about how it impacts someone else’s brand. And I want more time with family and friends – being able to live my perfect day/s more regularly would be a treat. Extra morning cuddles!!! I’d like some concrete action and results and I feel confident that with the support and program provided this will be a definite.
  • Katherine Flynn Creating an online community that links to local communities and provides the infrastructure for creativity to flourish is my aim. Saw a talk last week on “The Wellness Code” and love the concept of ‘social prescriptions’.

Realised that I started out a little fluffy there and thought I ought to get a little (just a little) more concrete. But there is still a long way to go. I have some definite ideas but would prefer to turn them into a website as sometimes images and words can be so much more powerful to communicate a concept. And I’m getting there!

Now, I am really blessed to have a phenomenal job that I am passionate about. I work for a National organisation on a local level. And what I love about this is it gets to be strategic and yet personal and very real. I spent my 20’s working on a National Inquiry and founding a community dance project in London. And I had a ball. I was diving into life and discovering so much of what would help to form the foundation of everything important to me.

After leaving London in 2008 to return to Brisbane, Australia I did some postgrad in PR because I was convinced that most of the really important “stuff” – the messages about what works for people in terms of their well-being, what really keeps people happy and socially connected (and the biological reality behind that), were not being communicated to the broader public.

I was thinking about doing my study in Communication for Social Change but spoke to a good friend who I trust professionally, and he said, “go for the dark arts, that’s where the good stuff is”. So PR it was.

Sounds mysterious and interesting but basically what he was saying is that getting people to understand your messages and to create successful campaigns that result in behaviour change is a huge challenge. And this challenge is often best met by those in the advertising industry who can make us want the most inane things.

Why would I want to do that? Well, the National Inquiry I worked on was a National Inquiry into Self-harm and I spent my days immersed in reading the testimonies of young people from across the UK. They were responding to a National call for evidence in the media.

To say that the experiences of these young people were an eye-opener to me would be a definite understatement. And sometimes how people reacted to their distress left me feeling despondent about how we respond to those who are hurting. But it left me with an unshakable determination that things had to be different.

To give you an idea of how they need to be different there are a lot of people out there doing a lot of great research and work. So I’ll share their concepts with you:

http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2015/04/what-is-the-global-wellbeing-lab.html

http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/social/intl-day-happiness.html

http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/life-satisfaction/

http://whatworkswellbeing.org/about/

Now, all of this research is incredible and it does tell us an awful lot about what is important to us. The reality is that even when we understand it and make recommendations on it the reality is (as a good man I know http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/08/10/3290152.htm says), “When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done”. After the Inquiry I was determined to be a part of the answer. And so I started to ask how. And studied PR while I pondered the answers to this tough question.

Part of my answer was in how I coped with being a part of the Inquiry. I have danced for most of my life but had just recently started to teach community dance at a studio in Fulham, London. Going to those classes in the evening was a huge release for me as I lost myself in the music and movement. Going for walks in my lunch break in the beautiful St James’ Park I was also drawn into simply being. Taking in the beauty and the feeling of the sharp cool air in my lungs. It brought me back to life and refreshed me.

What does that have to do with anything? Well, you might think very little. But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. But… more about that tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “The Well-being Code and Why it’s Important to You

  1. Thanks Natalie! I am really interested in your research on freedom. I feel it may be a missing link in the global conversation about well-being. And a huge clue as to how the dedication of millions in government and personal funds could be better directed to support our communities. I have worked with the people at the helm of a lot of these great initiatives so if you think it would be worthwhile connecting the dots at any stage I would love to look into that. What year were you planning to publish by? When the time comes, let me know if I can help out.

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