Flourish 101

Flourish is such a delightful word… it makes me think of growth, vibrancy and excitement; such a positive word.

During the research for my recent TEDx presentation, I listened to the headmaster of my daughter’s school speak of the work by the New Economic Forum… and of course when I heard him say that one of the ways to improve our own wellbeing is to be a gift giver – I wanted to know more.

I discovered for a person to flourish there needs to be positive emotions, a sense of meaning and purpose as well as engagement in what they do. But the person also needs to possess some innate strengths, such as resilience, vitality and self-esteem.

I like the idea though that we can all impact our own wellbeing simply by taking a look at these five elements:

Make positive connections with the people around you. That is everyone – not just the obvious family and friends – but the bus driver or the shop assistant. It is worth investing time in all connections – making them richer and more meaningful. We are social beings and the more social we are the more we flourish.

For me it is currently yoga… there are many ways of being busy and active – and if I am active it always makes me feel great. Starting my day with some activity means I know I have a better chance of having a fantastic day. It is not hard to do something, even if it is a walk at lunchtime… (my dog – of Dexter’s World fame – tells me he is a great excuse to be active and increase my wellbeing).

Take notice
I remember one of my mentors once said you have two ears and one mouth so use them in that proportion. To truly listen, be present, notice what is around you and to be curious will improve your wellbeing. How often do you eat a meal that you don’t really taste, or catch yourself not listening to your mother on the phone when you called her? This is about being aware of all the sensations… sight, sound, touch and smell.

Keep learning
I love to read, attend seminars and have always been curious. I was never a particularly good student however. But NEF are talking about all sorts of learning – from cooking to mechanics. It is basically about discovering something you have no idea about. To get out of your comfort zone and push yourself.

When we talk about giving it does not necessarily mean a physical gift. It could be about just giving someone your time, your listening or your appreciation. To volunteer or help a complete stranger will make you feel great and develop your own wellbeing.

“Research by New Economic Forum shows that building reciprocity and mutual exchange – through giving and receiving – is the simplest and most fundamental way of building trust between people and creating positive social relationships and resilient communities.”

I, for one, think that we should have a national agenda to improve the nations wellbeing and to flourish (perhaps giving a gift is a good place to start).

Naomi Simson is considered one of Australia’s ‘Best Bosses’. She is an employee engagement advocate and practices what she preaches in her own business. RedBalloon has been named as one of only six Hewitt Best Employers in Australia and New Zealand for 2009 and awarded an engagement scorecard of over 90% two years in a row – the average in Australian businesses is 55%. RedBalloon has also been nominated by BRW as being in the top 10 Best Places to Work in Australia behind the likes of Google. One of Australia’s outstanding female entrepreneurs, Naomi regularly entertains as a passionate speaker inspiring people on employer branding, engagement and reward and recognition. Naomi writes a blog and is a published author – and has received many accolades and awards for the business she founded – RedBalloon.com.au.


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