On the list - read 26 books this year. 1 down, 25 to go - better get a wiggle on.
After hearing him interviewed a couple of months ago, and with my word for the year being “health” I decided to start the year with a bit of a feel-good read. The ResilienceProject: Finding Happiness through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness by Hugh van Cuylenburg.
Hugh is a Melbourne boy and a primary school teacher whose passion is building resilience in kids. The book revolves around his trip to Northern India, volunteering and meeting the adorable Stanzin who despite living in an underprivileged community is both happy and positive. So why is that back here in Australia, so many people find it hard to be happy and struggle with mental illnesses?
Hugh set about finding the answer and recognised the key traits the kids in India had were gratitude, empathy, and mindfulness. And so The Resilience Project was born. He started off running presentations at schools and then took the message wider to the NRL, AFL, Cricket Australia and many other corporate clients explaining how we can all live a happier life.
So what did I take away from it? That we do have a lot to be grateful for. To focus on the positives and the things we have. That our tendency to think in terms of “if I get that new job, then I will be happy” just doesn’t work. Much better to stop and think in Stanzin’s own words "how good is dis"