The Year Of The Nudge

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Delivering Happiness at SXSW

“So . . . you want to work on this project together?” Tony asked me one night as we were having a round of Belvedere and soda. It’s a tradition of ours – catching up and nudging new ideas that pop up in life. It’s the way we’ve been working together since we met back in 1999.

This latest nudge happened to be a book called Delivering Happiness.

If you’ve been following the story of our company, you’ve probably heard how Tony and I thought Delivering Happiness was just going to be a book. But it turned into a cross-country bus tour and then, exactly a year ago this week, it officially turned into a company and the Delivering Happiness Movement.

As Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi described it, time speeds by when you’re in the flow, doing something you love. Apparently, time flies when you’re delivering happiness :)

So much has changed in the past year, yet so much has stayed the same.

The Same:

  • Research shows people are superbad at predicting the simple thing we all want -- long-term, sustainable happiness.
  • Workplaces that apply happiness as a business model are more productive and profitable than those that don’t.
  • Research tells us 50% of who we are as individuals comes from nature (genetics) and 10% comes from nurture (environment), both of which we have no or little control over. So the last 40% leaves one thing – what we can control. The expression of who we are. The ways we choose to spend time. How we treat the family, friends and strangers around us.
  • It makes scientific, business and common sense to apply happiness at work, community and everyday life.

 The Change:

  • Delivering Happiness, the book, is on its 18th translation/language around the world.
  • The Delivering Happiness Movement now exists in 104 countries, meaning we’ve touched and inspired over 50% of the countries in the world.
  • We launched DH@work to help companies identify what happiness as a business model can mean towards productivity, profitability, and a long-term sustainable brand.
  • We worked with Nic Marks, the creator of the Happy Planet Index, to create tools (including a Happiness at Work Survey and ROI calculator) for a Happy Business Index.
  • We launched the DH:shop, our way of bringing ‘merch with a mission’ to the world. Every cent spent at the shop goes directly toward increasing the level of happiness around the globe.

We’re well on our way to our goal of delivering happiness to 2/3 of the world by the end of 2012. So why are we calling it the Year of the Nudge?

The book Delivering Happiness started with a nudge toward a new project, without knowing where it was going to go. And now we know it’s the nudges that will bring this world to a happier place.

What starts as a thought becomes a decision and then, an act. An act of happiness – a nudge – that we all have the ability to create. Every smile and wink to a friend or stranger. Every act of compassion. Every time one of us delivers some form of happiness to the world.

Every day – because of you – Delivering Happiness is creating and sharing these nudges around the world, in a global community that keeps growing in ways we never imagined.

With our first birthday, I want to thank you for the gift you’ve given us – the Delivering Happiness Team and our global movement. Thanks to you, together we’re nudging this world to a happier place.





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Jenn Lim

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