Mark David Hollis, lead singer in the 80s English band ‘Talk Talk’, wrote those words together with musician and producer for ‘Talk Talk’ Timothy Alan Friese-Greene, and in doing so laid out a simple truth about life:
If you want to feel happy, you have to work at it. Your happiness is up to you!
You either understand this fact, or you don’t. But even those that do often haven’t a clue what steps to take to make that switch to a happier, more fulfilling life.
That’s why we started JollyCog!
JollyCog can be your road map to happiness. That is a bold claim, so let us explain why this site, and how our approach to happiness, is different.
At times, life can seem totally f***** up and you never get the chance to just enjoy feeling happy for any length of time. Heck, you may feel that way most of the time. Yet we often can’t put our finger on exactly what it is that is causing the chaos and dissatisfaction in our lives. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering events like serious health scares, mental traumas, or a bust-up with your BFF. The truth is, even small things can upset the balance, if you let them.
But pay attention to our choice of words. We said life can SEEM shitty, not that it actually IS shitty. It’s a matter of how you look and react to situations that can make the difference between “seem” and “is”.
Happiness doesn’t just happen; you have to work at it. It really is a case of you reap what you sow. The more actively you pursue happiness, the more handsomely you will be rewarded.
The main problem is that most of us don’t have a clue what it means to be happy!
OK, we understand that everyone has an opinion. To make matters worse, people tend to disagree on just about everything. Whether it’s fitness, nutrition, relationships, religion, gender roles, or how to make the perfect peanut butter & jelly sandwich, there is no consensus on anything, just data. Search Google for “is the world flat” and you’ll get our point.
There is a good chance that you may not agree with us, our philosophy, or our solution. There is a good chance that you may decide the JollyCog approach is not for you. But the fact you are reading this means you haven’t found the solution yet. It is our hope that you are willing to give our ideas a go and share your journey with us and our community.
So let us tell you our ideas, and if you disagree, you can leave a comment in the relevant discussions on this site.
Happiness follows when you actively pursue wellness!
It’s that simple.
When you pursue wellness you will feel more joy from day to day. You will feel calmer and more in control of your future. In return, you’ll get to experience more frequent feelings of happiness.
As you walk through life, situations arise that you need to deal with. It’s how you deal with them that will ultimately decide whether you get to hang on to your happiness. If you bury your head in the sand as curved balls fly overhead, you’ll soon spiral out of control and burst your happiness bubble.
You will only achieve long-term happiness and well-being if you actively pursue solutions to those unexpected situations as they arise.
Happiness is the mental state we pursue
The fact is that we have to actively pursue that state of happiness. The good news is that a concept introduced in the 1950s can be our guiding light.
In 1959, Dr. Halbert Dunn published a paper calling for greater awareness into the true meaning of “health”, quoting a line from the Constitution of the World Health Organization which stated that:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”
Dr Halbert DunnFather of the wellness movement
Perhaps to make the public more aware of the wider range of influences on health, Dr. Dunn coined a new term to cover all areas known to affect a person’s health and well-being. He called it Wellness. In doing so, Halbert Dunn became known as the “father of the wellness movement”.
Wellness is more than just a disease-free state. After all, you can be physically healthy and miserable.
Wellness is the active pursuit of a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. That means making choices about various aspects of your life in a dynamic process of change and growth.
Wellness is the mindful pursuit of your full potential.
Martin and I are not perfect. Neither are we happy all the time. We’re two regular guys with ups and downs just like everyone else. We are, however, pretty damn good at being honest. Our academic backgrounds make us good at observing, disseminating, and communicating knowledge into easily understood concepts that you can follow. We truly believe that we can be helpful to anyone who wants their pound of happiness!
There are many ways to approach wellness and it helps to break it down into categories. Let us introduce you to our JollyCog which shows you the eight categories we believe hold the secrets to all aspects of wellness.
Our JollyCog symbolizes your path to happiness. Each tooth of the cog highlights a different area of your life that you need to be in control of. To become a JollyCog, happy with your lot, you need to work on all facets.
Let’s have a brief look at the 8 dimensions of wellness.
Related to your thoughts and behavior, emotional wellness requires awareness and acceptance of our feelings, whether positive or negative. Our acceptance comes from an understanding of these emotions. Emotional wellness allows us to cope with many of life’s day-to-day challenges like relationships and daily stressors.
You may not think too much about how the environment we live in can affect our wellbeing, but it can have a huge impact on our happiness. Environmental wellness is all about our interaction and integration into the world around us. By making a positive impact and respecting our environment and creatures living in it, we can be happier and healthier.
Financial stress can lead to long-term mental and physical health problems. Financial wellness combats these stresses by making us better able to manage our finances. You will also see this referred to as financial well-being.
This dimension of wellness is about exercising and expanding the large white and grey mass between your ears. Get involved in creative, cultural, and mentally-stimulating activities to expand your knowledge and skills. A major benefit of intellectual wellness is that you can then share your new skills with those around you.
Our workplace can be a major source of stress, whether it’s the piles of papers on your desk or your grumpy boss making your life difficult. Occupational wellness prepares us for these stresses and helps us balance our work and leisure time while searching out those opportunities that we find more enjoyable.
As the name suggests, this dimension of wellness relates to your physical body. It includes mental well-being as well as how you keep your body in top shape with exercise and healthy eating. While physical activity will help maintain strong bones and muscle, reducing the risks of many diseases, nutrition will fuel your body with the building blocks your body needs to maintain physical and mental well-being.
Building and nurturing healthy relationships can provide you with an invaluable support network for whatever life throws at you. At the same time, removing toxic relationships from your life is also important. Social wellness is about being a functioning, useful member of society while respecting others and performing your social roles.
This dimension of wellness is all about exploring your own beliefs and making sense of what you find. It’s not about believing in God, or some other deity. It’s about your purpose and direction in life. Spiritual wellness is equally about your capacity for compassion, forgiveness, mindfulness, love, and altruism. Having spiritual wellness gives us the power to cope during difficult times.
You can’t just flick a switch for wellness, it takes work. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by what you have read, but don’t despair. We are here to help you on your journey, as we ourselves take steps along our own. Together we can tread the path to wellness and become happier people as a result.
We wish you well and may you soon become a JollyCog!