Tag Archives: I Colori Dell’anima

Condivivere, sharing a life of happiness

Update: the show is available here now (in Italian)

And? Did you tune in to Radio Alma last Monday to listen to my chat about happiness with the hosts Rossella, Tiziana and Leandro?

You might have missed it, or you may not speak Italian, so let me share some reflections. To start, radio is good fun. It’s a very interesting medium. Talking on the radio really forces you to formulate your message in small bits and pieces as part of the dialogue with your host. I haven’t heard myself back yet (I’ll post the show once it’s available), but I think I managed to bring forward my message.

There are two points I wanted to raise. First: there are many things we can do in our daily life to consciously experience personal happiness. Many people think happiness is something magical or secretive. For me, the secret to happiness is that there is no secret. I spoke a bit about the five ways to well-being, as developed by the new economics foundation. Understanding where happiness comes from can help us to stand still for a moment, like I did in front of a traffic light in London, to look around to be amazed of the speed and hurry of all those around us. Often we’re too much in a hurry to realise we are happy!

Second: we briefly spoke about Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a tool to translate these lessons about happiness to the level of society. Countries are prone to focus on economic growth. But maybe GNH is what they should strive for, if they want to creative a meaningful community in the long run.

I also had an interesting exchange of ideas with the second guest on the show, a singer-songwriter and poet called Leopoldo Verona. He spoke about ‘living life in the now’ and about ‘a sense of freedom’ as factors linked with happiness. It made me think about freedom: do we know how to use our freedom? Do we freely choose to spend our time playing silly games on our smartphones or eating fastfood? How can we motivate ourselves to use our freedom in a way that we enjoy more deeply, for instance by writing blog posts or poems and by cooking a so much more tasty asparagus risotto?

Maybe happiness is knowing how to use your freedom in a meaningful way.

But the main thought I took home from the conversation with Leopoldo is a very simple one. He is a poet, and poets have the great skill to forge words together, creating something bigger than the sums from their parts. For Leopoldo, happiness is about living fine moments with those around us. He epxresses that in one word, putting together ‘share’ (condividere) and ‘live’ (vivere) in condi-vivere.

Simply put, happiness is sharing life.

But everything sounds better in Italian: la felicita è condivivere.


In the studio, with Leandro, Rossella and Tiziana.

Tune in to Radio Alma tonight!

Update: the show is available here now (in Italian)

Today is going to be an exciting day! I’ll be on Radio Alma to speak about happiness, well-being and my discoveries for For A State of Happiness. The show starts at 21, is in Italian and is called ‘I colori dell’anima‘ (the colours of the soul).

The transmission can be followed on 101.9 FM in Brussels or in streaming online from 21.00 to 22.00 (click the link ‘Radio Alma en direct’).

How do you prepare for such a show? Well, I won’t reveal yet what I will be talking about. Evidently, it will be close to the topics of exploration of For A State of Happiness. I’ll cover both the personal and the policy side of happiness and well-being.

How do you prepare for a show on a topic as large as happiness? As there are so many interesting angles to it, I asked my friends what questions about happiness they would like to have answered. I won’t be able to address all of them, but they do make me reflect for the show. These are some of the questions I received:

  • Does money or wealth actually make you happy?
  • Does happiness mean the same thing across cultures?
  • Do people have to be unhappy before they can experience happiness?
  • Can we all be happy one day?
  • Is happiness contagious?
  • How can we be happy if everybody around us spends their time complaining about everything?
  • Which factors determine happiness?

I won’t answer them for now… that’s for when I’m on air and for a follow-up blog afterwards.

But thanks a lot to Jakob, Otman, Fisnik, Katia and Isabelle for putting them out there.

Also have a question about happiness? Leave a comment and I’ll (happily!) share my thoughts. And of course, if you speak Italian, do tune in to Radio Alma at 21.00 today!