Chief Happiness Officer Edwin

In San Francisco I also met with Edwin Edebiri, Chief Happiness Officer of “I’m Happy Project” that has representatives in 62 cities in 18 countries with the biggest number of members in India ~ 1000.


Just by looking at Edwin, you can tell he is a happy person, and you genuinely want to respond back with the same kind smile he approaches everyone. I met with Edwin and his lovely wife at the Pier 3 the day before his birthday. They were going to take an evening cruise for dinner and dancing while in the city. I felt very special that they found time to meet with me on a short notice. We were sitting at the pier on a sunny Saturday and discussed happiness as something you can learn but you don’t need a degree for it.

I asked Edwin how he came with an idea of starting this movement. Back in Sacramento during the financial crisis of 2008, many people in the area were unemployed and distressed and he felt compelled to change it.
It was hard in the beginning because you realize that there are many people and how can you possibly help them all, but he decided that one person at a time is a good start.
Just by talking to a person in difficult time and telling him/her your own experiences and stories about other people’s lives, you can make a huge impact. That happened to Edwin several times: he spoke to a stranger who looked gloomy and later Edwin learned that the sad stranger was going to commit suicide as soon as he got home that day. Thanks to Edwin, it didn’t happen, because a caring human is all he needed to keep living.
A conversation after conversation, step after step, Edwin’s desire grew into movement. Edwin interviewed thousands of people and wrote a card with 10 ways to be happy.
On 10.10.10 he organized the Happiness Summit in the Bay Area with 16 speakers. It was a great event with many happiness professionals and enthusiasts, including members of The Happiness Club. Here is what Edwin’s movement is about today:
We are a non-profit organization focused on spreading happiness globally in the following ways:

1. Happiness at school sessions
2. Focus on Happiness Global teleseminars
3. My Happiness Journals
4. By wearing the “I Am Happy” pin
5. Distributing the “Ten ways to be happy” cards
6. Efforts of local “I Am Happy Project” meet up groups
7. Performing a series of “Ten Days Of Happiness”
8. Networking with other “Happy People”
9. Promoting Random Acts of Kindness
10. Community outreach including schools, children hospitals, nursing and retirement’s homes

I asked Edwin, why is it important to teach children about happiness and how to learn it? He said:
“Children are taught a lot of things with the goal of hopefully helping them live a productivity and happy life. By teaching them how to be happy, you cut through the chase and go directly to the source. Once they realize that happiness is an inside job and theirs to choose, it affects the rest of their decisions and actions. All we need to do is continue to reinforce that and it could become second nature to them like learning music, bike, reading and writing, they have it for life. They will not need gangs, clicks, or the most popular person or toys as much if at all.”
I got “I’m happy” pin and a card with 10 ways to be happy. The first one is the most important: Decide that you want to be happy. There are other ways, like attending a conference call with happiness professionals, starting your happiness journal, joining one of I’m happy chapters or starting your own and leading happiness events in your town. Great work, Edwin!
According to Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego:
“When an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. One person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only his friends, but his friends’ friends, and his friends’ friends’ friends. The effect lasts for up to one year.”
Imagine a world with happier people!
“One person can make a difference and every person should try”.

2012 Global Happiness Conference Call

Edwin Edebiri, Chief Happiness Officer at I Am Happy Project, organized 2012 global conference call today. There were 5 presenters:

Marci Shimoff – Author, Teacher, Speaker

She is a celebrated transformational leader and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. In addition to authoring the worldwide bestsellers, Love for No Reason and Happy for No Reason, she is the coauthor of six of the top-selling titles in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a featured teacher in the international movie and book sensation The Secret.

Dr. Bob Nozik, M.D. – Physician, Professor, Author

The author of Happy 4 Life: Here’s How to Do, he is a physician who has studied happiness ever since discovering his own deep, inner happiness almost two decades ago. He was featured in “Best Doctors in America” every year until he retired. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco.

Dr. Brenda Wade – Psychologist, Author, Speaker

She is also an expert commentator for CNN and NBC’s Today Show and a frequent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is the Founder of the International Love and Money Summit.

Dr. James W. Jackson – Author, Cultural Economist

He devoted the past 25 years of his life traveling in over 150 countries “delivering health and hope” to the world’s most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.‘s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. Now, he is sharing his field-tested and transferable cultural economic best practices for the positive transformation of individuals, organizations, and cultures.

Edwin Edebiri, MBA – Author, Speaker, Consultant

He has interviewed more than 1,000 people in the past year. Based upon their answers, he has come up with a list of 10 concrete things people can do to become happier. He is the inspiration behind the Global Happiness Summit and the founder of the I Am Happy Project, whose mission it is to spread happiness globally, one person at a time.

All presenters shared useful tips and stories on the topic of happiness. I really liked Marci’s story about a woman who cured herself from a serious disease by practicing loving kindness meditation for one year. She wished the best to other people: “May you be safe, May you be healthy, May you be happy, May you live with ease”. The power of our positive thoughts and kindness changes our physical bodies. There were other good exercises recommended like “I’m light and energy”, ”open heart”, Pollyanna and “don’t give in to you inner critic”. I also learned about books that participants wrote. My favorite story was Dr. Jackson’s life story, who said that he is the happiest when he gives himself away: his love, time and effort. “Life is where we direct our pupils”.

“Life is full of alternatives, and based on them we make choices, which lead to consequences, which determine our major happiness”.

“To be happy find someone around you and make them better of”.

“Find your passion and how your focus on that and helping other people will define your life”.

From I Am Happy Project website:

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. Happiness comes from deep within, and not from people, situations, or circumstances.

According to Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego: “When an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. One person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only his friends, but his friends’ friends, and his friends’ friends’ friends. The effect lasts for up to one year.”
Since whatever we focus on grows, the aim of this group is to help members focus on happiness and to spread it at every opportunity.

Ten Ways to Be Happy by Edwin Edebiri:

1. Decide to be happy and make it your top priority.
2. Smile more and learn to laugh at yourself.
3. Volunteer your time one on one or to a group.
4. Donate your money according to your pocket, even if it is a dime.
5. Make time for the 3 F’s: Faith, Family & Friends
6. Create a list of all the things you are thankful for or that make you happy
7. Create a list of all the things that make you unhappy and find a solution or ways to eliminate them.

8. Learn to manage your time and your money
9. Be active and make healthy choices

10. Create a goal or dream list and work diligently towards them

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