All about Happiness Weekly and what’s ahead
An interview with Sarah Webb, founder of Happiness Weekly
What is Happiness Weekly?
Happiness Weekly is a blog that promotes self-awareness and personal development to not only better yourself, but also to create an impact on others around you. It’s designed to encourage proactive problem solving that respects the rights and wellbeing of others, while being mindful of how everyday dilemmas can be turned into a positive experience. Through effective communication you can still achieve what you desire, but also take into account the needs, wants and feelings of others.
When was Happiness Weekly created?
Happiness Weekly was an idea which sprouted in November 2011 and grew into a weekly commitment in 2012. When I initially started Happiness Weekly, it was actually a really difficult time for me. It felt as though the universe was closing the doors on me from all angles: my long-term boyfriend wasn’t as he’d appeared, the people in my life I thought I could count on: abandoned me. It was a very lonely time. I was forced to move back home with my parents, which included giving up my fulltime job (in hindsight this was a bad choice as I loved my job and the people I worked with at the time!). All I really had at the time was my health, and not surprisingly from the stress, that was a little hit-and-miss at the time as well. I actually began posting Happiness Weekly blogs during the eye of the storm on Friday, 25 November 2011, which is why there are long gaps between. I became more regularly committed to the concept in February 2012 and haven’t looked back! Although it was a painful thing to go through, I have not looked back. My life has now completely changed for the better. I am now passionate about enhancing the lives of others – particularly when they’re going through a hard time like mine, and sharing messages of hope and inspiration. I don’t deny that it was challenging to get where I am, but if I wasn’t proactive in the steps I took, then I may be somewhere else – and it’s knowing what steps to take and how to respond to certain situations that can seem the most daunting when you are suffering from a significant amount of personal pain – but can also be the most rewarding.
Why is it called Happiness Weekly?
Each week (generally early in the week) there is a new blog post. That means that each week my readers receive a positive message or learn something that could improve their life in a positive way, which will enhance their happiness and wellbeing. If my post each week is thought-proving enough to start a simple conversation, and raises awareness about various everyday topics and situations, and promotes effective communication, then Happiness Weekly’s goal is achieved.
What are you most passionate about in life?
My biggest passion in life is to combat bullying – in schools, workplaces and just in everyday social situations. I think it’s a highly underrated topic and so much more can be done. I would love to work for an organisation that promotes awareness and proactive solutions to bullying in a way to evict it from schools, homes, workplaces and communities. Ideally I would love to change the system enough so that every individual person bullied has someone reliable to turn to who can also help them to proactively work through their issues in a way that is assertive but doesn’t encourage the aggression to continue. It may sound idealistic, but ultimately I want to have a hand in significantly reducing bullicides across the globe. If every victim has a solution or someone to walk with them through to the solution so they are not alone, and every bully was aware of how their actions and words affect others – there’s a chance bullying could be eliminated.
There’s a lot of personal development stuff out there – what makes you different?
I love people and I talk to them! If someone writes to me or tries to communicate, I will respond as soon as I possibly can. I love inspiring people. I love sharing ideas and having other people share their ideas with me. I encourage ambition, individuality and change. I have clear values and beliefs that are the vein of every article I publish. And I’m practical – not extreme. I believe in trying new things, but don’t look at anything too extreme. I think the course section and awareness calendar information also sets Happiness Weekly apart from other blogs out there.
Where do all the ideas come from for the blogs?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my everyday life and general conversations with people. Many of my friends approach me for advice about various topics. Or I may encounter my own problems (life’s not always smooth sailing!), and that’s what I start researching that topic and ideas to positively solve it and I want to share that with my readers and strengthen their knowledge and positive actions in various areas. We can always learn something! Some of my friends, particularly my partner, will read my blog and know exactly how the idea came about – other ideas are inspired by news items, Facebook discussions, or even just overheard conversations. I’m never short on new material to work on with a great list of ideas for topics to write. I’m looking forward to 2013, as Happiness Weekly will become a lot more strategic and streamlined – and I hope to triple in my readership as I encourage more voices, ideas and sharing of my blogs.
Why do you have an events and awareness day page?
I like to think that Happiness Weekly has potential to become the number one go-to place for information on personal development courses and events. Nothing too extreme – I want anyone to be able to relate without too much explanation or thought. It’s not a religious page. I want to encourage people to come to the page to look for basic awareness days – not only in Australia but across the globe – so I have a particular focus on internationally recognised days. Some national days in America, Canada and even the United Kingdom are also celebrated on the calendar. The more recognition Happiness Weekly can give to these events, courses and awareness days, the more our world has the opportunity to grow and develop in a positive way.
What do you want to achieve with Happiness Weekly?
I work full time in marketing and public relations, but try to dedicate as much of my outside time to Happiness Weekly as possible. Sometimes things may not happen as quickly as they otherwise could (such as writing my eBook!) but they are definitely in the pipeline. There are a lot of exciting plans ahead for Happiness Weekly – so stay tuned!
Where are you based?
While my thoughts are always internationally focused, and anything I publish should cater to an audience living anywhere in the world, I am based in Sydney, Australia.
What makes you keep writing?
My passion for helping others. I’m extremely self-motivated. People say that these days in job interviews, but I generally am! Hopefully the work I do speaks for itself. Obviously the figures help, seeing my work get out there by the amount of followers, likes and readers I have is really important to me. So please, when you like a blog, share it with friends and family and pass the wisdom along. Happiness is the best gift you can give to someone.
What’s ahead for Happiness Weekly?
SO MUCH!!! I will be working with a graphic designer shortly to get a few things rolled out including a logo for Happiness Weekly and hopefully a new look and feel. I will also be working with a Sydney-based photographer to get some new photos posted up. I am introducing a few new sections including Thank You Thursdays – which encourages my readers to participate in a gratitude challenge each week. It’s a small exercise in mindfulness. I believe that when you live with gratitude, you start to notice little things and are able to find inspiration in even the simplest moments. And on Tuesdays you can receive a positive motivational quote simply by following the Facebook and Twitter pages. I’m also introducing a little blurb every time an awareness day comes up to help promote awareness for these important days. It’s going to be a busy year but I’m looking forward to it!
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