A new year at BRPH means a new year of opportunity. An opportunity to not only grow our client base, our portfolio of projects, our markets or our level of expertise in a world of ever-evolving technology, but we have the opportunity to transform our daily outlook into one that focuses on the positive.
As an architect leading the designs for our education market, I have the pleasure of engaging our clients and end users in a design process aimed at delivering an educational environment that meets their needs. But ultimately, the goal is to create a space that is a happy, healthy place for kids, faculty and the community at large. This ensures that all the people using or visiting these facilities reach their full potential and can be inherently successful each day.
It’s only fitting that we start the New Year in our office with the same mentality, encouraging happy and healthy employees. Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, founder of GoodThink, Inc., and presenter of one of the 20-most viewed TED talks, has done extensive research to statistically prove a common psychological misconception- that success brings us happiness. In reality, science has proven the opposite- that we are most successful when we are happy. Science also suggests that you can train your brain to reverse the cognitive lens the same way you can train your body to complete a marathon. Shawn sets a challenge that if you can write down three happy thoughts or things you are grateful for each day for 21 days, you can actually reverse the relationship.
THE HAPPINESS PROJECT
At BRPH, we have taken on this challenge and coined it The Happiness Project. Sponsored by our Sustainability Committee, The Happiness Project encourages each of us to rethink and place a stronger focus on our mental health, our happiness, throughout the month. Each of our offices has a dedicated space for employees to write their three happy thoughts each day and post them for all to see. Throughout this process we have not only learned more about what makes us as individuals happy, but we have also learned more about our peers. So far we have learned the smell of magnolias makes someone happy, a coworker’s laughter brings a smile to someone’s face, and a trip for sushi is the trick to cure some post-holiday blues.
We put a strong emphasis on delivering our best product in the most efficient manner. If science proves right, the happier we are as individuals, the more successful we will be in our personal and professional ventures. We look forward to completing The Happiness Project this month and the opportunity to project our positive outlook to all of our clients, partners and friends throughout the year.
Jessica Roddenberry is BRPH’s Lead Designer for Education. While her diverse architectural background encompasses everything from commercial to aviation projects, her focus is education. She facilitates Design Thinking Workshops with stakeholders and end users that assist clients in navigating the complex challenges posed by educational needs in the 21st century.