The International Day of Happiness was declared as March 20, by the General Assembly of the United Nations on June 28, 2012 and was celebrated for the first time in 2013.

Through seminars and educational tips and tools, the aim is to educate and increase public awareness of the benefits of happiness.

The original idea came from the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayan region of Asia.

There, the population is thought by many to be among the happiest in the world due to the holistic approach to life and the amount of importance which is placed on the well being of people and communities, as much as material wealth.

The Founder of Live Happy Magazine, Jeff Olson, who is also the CEO of Nerium International, has been asked by the UN to speak about happiness each year at this time.

He said, “Happiness has been proven … through academia and research and clinical and brain scans … (to be) the precursor to success. But most people have it backwards. They think, ‘If I get my health, my finances or my relationship I will be happy.’ It’s not true! If you just learn how to be happy you become healthier; you have better finances; you have better relationships.”

“So, if you’re a business owner there is no greater thing you can do for your company and your employees than make them happy! They become more productive and you become more successful. So if happiness is a precursor to success, then a happy company is a precursor to a more successful company.”

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In 2014, Olson was interviewed by Forbes Magazine because he has owned many successful companies throughout his career.

When they asked him what he attributed most to his success he told them most CEOs believe the most important things include understanding their position in the market or their understanding of products or systems or being in the right place at the right time. And although he acknowledged these are important the one thing that made his companies successful was focusing on culture.

Olson said, “I believe in people. People come first because people build companies – companies don’t build people.”

The CEO has to own the culture. He or she has to believe everything he does is beneficial to his employees. This attracts like-minded people and repels those who are not. A positive happy culture attracts happy positive people. By its very nature this naturally brings success.

For everyone, the day is a useful reminder that in general, happiness does not necessarily come from buying and consuming—or from being famous or glamorous – but often from friends, family and emotional well-being.

Internationally, there are many events and in which people may participate. You can find out more at happyacts.org.

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Randy Martinsen is a brand partner for Nerium International and a mentor of leadership principles for success. He can be reached at 707-206-6443 or randym@budgetworks.net.