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Mark Hodder

Happiness and success through learning

MH profile Picture Apr18

Why happiness and positivity? Positive psychology and creating happier lives and flourishing workplaces is my key drive in life.  I believe that the majority of us can achieve greater wellbeing and more uplifting lives through learning what science has discovered and seeing if that works for us.  I'm a great believer that all research is me-search and these ideas have helped me greatly which is why I now share them with you.


All my work is about happiness and success with a purpose.  Happiness for the sake of it can be a frustrating and sometimes harmful pursuit.  Happiness to live a life in line with our highest values, to find fulfilling work and to overcome the many setbacks and challenges we often face in life is what motivates me to share these ideas with you.  As Dean Burnett points out in his superb book The Happy Brain, there is no one single or guaranteed route to happiness.  That means we have to find out what works for us, the science of happiness can help but it still rests with s to find the right balance in our own lives. Routes to happiness and success are as diverse as we all are.

About me: Today I am a positive psychology specialist, speaker, trainer and coach but it was my personal search for happiness and peace of mind that brought me to this point. I have studied or trained in many personal development and growth techniques including coaching, emotional intelligence, resilience & grit, psychometric testing, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, hypnotherapy, meditation and mindfulness.  The master's in business administration programme and business improvement techniques such as continuous improvement also come in handy for running a company but I couldn't go so far as to say they improve overall happiness!  Each has added something to my search for the answers to what leads to a happier more contented life.  In Applied Positive Psychology, with elements of neuroscience, I found more of a complete, if still not perfect answer.  Here we have a trail of proven techniques that work when actually used and developed as habits in everyday life.  Research is great, but it also has to be practically liveable.  For workplaces being an accredited trainer for Dan Pink's Drive workshops and from 2018 also an Intent Based Leadership Pioneer have been the two most impactful models giving back greater control to the workforce and overcoming learned helplessness.


I have designed and delivered interactive learning, leadership development, team building and personal growth courses for the past 20 years.  My previous work includes designing and delivering NHS leadership courses such as Leading to Deliver which aimed to improve both leadership and service improvement skills across NHS Wales.  Later I was lead designer for Managing Change Successfully a national government course aimed to improve change management in large scale organisations.  The materials I designed are still widely in use on these courses and their successors today.  I was lucky enough to learn these training and development skills in my early career as an RAF officer where I ended my 12 years in specialist officer training and development.  The UK military develops superb lifelong values and is one of the few employers to offer true social mobility to those with drive and determination.  Going full circle one of the audiences I now deliver the happiness workshops to is the military and it gives me a great sense of giving back to those who made so much impact on my development.

What is positive psychology and happiness really for?


1.  Developing a set of values and charachter strengths to guide your life, we all forget to do the right thing and a few reminders can help


2.  Developing a growth mindset, resillience and grit in life to overcome life's almost inevitable struggles and setbacks


3.  Good money management, helping people get out and stay out of debt and then spend money in a way that leads to increased happiness


4.  Work and home, a consistent approach across a well balanced life


5.  Creating greater connection and positive relationships.  If we are going to tackle the lonliness epidemic creating stronger bonds between people and communities could well be part of the answer.

Overcoming Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) and reducing their occurrence in future


One thing I am passionate about is helping people deal with the impact of having suffered Adverse Childhood Events (ACESs) and reducing the likelihood of them occurring in future or being repeated.  The evidence in Wales, across the UK and the USA is strong that ACEs impact whole lifetimes and can be difficult to overcome.  If happiness is for one thing, it is to help those who had no choice or hand in what they suffered but have to live with the consequences.  It takes time and effort, but the impact of ACEs can be overcome and a happier, calmer and more peaceful life awaits.

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