The Happiness Differential

by Peter Davis, CEO and Kathie Davis on May 25, 2012


In March 2011, we gathered the IDEA staff to participate in an off-site team retreat that helped us dramatically reshape the cultural blueprint for our company. We went into the daylong meeting as a competent and confident team of co-workers and colleagues; 15 months later, we proudly call ourselves a Tribe. There is a subtle yet powerful difference between the two. Where the former was a collection of people who happened to work together, the latter is a family whose ties are intertwined and whose individual successes become shared achievements.

We are more connected than ever. Our work and productivity have been phenomenal. It seems we are simply happier. No single thing changed our culture; the transformation mostly came from an attitude shift that each of us made personally, guided by the new IDEALS that we developed that day, and that we all own and operate by:

  • Inspired Service
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Exercise Your Happiness
  • Appreciate Everyone
  • Learn and Thrive
  • Set the Standard

Each tribe member takes these seriously and applies them as guiding principles in the way we do business and in the way we interact and live our lives.

And since we spend most of our waking lives at work, we thought it would be nice to work in good doses of fun and balance in the midst of shaping the next event, publication, killer app or educational product line. Part of that fun and balance comes in the form of terrific wellness programming (exercise and mind-body classes most days of the week; ping-pong throw-downs; team events; lunch-and-learn sessions, etc.), but most of it comes from within each person as a conscious choice.

This month, author Mary Monroe explores happiness and its undeniable bond with wellness in the first of a two-part series. Her research confirms what we’ve been living here at IDEA: you can’t necessarily plan for happiness; you can’t force it; but you can live your life with a different approach that delivers happiness almost effortlessly.

Another path to happiness is through a calm, organized mind. Our world and the fast pace at which we live are breeding grounds for distraction and stress. If your thinking is muddled and disjointed, there is a pretty good chance you are living your life in much the same way.

Author and wellness coach Margaret Moore, MBA, who recently co-wrote Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life, a Harvard Health book that launched earlier this year, has “6 Rules of Order” you can begin practicing as you strive toward clarity of thought and calmness of mind. If you can manage to eliminate the frenzy from your mind, then your life and your business are given a real chance to flourish, she teaches.

On a final happy note, we would like to congratulate our 2012 IDEA World Fitness Award finalists for their impressive work and achievements—and for being recognized by their industry peers as the top talents and contributors in their fields of expertise. The award recipients will be announced in the July–August issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, and the awards ceremony will take place at the 2012 IDEA World Fitness Convention™ .

Congratulations to all of the finalists!

  • 2012 IDEA Program Director of the Year: Carrie Ekins, MA, Kristen Horler and Ingrid Knight-Cohee, MS
  • 2012 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year: Shannon Fable, Linda Freeman Webster and Dan McDonogh
  • 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year: Rachel Cosgrove, Brett Klika and Mike Z. Robinson

To your health and happiness,
Kathie & Peter Davis

IDEA Fitness Journal , Volume 9, Issue 6

© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Authors

Peter Davis, CEO

Peter Davis, CEO IDEA Author/Presenter

Peter Davis is the chief executive officer of IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

Kathie Davis

Kathie Davis IDEA Author/Presenter

Kathie Davis is executive director of IDEA Health & Fitness Association in San Diego. She frequently reports to the media on fitness industry trends.


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