What makes a good life and how can I live it?
That is the question that many Singaporeans will attempt to answer for themselves through the inaugural Happiness Festival, set to happen just next week on 18 November at the Lifelong Learning Institute.
Inspired by two young millenials, this full day event will encompass memorable and meaning-packed workshops and activities dedicated to empower attendees to create a happier world for themselves and the people around them.
This comes at quite an apt time, as growing sentiments of dissatisfaction and unhappiness seem to have been reflected in the fall of Singapore’s ranking by four spots to 26th in the World Happiness Report released in March earlier this year.
As shared by co-organiser Vincent Ng, “In our busy lives, so many of us feel burnt-out, stressed and discontent. Deep down we know there is more to life than this but most of us are never guided on this journey of self-awareness and discovery”.
Being a self-improvement junkie for the past 8 years, he has spent his life savings on motivational books and seminars in search of ways to raise his self-esteem and find happiness.
Through a stroke of serendipity, he attended a conference called the World Domination Summit (WDS) in the summer of 2016 that changed his worldview completely.
Organised by Chris Guillebeau, the author of “The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live The Life You Want, and Change The World”, WDS is a gathering of creative and interesting people from different nationalities and backgrounds exploring how to build a better world.
Vincent's experience at WDS helped him to understand that enduring happiness originates from a journey within oneself, not from the success formulas preached by the gurus that he had been chasing all this time. The deep conversations and authentic connections with people from all parts of the world soon became a cherished memory for him.
“What if we could create something like that in Singapore for people to explore the questions that truly matter, in a safe space of love, authenticity and support?”
Upon coming home to Singapore, Vincent roped in Raniel Lee, 26, whom he had recently interviewed for his self-published book “Why You Should Fail”.
After being sorted into the EM3 stream in Primary School and being labelled “stupid” for most of his academic years, Raniel turned his life around against all odds to become an award-winning entrepreneur, starting two companies before his 25th birthday.
However, he never forgot about his struggles as a youth and cultivated a passion for service to humanity.
As expressed by Raniel, “In Singapore, many of us are conditioned from young to define success and our self-worth on a very limited scale – our grades when we were in school to financial wealth and status later on in life. I believe this has led to a toxic cycle of discontent, anxiety and stress.”
The inaugural Happiness Festival presents a curated team of over 8 speakers covering various topics on what makes a good life, from finding one’s inner compass to unpacking our relationship with money to finding happiness through laughter yoga.
Speakers and Spark Sessions
Co-Founder, Gnowbe & Virtues Facilitator, The Virtues Project
Befriending Our Humanity: Seeking Beauty in Life's Multitude of Experiences
Lee Min Xuan
Unpacking Our Relationship with Money
Founder, Hush Tea Bar
How to Switch Off: Finding Calm in a Noisy World
Nick Jarvis Tan
Fully Human Fully Alive - Cultivating The Heart of Giants, The Courage of Heroes, and the Love of Saints
Seow Yi Zhe
Community Organiser, Tribeless
Why Do We Do What We Do? Unpacking Our Frames Of Decision Making
Co-Founder, Maven Communications
Unpack Your Happiness by Detoxing Your Mind
Co-Founder, Savoir Asia & Growthbeans Coaching Circle
How to Connect Authentically With Anyone And Build Relationships That Flourish