The initiative ties into the brand ethos of ‘where happiness finds you’ and focuses on what sets Fiji apart from other destinations; its people – with an inaugural list of ‘Bulanaires’ celebrating people rich in happiness.
Compiled under the guidance of Professor Lea Waters (Phd), a psychologist, scientist, author and TEDx speaker who specialises in positive psychology, the list includes those that follow Waters’ guiding principles for happiness, such as being selfless or giving back, or making time for connections through family and community.
Many of Professor Waters’ principles are found among the people of Fiji, which likely explains why Fiji was deemed the Happiest Country in the World in the 2017 annual Gallup International Survey on Happiness, Hope and Economic Optimism. The same survey found that the world’s happiness had declined since the previous year, with Fiji bucking this trend.
Commenting on what a ‘Bulanaire’ is, Professor Lea Waters said: “Bulanaires redefines the way we measure success. A common measure of success is often portrayed through the annual ‘rich lists’ that showcase the increased number of billionaires each year. But perhaps instead, we need to consider finding happiness and contentment as a measure for being rich.”
“The inaugural Bulanaire list celebrates people from across the world who inspire us and share happiness with those around them,” continues Professor Waters.
The Bulanaires List, which is aimed at celebrating those that are rich in happiness, is in start contrast to the Billionaires lists that have also been recently released. The campaign, which has also partnered with Arianna Huffington and Thrive Global, will roll out globally this Wednesday on International Day of Happiness, with brand assets created to showcase the ‘Bula Spirit’ and why people in Fiji topped the 2017 Gallup International survey.
“Happiness and well-being are not just magical traits that some are blessed with and others are not – they’re a way of living and working that we can nurture and grow,” commented Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and an advocate for happiness and wellbeing in the workplace.
The importance of adopting a lifestyle rich in happiness is highlighted by the International Day of Happiness, which takes place on 20 March each year and is spearheaded by UK charity-based organisation Action for Happiness.
Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness, states that “Everyone wants to live a happy life – and the good news is that there are lots of things we can do to be happier, both as individuals and as a society. Above all, we are a social species and we’re happier when we feel connected and do things to bring happiness to others as well as ourselves.”
“International Day of Happiness is a great reminder to focus on the things that really matter for a happy life. This year’s theme is ‘Happier Together’ because good relationships are the most important contributor to our overall wellbeing. And together our actions really can make a difference,” says Williamson.
With family and community being of huge importance to Fijians, it is easy to feel their happiness and warmth in the destination. With 333 islands, year-round warmth, and only 3.5 hours from Australia, Fiji is the perfect place to find happiness.