We started the day with a breakfast meeting hosted by Green Spa Network, learning about the commitment to planting 1 million trees by Earth Day of 2019, approximately 100,000 trees in, the initiative is off to a great start and will reforest parts of Brazil that have been most affected by deforestation.
The General session opened with an enchanting performance from spoken word artist Pacia Elaine before ISPA chairman, Garrett Mersbergertook the stage to welcome the 2000 attendees and present the ISPA 2018 Visionary Award posthumously to Lori Hutchinson of Hutchinson Consulting who connected people and touched lives across the spa industry for decades before passing in 2016.
Shawn Achor spoke of how we are all in the happiness and wellbeing industry and how happiness is a choice. We all have a genetic predisposition to our certain level of happiness and how we can maximize that. Happiness is not pleasure it is the joy we feel when moving towards our potential. You can experience happiness even when life is not pleasurable. Starting a company or running a marathon for example, can be painful and un-pleasurable experiences, but can result in immense happiness. A brief, fun experiment proved how easy it is to influence others by smiling. The brain recognizes other smiles as your own smile and therefore initiates your own smile. Not only do smiles spread, but stress, nervousness and negativity also spread just as easily. Meaning, happiness and joy are interconnected traits and are used as we co-process the world around us. What is most interesting in terms of human connection is that with a friend next to us, the brain actually perceives challenges as easier to overcome. If you view the world through the same pattern for too long, the brain keeps it, even if it stops working for you. Our brains are wired to pick up on threats, we can adapt from this pattern and consciously choose to look for the positive and choose happiness in our practices.