The Positivity Pandemic
Naturally, humans are seekers of happiness, although we don't always know where to look for it. But did you know that, according to BMJ, those surrounded by happy people are significantly more likely to experience happiness themselves? Happiness is contagious and can spread from person to person, just like a disease. However, instead of a pandemic of debilitating sickness, the happiness contagion spreads optimism and acts of goodwill.
The Feedback Loop
Happiness is felt by not only the receiver, but also the giver of a kind action or gesture. A study by the Journal of Social Psychology shows that there is a “positive feedback loop” between good acts and happiness.
Half of the participants of the BMJ study were asked to remember a time they bought something for themselves. The other half were asked to think about a time when they bought something for someone else. They were then given a scale to measure how happy they were. The participants who remembered a time they bought something for someone else rated themselves significantly higher on the happiness scale than those who had thought of purchasing something for themselves.
To further the findings, when given the opportunity to spend money again, those who rated themselves as happier were significantly more likely to use that money for someone else, thus creating a positive feedback loop. Kind acts inspire happiness, and happiness inspires kindness.
It was this realization that made us look into the effect of goodness in the world around us. How can we spread goodness? Jamil Zaki, director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Laboratory, found that along with imitating good actions they are exposed to, people also adopt the spirit of goodness that encouraged those actions in the first place. Put simply, one good act really does inspire another. Goodness exists in the world all around us, and the more people that are exposed to it, the more it will grow and spread. One of the best ways to pass along the “goodness contagion” is to talk about it, share it, and support it.
With the far-reaching effects of goodness and happiness on our minds, we had to find a way to support and spread these ideas. After all, Awardco exists to recognize the good in others. We’ve helped thousands of companies to recognize and reward their employees, and now we want to do the same for our communities and the general public. We wanted to combat the negative effects of the recent pandemic with a new contagion—a contagious spreading of goodness, happiness, and optimism! This is where Goodness Grants come in.
There are countless people out there doing great things to promote good around them without ever considering a reward. We want to recognize them and share their story to continue the spread of goodness in the world, but we need your help finding them!
Do you know someone who selflessly gives of their time and effort to help others around them? Now, you have a way to nominate that person for a Goodness Grant! Each month, we will choose one nominee to be the recipient of our Goodness Grant, which includes a prize of $1,000, to support them in their efforts.
The recipient could be an elementary school teacher who volunteers to start an after-school program, or someone who regularly volunteers to care for the animals at the local aquarium. Goodness comes in all shapes and sizes, and we want to support all of it!
We will share stories about the recipients and the work they are doing here on this blog and on our social media channels to further inspire the good works of others.
Goodness Going Forward
Our hope is that highlighting the goodness around us will encourage a viral trend of communities going about doing good. As we participate in kind acts, we are creating a happy internal environment for ourselves and infecting others with that same happiness. Covid-19 spread all around the world in a matter of months; our hope is to make goodness spread even faster.