In case you haven’t been paying attention, it turns out that Pope Francis is one of the most popular people in the world. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that he has a 90 percent favorability rating among U.S. Catholics and a 70 percent favorability rating among all Americans. Another Pew study at the end of last year found that he has a median favorable rating of 60 percent across 43 nations and only an 11 percent unfavorable rating.
Timothy Egan’s recent column in the New York Times, "Pope Francis and the Art of Joy," does a great job of explaining how the nature of the pope’s positive personality helps make him a transformational leader. It’s definitely worth five minutes of your time to read.
For now, though, let me share a slightly reformatted quote from Egan’s column that I found particularly compelling. Egan wrote that last year the Pope was asked about his secret to happiness. He responded with nine rules that I have listed here (again, big hat tip to Timothy Egan for sharing these):
1. Slow down
2. Take time off
3. Live and let live
4. Don’t proselytize
5. Work for peace
6. Work at a job that offers basic human dignity
7. Don’t hold on to negative feelings
8. Move calmly through life
9. Enjoy art, books and playfulness
It seems to me that just about anyone of those nine would be a good thing to practice as another week begins.
Which one resonates most with you and why? If you were going to add a tenth rule for happiness to the Pope’s list, what would it be?