Jacqueline is a mother-of-three who is quite literally changing the world one day at a time with her incredible charity ‘365 Give‘ and she insists the core value of it is the key to happiness.
Starting a new business in your 40s
Although she didn’t start her life-changing project until approaching midlife it quickly went from a personal parenting project to so much more.
“I hit 40,” says Jacqueline. “Oh that magic age that makes us sit and reflect what we have done to date. All of a sudden I was half way through my life, I had a two year old and I wanted to do more (as if raising a child and running my own business wasn’t enough).”
Teaching your children compassion
At the time her son Nic was a toddler and in a bid to teach him compassion, kindness and generosity she decided they would embark on a project together.
“I wanted to get to the end of my life and know I had done everything in my power to leave the world a better place for my beautiful son, his friends and future generations.”
How to be happy when you’re depressed
Jacqueline finds it upsetting that The World Happiness Report states at any one time over 220 million children and one billion adults suffer from anxiety, depression and conduct disorders.
“How do we go from anxiety and depression to happy?” she asks. “Some good news. The World Happiness Report also states the best predictor of whether a child becomes a satisfied adult is through their emotional health in childhood. So if I have this right, it should be easy. Happy children, happy adults, happy planet; yes?”
Giving is the key to happiness
Jacqueline had an idea. Every day for one year they would give something to someone and she would record their adventures on a blog called ‘365give”.
She told her son: “Nic, we’re going to do one thing to be kind, helpful, giving to a person, an animal or the planet every day for 365 days.”
Her loved ones liked the idea but weren’t sure she could see it through.
“When I shared this idea with friends and family, they thought I was being, shall we say a little ambitious,” Jacqueline explained in her inspiring TED Talk ‘How to be Happy Every Day: It Will Change the World’. “I was going to give back to the world every day for 365 days with a three-year-old. I agreed, seemed like a lot, but not when you start small, just one give one day at a time.”
Discovering the ‘helpers high’
From donating blankets to an animal shelter, picking up rubbish and giving clothes to charity they thought up new ways to give every single day.
Despite not being a writer and having no knowledge of social media Jacqueline’s blog began to gain traction around the world and inspired others to start giving too.
By the end of the year the had set off a massive chain reaction with people across the globe activating their ‘helpers high’ – the very real feeling you get when you give and the endorphins kick in.
There was no way she could stop now and it didn’t have to.
How you can join the 365give Challenge
Jacqueline was approached by a local educator in Vancouver, where she was living, and together they created the educational program called the ‘365give Challenge’.
“It’s unique because it’s powered by the kids,” says Jacqueline. “They choose how they’re going to give, support causes and impact the world in ways that they choose.”
Today the challenge isn’t just for schools though. Any group, family or individual can join the growing community of ‘happy changemakers’.
“I could never have dreamed that my super fun family project with my son could cause a ripple to so many,” she admits. “Start your list today, take a look at your life, your world, your family, your day, do what works for you. Donate, volunteer, help a neighbour, be kind to a stranger. This is how we’re going to go from anxiety and depression to happy.”
If you enjoyed this article then you might also like to read about the 72-year-old multi-millionaire who says you’re never too old to become an entrepreneur and the 59-year-old model taking the fashion world by storm.