The pursuit of happiness

Looking for true happiness? Not sure where to begin? Nicholas Bunney (BSc Investment and Financial Risk Management, 2004) has written the book that could support your journey! Find out about ‘ABCD: Finding Happiness through Awareness, Values, Principles, and Actions’ and how understanding your values better may help you to be more happy, productive and well adjusted!

Nicholas and his bookCongratulations on the release of your new book ABCD: Finding Happiness through Awareness, Values, Principles, and Actions! Please tell us what it’s all about, who it’s for and how you think it will help readers?

Thank you so much. It’s taken close to three years of personal research and another two of writing to get here so I’m really excited about spreading the message and seeing what people make of it.

I had been having a tough time in 2017. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the same struggles many of us face: grief, lack of purpose, anxiety about how ‘well’ I was doing in my life; we’ve all been there. So I started to read literature, scientific studies, and other resources to find some solutions. Since I was encouraged to take a proactive approach to learning at City, University of London, I have grown to enjoy researching subjects of interest. Anyway, it turns out that the wise of each generation kept reiterating the same ideas on happiness. And these lessons tended to fall into four categories; Authenticity, Balance, Consistency and Discipline – ABCD.

Having shaped my philosophies and gained a better understanding of my values, I was far more happy, productive and well adjusted. I was more ME.

So, I wrote ABCD to bring together these themes along with easy-to-use tools to help the reader do the same (which is anyone who wants to take some action to adjust their values and goals – regardless of age, gender, race etc.).

Why were you inspired to write it?

ABCD_ebook_coverMany of us are overloaded with information about who we should be. What we should achieve. What others are doing. It’s exhausting and confusing.

Some of the literature I read was enlightening. Stoic philosophy, self-help and therapy books that I wished I had access to when I was younger. I hope I can reach some others who could benefit as I have.

Life can be far simpler.

How did you find the writing process? Has it inspired you to continue writing?

I love to write, so that was not a problem. I just broke it down into chunks and wrote for a few hours a week. If you have an authentic interest in something and a balanced approach, then consistency and discipline are far easier and more enjoyably attained (ABCD 😉)!

The editing, design and publishing phase was far more of a challenge as lots of it is out of your control.

With regards to continuing writing, I do love to write but I’ll have a break for now!

Quite the contrast to your career in surveillance! Please tell us about your current role.

Compliance is a new path for me. I was originally a stockbroker for 12 years and it was through this process that I decided to change career. I was sick of the hours away from my family and the stress involved.

But I made the switch into compliance, which was fairly easy as my degree was quite broad in scope and my markets experience is crucial in the surveillance world.

I’m currently helping to develop a new risk framework around surveillance at ICAP, a leading markets operator and provider of post-trade risk mitigation and information services. I’m loving it as it has all the elements of work I enjoy – problem-solving, project work and framework design. Now my book is published, my focus is this next phase of my career.

How have your studies at Bayes equipped you throughout your career?

Interestingly, so much of what I learned on my Investment and Financial Risk Management course has appeared throughout my roles and many of us from the course are still using what we learned during our studies in our careers.

Building a work ethic, independence, and social skills (from all the friends I made and night outs we had), has made me well balanced in the real world.

Looking back, why did you choose to study your BSc Investment and Financial Risk Management degree at Bayes?

Firstly, I’m 40 years old, so I was at the ceremony when the Business School first opened its doors at Bunhill Row and felt very lucky to have a brand new institution at the forefront of education.

I chose City, University of London because it was rated highly for my degree and when I visited the other students seemed like my kind of people.

We’d be delighted to hear more about your time at the Business School. Do you have any standout memories that you would like to share?

Those nights out I mentioned before can’t all be repeated! I had a memorable football tour to Spain and met some of my closest friends while living in halls.

Educationally, though it sounds weird, but I failed a first year in Actuarial Science and wanted to quit university altogether. It always sticks with me the support I got in changing to a more suitable course. And I finished with a 1st – I still have the email of my result pinned in my inbox!

It’s great to hear how it all worked out well for you in the end. What happened after you graduated? Were you able to make use of the Careers team?

The careers team got me my first opportunities and actually the interview which led to a 12 year successful career! I even met my future wife who started there at the same time. We now have 18 years together and two beautiful children – so that’s a pretty good result!

How lovely! Finally, what advice would you give to others looking to follow in your footsteps?

Choose authentic goals that align with your values. Don’t follow a path because of someone else’s opinion. If you do what’s right for you, you’re more likely to succeed AND be happy along the way.

Buy ABCD: Finding Happiness through Values, Principles, and Actions – OUT NOW!

Thank you to Nicholas for sharing his story and reminding us to find out more about ourselves for a happier life!

Follow Nicholas on Instagram and LinkedIn. You can buy ABCD from Amazon, Apple Books and Google Books app stores, Barnes and Nobles and multiple online retailers and bookshops.