Some say that a personal decision to be happy is all it takes.  Others require themselves to achieve things in order to reach a state of happiness.  In a world quick to pedal short-termism and acquisition as fulfilment, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees sometimes and before you know it, losing your footing in a tide of melancholia and feeling there is just no real way to be happy, becomes all too real for many people.

Enduring sub-standard, unfulfilling relationships, soothing with narcotics, blocking out reality with whatever it is that works become the norm and by the time it hits us in the face, the synapses have formed and ‘being happy’ can look like a pipe dream or worse, some kind of made-up Nirvana, saccharine coated for the 24-hour content generation (not that kind of content).

Happiness isn’t a thing.  It is intangible.  It comes and it goes and it is warm, cold, big and small and wraps you up, tickles you and spits you out, only to arrive in different clothes some other time.  The key is to not be fooled into thinking you can, or should always be happy, and always be ready for it.

Shutting the door on our availability to happiness becomes the default state and so after a while, it’s easy to see why we struggle to find it.  Recognising that it is transient, brilliant, and often very fleeting is the key to enjoying it and finding more of it.  Let it lift you when it’s around, and don’t mourn it when it is gone, for it will return.

Nearly all of us have spent plenty of time painfully enacting the above. Drowning in this, or bemoaning that, harbouring an unhelpful delusion or believing self-invented negative hype.  There’s so much judgment and criticism out there. *Spoiler Alert*  There isn’t.  99% of the judgement you feel is coming from within.  99% of the criticism you dish out is about you, but 100% of the happiness you find from ditching these, is yours.  The best bit is, you can share it as much as you like and your share never diminishes.

You know when you’re on an aeroplane and the safety announcement really hammers home the importance of putting your own mask on first, before helping others? Well, this is just like that.  Establishing how you operate within your own world, what drives you and how you naturally react to challenges and joys presented to you, is important – hey, it’s essential.  Once you have that bird’s-eye view of your own patterns, you can influence yourself more effectively and help others toward their own happiness.

If that isn’t brilliant leadership, I don’t know what is.