Happy Leader

Leading Yourself to Happiness


Even in the serious world of business and leading others, happiness is something that most of us strive for, and in fact, we feel that we deserve to have.

But what does it mean to pursue happiness?

When we think of pursuing something, we usually mean that we’re going after something we don’t already have.  In Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy for No Reason, she points out that in Thomas Jefferson’s time, “to pursue something meant to practice that activity, to do it regularly, to make a habit of it.”

There’s a huge difference between chasing after happiness and practicing happiness. Click to Tweet!

When we chase after happiness, we’re coming from a perspective of lack – we don’t have the thing that we want. But when we practice happiness, we are active participants in making ourselves even happier. In essence, we our leading ourselves to happiness.

Happy Business  WomanThe Pursuit of Happiness

So how can we practice happiness? To start, know that you can weather your moods. Like the weather, your moods are always changing. Recognizing and accepting your moods and knowing that they will change is important to “being happiness.”

If you realize this, when you are up, you can fully appreciate the moments of pure pleasure. Instead of being disappointed when your great mood doesn’t last, you know that not only won’t it last, but it is not supposed to, and so, you can appreciate it while it does.

When you are down, you also know that it won’t last, and because of that, you can weather the low. If you are really down, know that your natural balance will soon bring you up. From a very high level perspective, you can now appreciate the downs, for you’ll know that it is temporary.

Knowing that your down moods are temporary will also give you some peace. When we are down we often look for someone or something to blame and that increases our upset, and hinders our ability to lead. Instead of taking it out on someone you’ll be more mindful of how you interact with others.

So next time you have a great day – or a “bad” one – appreciate it for what it is, know that it won’t last, and know that that perspective will put you well on your way to pursuing happiness.

What are your thoughts on the pursuit of happiness? Share your insights below!