When coaching a leadership team recently, I asked:

‘Who’s in charge of happiness round here?’

*Blank looks.

Followed by someone asking what exactly I meant by happiness.

Eventually, the group threw out a few names of people who seemed to be quite encouraging before deciding on ‘All of us. It’s all of us, right?

I reflected their collective responses back to them and asked if it would be similar if I’d asked who was in charge of SEN!

HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY

‘All of us’ is sometimes unconscious code for ‘none of us’. The terms ‘wellbeing’ and ‘mindfulness’ sometimes need a little unpicking for those who have not come across them before. But happiness – well that’s something we’ve all heard of.

Happiness is something we all ‘hope’ for.

The problem is that ‘hope’ is not a strategy.

When we’re ready to sratwear big girl pants, ‘hope’ has to be upgraded to ‘expectation’ and then a plan has to be made. A step by step route planner from where we are to where we want to be.

The first step to this in making sure we know where we are! If you want to get to Manchester, but don’t know where you’re starting from you might as well have packed a chocolate teapot instead of your sat nav.

WHAT STATE ARE YOU IN?

So my question for those I work with in school is ‘Where are you now? Or, more specifically, ‘What state are you in?’

Suffering – focused inwardly on the problems and challenges. Thoughts dominated by the resources you doubt have available.

Surviving – focused on finding the answer to improve a situation, but not aware of the fullness of life around you.

Seeking – focused on exploring the wider world including trying things you have avoided of before

Serving – focused on outwardly connecting with others on the same boat. Looking to share and receive thoughts and ideas.

I made a video explaining these more and you can watch it by clicking this sentence!

Try asking the same question yourself. Also, pose it tomorrow in school. Are you still hoping for happiness or have you got a plan?

If so, where are you now? And what’s your next step?

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