Choosing to Lead Happy
Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, CEO of Grassroot Diplomats, shares an intimate moment on when she realised leading for happiness serves people better than leading out of fear.
The start of 2016 has been personally challenging for me. I recently lost someone incredibly close to me, but in her passing, I have learned how important it is to ‘choose’ to be happy. She carried herself with such strength and dignity, I am awe of her inner power. She surrounded herself with happiness and positive affirmations that many of us forget in our day-to-day activities.
As humans, we are given the gift to choose for ourselves. Our decisions play a significant role in shaping our thinking, attitude, actions, and future path. Sometimes, our decisions are good, sometimes, bad, but how we learn from our experience is what truly creates and defines our character. I would have known that she was in pain from the way she carried herself. She would wink and smile at us when she saw our faces long with worry. She told us she was happy, even though her future in this world was fearfully uncertain. She decided to leave a legacy of memories we will never forget, in admiring her zest for life, and her choice to not let her disease wear her spirit down. She was a leader, because she chose to be happy, and she will continue to lead because her values will live within us.
In her passing, I realised how unfortunate many of us in letting our work define our happiness. In a society where money equals success, we constantly strive to be economically successful without thinking whether we are spiritually or metaphorically happy. At the end of our life, we leave behind everything, including our possessions and everything we have worked for. We leave imprints behind through memories captured by others. When I think of all the ‘leaders’ I meet and coach, I often become frustrated over ‘why’ someone becomes complacent in their role. They forget ‘why’ they started on the path they chose to begin with and a lot of digging is required to make them remember their origin. It is gratifying to see their eyes light up when recalling their motivation and watch them change as they realise how far they have moved along their original path. If you are not happy in the position you are in, the good news is that you can change by switching the way you think about yourself and your circumstance. Being up top doesn’t suddenly mean that you should stop working to admire your achievements. Any good leader should work harder than they have ever worked to ensure that others around them have similar opportunities.
I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved with Grassroot Diplomat. The road is slow and bumpy, but we are seeing more and more influencers wanting to join our movement. I want to make it my goal to have deeper connections with the grassroots because we have conquered relationships with those at the top. I want individuals to realise their potential, not copying after someone else, but defining their own self-worth using their personal experiences. I believe everyone has the potential to be a leader but the reasons why you want to lead is makes a difference to becoming a bad leader or a great leader.
Choose to be happy for yourself, but remember to lead for others. Rest in peace.