Gratitude is the foundation of happiness. What does happiness have to do with inspired leadership?

In last week’s post, I talked about the subject of gratitude, my own experiences with it and the affects of having a daily gratitude practice. Gratitude is often sited as the foundational rock for feeling happy. So what is the tie to leadership? Simple: Happiness inspires.

We are always looking for applicable and sustainable leadership practices. In general, happy people maintain habits that are also in line with great habits of service leadership. I find that this article does a good job of highlighting some of these key habits that can be used in your everyday life, as well as in the practice of great service leadership. As the article points out: “Joyful folk have certain inclinations that add to their pursuit of meaningand motivate them along the way.”

The article also talks about three types of lives we can lead, and that often happiness is concentrated in the latter two. Especially when considering the essence of servant or service leadershipbeing pleasant, engaging and tied to greater meaning or purpose, the link between happiness and great leadership couldn’t be more clear.

1. The pleasant life, in which you fill your life with as many pleasures as you can.

2. The life of engagement, where you find a life in your work, parenting, love and leisure.

3. The meaningful life, which “consists of knowing what your highest strengths are, and using them to belong to and in the service of something larger than you are.”

If you believe in this AND you wish to be happy, truly happy along the way, then let’s take a closer look at habits of the supremely happy:

1. They surround themselves with other happy people.

2. They smile when they mean it.

3. They cultivate resilience.

4. They try to be happy. 

5. They are mindful of the good.

6. They appreciate simple pleasures.

7. They devote some of their time to giving.

8. They let themselves lose track of time. (And sometimes they can’t help it.)

9. They nix the small talk for deeper conversation.

10. They spend money on other people.

11. They make a point to listen.

12. They uphold in-person connections.

13. They look on the bright side.

14. They value a good mixtape.

15. They unplug.

16. They get spiritual.

17. They make exercise a priority.

18. They go outside.

19. They spend some time on the pillow.

20.  They LOL.

21. They Walk the Walk.

What are your favorites from the list? Do you have others you can share? What are your most effective habits of happiness? Reply in the comments below.