Learning to be happy

The back story

Let me be honest: I find myself a challenge. And whereas my friends and family spend a couple of hours per week with me, I have myself 24/7 to deal with. Do not get me wrong. I am grateful to be a person, who is constantly driven to reach further. And needs to play.

  • I do want to have a short nap
  • AND watch a show
  • AND snack some nuts
  • AND play Sudoku

The model

I call them Impromptu Imperfect Mental Models. They are intended as a conversation opener and a guide in self-inquiry, rather than being a complete tool. And as imperfect, as they are, I had many a lovely exchanges prompted by them.

  • Do you need a moment by yourself to reconnect to just you?
  • Maybe you need to spend time with a group connected by a special interest or circle to join you?
  • Do you simply want time with some of your friends?
  • Are you missing a big diverse crowd you belong to, a community?
  • Is this year’s holiday all about the family?
  • Do you want a date with the world (however that might look)?
  • Or do you want to take that special person you share you life with on that journey?
  • Or maybe, just maybe do you want to set off, without planning too much and invite whoever happens to cross your path to join you?
  • You might seek a time that is Balancing, soothing, like a spa holiday?
  • or something simply Nice, like a weekend in Budapest?
  • It could also be an event, that helps you connect to the Essence, like ecstatic dancing or ritual space?
  • Or something New, a place you have never been before, a sport you wanted to take up for a while?
  • One that I really fancy is something Unknowable, that the more you get to know, the more still lies ahead to explore?
  • Then there are those adventures where we play with risk, for me that might be climbing 4000-meeter glacier peaks?
  • Or something Big, like tracing the steps of your favourite anthropologist in Micronesia?
  • The one I left last is a Sentimental journey, visiting your places of delight and your places of power, where you know the food, the streets and the waiter at your favourite café.

Some classical mistakes

Let me scare you a bit. If you do not do make the right choice, you might land horror-holidaying. You can find yourself doing the wrong thing, with the wrong people at the wrong place, coming back home beat and sad, actually needing a holiday to recover from that holiday. Ever been there? I tend to revisit.


What would you say, if I asked you: What is it that you need most right now? What people and what energies? What would such a holiday look like?



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Karolina Iwa

Karolina Iwa


Senior Facilitator. Co-Founder of Leadership Festival. Exploring Leadership & Organisational Culture. Making companies thrive.