How finding your tribe is essential for happiness

Words by Aisling Ward, Careers Executive at NABS

Danny Bent spoke about a lot of inspiring things at his talk for NABS during Advertising Week Europe.

Yet through tales of falling off the sides of mountains, being held at gunpoint or having a beard full of maggots; one thing really stuck with me – the importance of finding your tribe.

Danny describes ‘finding your tribe’ as being almost a pillar of happiness, and this really rings true with my experiences in life.

He recalls a message impressed on him as a child by his father to just ‘be himself’ – a simple answer to a misplaced child’s confusion of not fitting in. Danny strayed from this path of self-acceptance and started his career with a role in finance – where he would often cry at his desk. This is when Danny realised the importance of his father’s message.  Being himself would ultimately lead to happiness.

For me, growing up as an extremely awkward, small, shy bookworm, the importance of being myself is something I wish I had grasped earlier. Danny’s experiences parallel my years spent trying to fit into groups that I admired or even loved, but was not one of.

Danny identified four types of happiness: things, ego, connection and enlightenment. While enlightenment may be impossible to find for most of us, connection is not. Connections with others create genuine happiness – a brand new iPhone does not. Even with a shiny new case and a screen protector to boot.

When Danny started his talk he simultaneously grasped the audience’s fear and attention. He asked the unaskable. He instructed a room full of strangers to turn to each other and interact. However, by encouraging us to invent something together – a secret handshake – he immediately helped us to feel at ease and even as a disparate audience group we came together and created multiple tribes, and we felt more connected.

My teenage years were largely difficult due to undiagnosed bipolar disorder. It was hard to manage, but genuinely, when I was with my strongest tribe members, I somehow managed it. I have been personally lucky in my teenage through to adult life, to have accumulated enough incredible people in my tribe to become quite a confident, and, I like to think – happy young lady.

I cannot express enough the importance of being able to see yourself through the eyes of those whose opinions you trust. Danny Bent has reminded me of this glorious gift that I have received from the universe, and I will be certain not to forget it again in a hurry. The love and acceptance of my tribe, who I pretty much idolise, is unbeatable and is what makes me truly happy.

NABS provides a whole separate kind of tribe, a tribe within a tribe, if you will. The industry is a big, often scary and lonely place with exceeding pressures. If you are unsure who your tribe is, or if you need support or advice then the NABS team are your team, your tribe.

NABS is here to help improve and champion the wellbeing of everyone in advertising and media.  We provide a hub, a confidential place to be open about the realities facing us in life and in work; a place to connect and find your pillar of happiness.  Help could be in the form of a Masterclass to help you deal with pressure; mentoring; fast forward; coaching and we run a Resilience Programme. Our Advice Line team are on hand to talk you through any pressures you may be experiencing, at work or at home, and can offer emotional support or refer you to our cognitive behavioural therapy and stress coaching services. Our coaches can work with you in one-to-one sessions to help you find solutions for tackling stress and approaching life in a more positive, solutions-focused way. Visit our website or call us on 0800 707 6607 to see how we can help.


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