With the sad passing of our Queen last week, the media has been filled with features and articles looking back over her reign.

This got me to thinking about this week’s mental sunshine. It doesn’t feel right to be recommending that we all do something frivolous and cheerful when the nation is in the middle of a period of mourning…

But what we can all do is take some time to stop, step back and reflect on the positives in our lives.

None of us would ever look at the last six months of the Queen’s reign, when she had mobility issues and began to hand over some official duties to her son, and judge her entire reign by this.

But we’ll happily do that to ourselves.

Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years, overseeing a time of immense change and development in this country.

It’s easy to look around us and find lots of negatives in our lives right now –

But we can also look back over the last few months or years, and appreciate how far we have come.

Consider the difference between yourself now, and yourself five years ago.

You’ve come a long way…

Paying respects and reflecting at Windsor Castle…

One thing I really want to suggest as a takeaway from the Queen’s long life and reign is the idea of living a full life by doing good for others.

Every single time you do something for someone else, you affect their life for the better.

Every good deed, no matter how small, makes a difference – to the person you help, but also to you.

What can you do today, to help someone else?

P.S. I was privileged to be asked to photograph Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh when I was in the RAF. This was at a private dinner at St James’s Palace along with their former equerries. Not only did I have to take the photograph, I also had to process the film and hand print a colour image and frame it before presenting it just after the dinner had concluded – No pressure.

Afterwards, the Queen commented on the speedy service – Not every day that you can say you impressed the Queen. I tell people I must have done a good job as I didn’t end up in the Tower of London…