When was the last time you put ‘joy’ and ‘work’ in the same sentence? Understandably, work is work – and there are certainly times when work can be enormously taxing, exhausting and overwhelming. It’s not all sunshine and ponies. Unless you work at a petting zoo in Florida. Then it probably is all sunshine and ponies.
A joy-filled life is not necessarily an easy life or one without sacrifices, quite the opposite. Joy requires personal effort and a commitment from none other than YOU.
As a sponsor of The Art and Science of Joy, I’m a firm believer in joy. If we’ve ever met, this probably comes as no surprise. My personality and lifestyle plant both of my feet firmly on the side of joy. I can’t count the number of people who have said to me, “Well, it’s just easier for you.” That is absolutely not the case.
Joy isn’t easy.
Joy doesn’t come easier to some people than others – unless brain chemistry is involved. The reality is that everybody has gone through difficulties and traumas. And after the pandemic, we’ve been through a difficult time as a collective. No one came out unscathed.
Through this collective trauma, we have been able to see each other as more human. The real question is – how do we manage what’s in front of us and keep our joy? How do we face all we have to face each day and still choose joy?
For me, I want to highlight the joy and deep satisfaction in getting a job done well. I love the intricacies and details of marketing plans. I get joy from knowing my clients are getting sleep at night. I love the feeling when I know others deeply respect my work and trust me to do my level best for them.
Don’t get me wrong. I don't want to poo-poo feeling good and joyful in all spheres of life, but I think not enough is written about the joy of work.
The Art and Science of Joy Co-Founders Debby Schlesinger-Hellman and Andrew Cannon discuss this with me on the Ponderings from the Perch Podcast. Companies need to work towards finding ways to enhance their employees' experience to integrate joy into their work. Debby was very straightforward when she said that she doesn’t believe in work-life balance. It’s all just life. And it’s how we integrate joy into our lives that matters, and that means into our work too!
According to Debby and Andrew, the four core ingredients of joy are well-being, belonging, impact and fun! Maybe you spend 40 hours a week at work, or maybe it’s more like 60-80+ hours a week (guilty!), so if you don’t find joy in your work, then your waking hours are nearly dominated by, well, emotions that are less positive. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the phrase “find joy,” as it isn’t a passive experience to cultivate joy in your work and in your life.
You have to commit to your joy, to pursuing and focusing on avenues that lead you to well-being, belonging, impact and fun. There is exponential joy in work when a team is working together and sharing the same values.
At Little Bird Marketing, our four Core Values are
1. CARE DEEPLY (aka care about shit)
We are deeply invested in the brand, each other in our own growth and in our clients' goals.
2. FINISH STRONG (aka get shit done)
We are responsible for our portion of the project as well as collaboration so all projects are completed on time, on budget and within scope.
3. STAY GOLD (aka be the shit)
We are a brand known as best in class and fun to work with, so we are best in show, best in meetings, best on planes...
4. BE TRUE (aka don't talk shit)
We are honest, data-driven and kind communicators.
Through our company cultures, our values, our workplace environment and the way we treat and interact with each other, we empower each other to harvest more joy from life while bringing more joy to each other. Love to my Peeps!
If you’re looking for tips, tricks and tools to move forward in a more joy-filled, rich, and meaningful life then sign up for the Year of Joy – 52 weeks of inspiration and activities delivered straight to your inbox.
I catalyze joy. You can catalyze joy too. It’s hard work. It takes effort. There is a daily effort involved in being joyful and in moving towards joy. Are you up for the joy challenge? I bet you are! I’ll see you in the Year of Joy community, tossing around joy like it’s confetti!