How do you define joy in your life? How does it define you? I remember writing this words in a post almost exactly 2 years ago, reflecting on the years of growth prior. You can click on the quote to get to the original post:

“When you can claim resiliency. When you do not know the future but can hope for the best. When you feel a sense of purpose. When you are emotionally centred. When you are sure of your identity.”

A few posts ago I talked about purpose and how important it is to feel it in what you do. In my value system, I follow purpose up with joy, and then care. These 3 things seem to find themselves working together nicely in my conversations with people of many different settings and backgrounds. When we talk about work teams, family situations, or everyday social scenarios, I feel like I can boil down our feelings to these three.

  1. Do you know the purpose?
  2. Does it bring you joy?
  3. Do you feel and are able to give care?

Joy tends to follow you when you look for it. People usually expect to experience happiness from what is going on around them, but it would appear that is more linked with purpose and care. Joy is an interaction between your external circumstances and your understanding of how you will interact with them. Joy then becomes much deeper as it fits with attitude and what you will do with what you have. This is why the Bible (James 1:2) is able to say tough things such as about joy:

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”

WHEN troubles come. Consider it an OPPORTUNITY. GREAT joy. Not a little; great joy in trouble. Each trouble is an opportunity, not a curse. And that is when, not if it comes. This is a great statement for any area of life, not just work motivation or a social team setting. Everything we do is not dependent on happiness, but how we approach these things with joy.

So that is the personal attitude side of joy. Let me focus on what that can mean for your work and focused energy from here on in. You can have a great attitude while still being in the wrong spot, and many of you know how that feels.

Here are my list of ‘I’ statements that affect the ‘we’ of many life situations:

  • I do… My part of the work process is activating things. I like doing, I like seeing the ideas and strategy worked out before it comes to me. I enjoy making it work!
  • I feel… My part of the work process is inspiring others. I like doing as well, but I am more about making sure others feel a strong sense of purpose and care in doing what needs to be done. I enjoy inspiring others!
  • I think... My part of the work process is dreaming about what could be done. I am looking at the work and looking at the possibilities ahead, at the same time. I help make the plan and wonder if we are on the right track. I enjoy dreaming about what could be done!
  • I plan… My part of the work process is organizing the plan for others to make it work. I implement the dream into a realistic format for the team to get it done. I enjoy making a plan work!

Joy begins with you, but it is a process as well. It is internal, but is greatly impacted by your situation. You both have joy and receive joy, get it and receive it. It can as simple as a change in perspective, or a shift in how you impact those around you.

So what brings you joy?

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