February is a month focused on Joy, Happiness and Love culminating in our celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. I love writing articles at this time of year because everything I do; decisions I make, ideas I create and conversations I have are always from my heart rather than my head. I am naturally a heart-centred, people focused person making decisions and taking actions on instinct and intuition first and logic and reasoning second!
I have actually been doing a lot of reading and client centred work about “Joy”. I have been asking new clients about “what brings them true joy”? It seems such a simple Coaching question but brings about such deep and often emotional responses and Coaching conversations. Simple things such as a smile or a hug from someone important showing their love or appreciation; activities and learning new things; or just spending some quiet time to reflect and just be with yourself.
Joy means different things to different people.
So, how can you make 2020 more ‘joyful’?
Nataly Kogan, the author of Happier Now, says “happiness and emotional health are not extras, bonuses or ‘nice to haves’ they are at the very core of what helps us to live well”
Too often people say; “I’ll be happy when…….”, “I have more money, more time, lose weight, get fitter, I’m in a relationship, this project is over, find a new job, it’s warmer, it’s lighter…..” We can all be guilty of putting off our Joy by focusing on the things that don’t actually give it to us!
The average retirement age is 67 years. Therefore if the average life expectancy is 80, does this mean we only have 13 years to cram in all the things that will give us Joy? I sincerely hope not!
However, we definitely spend too much time focusing on negativity and worry rather than what really brings us joy, not just at work, but in life.
There is an old story about how there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealously, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith”
“Which wolf wins depends on which one you feed”. Which one are you feeding?
So, if you are feeding the wrong wolf, how can you make that change? Barbara Fredrickson’s book ‘Positivity’ mixes sound science and wise advice to give us some great tips including:
- Take some time out to slow down enough so you can see and hear with your heart and not just your ears, eyes and mind. Engage with a sincere attitude to what’s around you and connect with it. Avoid fake smiles, negativity and stress.
- Shift your focus to more positive observations and conversations at work
- Find positive meaning in the things you are doing and the things around you. Look for the ‘silver linings’ and challenge negativity from others with questions about what may be causing them to behave that way and how you might be able to help
- Show gratitude to others and to yourself. Create a ‘Gratitude Journal’
- Be kind to yourself and to others
“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well”
If you would like to talk about how you can find more joy in work and life, drop me an email and arrange a free call.