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Quite an unexpected topic/lesson this week.
I usually write about some strategy that I implemented and how it succeeded or failed, or some lesson I learned throughout the week.
This week, however, is a bit more introspective…
The Importance Of Joy
What is your work for?
Is it to make money? For fame? Influence?
I’d suggest that any of those external, monetary, or “vanity” type measurements fall short to give us what we really are after: Joy.
I define joy as a combination of happiness and fulfillment.
It’s happiness squared. A deeper, more visceral feeling.The more JOY we can experience in our life, the better our life will be
There were two very specific moments of JOY for me recently:
The other night, I was taking out the trash and caught the sunset.
Now, sunset pictures from a phone never really do it justice. But in that moment, I stopped, and took a deep breath, and realized how good it felt to be outside, in perfect weather, catching this fleeting moment that will never ever exist in the same way.
I couldn’t help but smile, and feel a deep sense of gratitude and joy.
A Soccer Game
The second time was watching my son play in his soccer game. They’d had an incredible, undefeated season, and in the next half of the season they’re going to move up a tier in their division because they’re “too good”.
(Their average score for the season was 8-1)
Hearing the coach say this, and seeing how hard my son and his team had worked, made the game that much more exciting to watch.
And then, in the second half, my son scored a goal.
He’s not much of a goal scorer. He’s much more suited to the midfield positions where the strengths are in seeing the field, making the passes, and getting the ball to the forwards who have much better footwork and confidence in shooting.
But the cross came. My son was in perfect position. He connected with the ball perfectly and placed it into the upper left corner of the goal.
The keeper never had a chance.
It was a perfect moment, followed by one of the most pure moments of celebration I’d seen from him. The team cheered – he rarely scores, so it was a big deal for everyone.
Now – what’s missing in these two moments?
Neither of them are about business…
The two most joyous moments of my life in the last two weeks had nothing to do with revenue, marketing, sales, clients, products, or the like.
I take a lot of pride in my work. But it’s not my greatest source of joy.
With that realization, I had to reflect on what my business was actually for.
Yes, I want to reach as many people as possible. Yes, I want to provide a good life for my family and me.
But if I chose to spend more time in my business, optimizing for reach or revenue, I’d miss out completely on these moments of joy.
If you work until late into the night, you’ll miss the sunsets.
Working on weekends, and you’ll miss the games.
Life isn’t about building the biggest best business and getting results.
Life isn’t life without these moments of joy.
So, I asked myself, how can I structure my life to create more of these moments?
Again, not what I was expecting to take away from this week.
Where Does Your Joy Come From?
Does your deepest moments of joy, happiness, gratitude, fulfillment come from your work? Your family? Being outdoors? Working out?
Whatever it is, the more that you can structure your life around having these moments on a daily basis, the better your quality of life.
What’s one thing that brings you an insane amount of joy? Can you make room for that to happen today? This week?
Without a sense of joy and gratitude in our lives on a regular basis, it’s near impossible to share those emotions with others in your work.
Bring more joy into your lives, and you can then share more with those you seek to serve with your business.
Want to learn more about finding joy in your creative life? Check out my course Make Something on Craftsman Creative.
The first few modules talk about 6 Human Needs Psychology, which really means how to find joy and fulfillment in your life and work.