As we go about our everyday business, often sprinting to meet deadlines, hopping from one call to another – we often forget to take a step back, and think about what really brings us joy and meaning in our lives. But especially after a year of heavy news and uncertainties, and the ever-growing hamster wheel of busyness, we believe joy is essential.

Making the case for joy:

Joy incorporates the most essential aspects of a positive daily work life. A focus on joy is a step toward creating safe, humane places for people to find meaning and purpose in their work. Joy also has incredible powers. It sparks creative energy, which is essential for the way we work, and is the force that drives us to be inventive, imaginative, and solve hard problems. It creates a sense of purpose, and fulfillment and, particularly when sharing joy with other people, creates connection and a sense of belonging.

On an individual level joy stems from being fully present, living ones authentic self and believing one’s work is truly meaningful. There are three conditions that we want to focus on to help us foster the experience of joy:

  • The first is having a support system, clarity of direction and achievable goals. This can come in the form of having the right people around you, who energize you, or the form of writing a to-do list, or setting deadlines for yourself to create the right amount of structure to feel accomplished when the task is complete.
  • The second is leaving space for your daily rituals, like taking a daily walk, and respecting your personal rhythm and integrating that into your work.
  • The third condition is inspiration. Inspiration can come from conversations with others, music, reading, being in nature, visiting a museum or leaving your everyday context, and is often connected to experiencing a state of flow. Making time for what inspires you is a key condition that helps to spark joy.

Despite the myriad benefits of joy – and the obvious incentives – we often don’t prioritize it. So, as with any goal, the first step to a joyful life is to make it a priority to build our capacity to feel and express joy.

With this Spirit of Joy Planner and group exercise, we want to create space for joy, and plant the seeds for building a culture that takes joy as a key component.

Disclaimer - What joy is not: Given the current state of the world, we want to be mindful about the way we speak about joy and would like to point out what joy is not. Joy is not about being toxically positive or blind happiness, it's, if anything, a practice anyone can access through simple reflection. It will not solve many external problems in the world, but it can be a fuel for us to start internally.

So, what can we do to invite joy back into our working lives? With this planner, we are zooming out, and focus on bringing joy back into our lives.

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