My relationship with joy is fairly new. For much of my life, I spent time longing for things and exploring the places that hurt inside; I knew well what I wanted less of. What I wasn’t in touch with was what my joy felt like. Perhaps for the first time in my adult life, I am routinely overwhelmed by a state of peace and simple pleasure. This feeling is unfamiliar, but I know I want more of it.
When we pay attention to the joyful things we already have (and want more of), we are careful to not lose those things as we move toward change.
This week’s intention
The most common career mistake is to correct one problem with a new job, only to inherit a new set of problems when we get there. I’ve done this several times over my career – left a bad boss to work for a better one, only to find I hated the actual work of the new job. I’ve left a boring job to go to a soul-crushingly busy job. I’ve changed companies just because I needed more money, but found it hard to endure the hyper-competitive culture I had placed myself in. I could not take my attention off what was wrong, disappointing or frustrating long enough to consider what I already had and what I might want more of.
This week, we are revisiting the topic of change in our work lives. The first step toward change is obvious – to consider if we are even ready for a change in the first place. Is there room for change in our lives? But, the second step can seem rather counterintuitive because it pauses the process of change instead of moving us toward it.
My intention is to discover and connect with the things that bring me joy.
For me, my coworkers bring me joy. They are supportive. They are infinitely interesting and talented. But most importantly, they are genuine. I will never be content in a work environment that doesn’t have colleagues like this – and I learned that the hard way. They bring me joy.
As you continue to assess your current work life and your possible need for change, take time this week to reflect on what is bringing you joy right now. Take time to connect with joy, get to know joy and invite joyful experiences to hold your attention. If you journal, this is a great week to focus on the simple things you encounter at work that exhilarate you or give you a deep sense of comfort.
More on this next week!