I am a sucker for a good story. Basic story-telling should grab the listener early on, keep that...
Coming Up - Joy at Work, Home and Within Self
Afresh. That’s the word for 2023. Yup, I’ve decided. Feel free to use the word in sentences throughout the year. “Hmm, I am tired of these clothes. Maybe if I pair things afresh, I won’t hate everything I own in my closet.” “The marriage is stale. The relationship needs some life afresh.” “While I appreciate the dinner you’ve made, looking at your recipes afresh would be a welcome change.” (Let me know how that one goes)
There are many ways to use the word. It’s applicable at home or work, with friends or family, and for pleasure or for business. It’s the starting point for change. A review of what’s happening and how to revitalize it, whether by approach or adoption. It’s the challenge to look at what’s coming up and infuse enthusiasm into it. Afresh is intentional.
When we look at work process, for instance, how can we see it afresh? The complacency that settles in due to the routine of work, whether onsite, at home or remotely, affects what we think of work. We can become stagnant and hate the fact that we’ve become stagnant.
The joy of work is different than being happy at work. Ouch. That one might sting a bit. We don’t mind being proactive at work if we’re happy, but if we’re unhappy or marginally connected at best, then we don’t have the energy or desire. We want to be inspired first. Someone needs to come along, usually a manager or business leader, and help me get happy (again, if ever). Once that happens, then I am most willing to approach work afresh.
Truth be told, that’s not likely to happen. Your happiness is not a commodity that managers trade well. Many managers are working out their own happiness, and the ebb and flow of emotion is not a competency taught or practiced in most (if not, any) courses of study. Why would we place such a burden into the hands of management? Further, why would I want a manager to have a say in my happiness?
This is where seeing joy afresh is helpful. Joy is mine. I get to focus on this state of being, distinctly different than happiness, and determine where my stability comes from. When I approach work process afresh, I don’t want to manufacture a feeling, but rather, I want to operate out of what’s coming up in me. My joy is mine. I am anchored in truths that encourage joy in my heart and mind. Now, when innovation and creativity are asked of me, I am eager to do so because it means something to me as a result of who I know I am. I have great joy in that. Happiness comes and goes, but joy doesn’t have to.
The challenge of joy is that we want to feel it every day. Listen, I love my three kids. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. They are remarkable adults and make me proud at every turn. BUT, they don’t live with me anymore. They are off in college, grad school and beyond, making their own way, living in their joy, even when they don’t feel happy (it’s finals time!). I don’t live daily in state of their presence, but it does not diminish my joy. I may miss them. I may not be happy at moments because of that; however, my joy in who they are and how I’ve been allowed to be a part of that truth is mine, regardless of the circumstances. That’s how joy should operate in your life. Take the time to look at joy afresh.
Our organizations need us to push for fresh looks. The messaging of 2022 included a push to bring your whole self to work. Some of you might not be excited about that, not because work shouldn’t ask for that (that’s an entirely different blog post!), but because you haven’t been thrilled with who you are. That’s okay. Today is the day to approach yourself afresh. It’s not about resolutions, but it’s about commitment, habits to encourage those commitments and surrounding yourself with people who will love you through those commitments.
The next year is yours. Every year is yours, though. Don’t allow another day to go by without reflection and a path towards patterned change in your life. Yes, work needs you to be your healthiest. Your relationships need that, too. You need you to be your stabilized best. It’s time for life afresh.