During the holidays we are surrounded with messages about the power of joy. But why is joy looked at as only a seasonal thing? I think it should be lived year-round, and not just outside your professional life.
So where does joy fit in the business world?
“How we feel profoundly influences how well we perform at work and socially,” says my friend Randy Garn, managing partner at High Performance Institute. “Research shows that joy is one of the best predictors of the good life we all strive to achieve.”
Popular opinion holds that joy is a result of being happy. I think that’s backwards. Joy allows you to be happy. Happy feelings are temporary. Joy is much deeper than that. True joy is untouched by circumstance.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day,” said theologian Henri Nouwen.
Studies show joy can positively affect us physically and emotionally. The release of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in our brains increases feelings of elation and joy.
Poet laureate Mayo Angelou said, “We need joy as we need air.”
Brendon Burchard, another good friend and the bestselling author of “High Performance Habits,” uses notification triggers as a way to remind him throughout the day to “Bring the Joy.” When going through his work routine, his alarm reminds him to bring positivity to his day.
I couldn’t agree more. We cannot wait for circumstances to bring us joy. We must make our own joy.
Brendon says: “You have to intentionally decide to make whatever you are doing better. People accept the energy that is in the place. Why not challenge yourself to bring good energy to that space? Why not charge it up?
“Right now there is so much negativity in the world,” he added. “People are angry and complaining. If you don’t have joy, you can generate it by the way that you think and act. We are responsible for our emotions. It’s up to you to generate positive emotions, and joy is one of them.”
To incorporate joy in your life, Brendon cites four things that I’ll expand on:
A friend shared a wonderful message from his parish priest that helped him understand three things that might be getting in the way of a joyful life: self-pity, worry and complaining. These detractors are universal problems, not confined to any particular religion. If you recognize those tendencies in yourself, you can take action to eliminate them and make room for joy instead.
You have a choice, and I hope you can find the joy in your life not just during this holiday season but all year long. I promise you will notice the difference almost immediately. And so will those around you.
One of my favorite authors, Norman Vincent Peale, offered this gem: “Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep it yourself. In giving it, you will accumulate a deposit of joy greater than you ever believed possible.”
Mackay’s Moral: Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be filled with joy.
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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