noun a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
It’s a word that’s been top of mind lately. As authentic leaders we strive to provide an environment where those we lead can perform, grow and reach their purpose, or meaning.
I have had an internal debate about whether I look for purpose or meaning. Whichever one it is I strive for, lately I’ve noticed that unless something brings joy, I’m hesitating.
A colleague and I engaged in a coaching conversation today. We challenged each other on blocks that people have to finding joy. It is the nature of the work? Is it too much work? Or is it just a mindset.
Work won’t always bring us joy. Sometimes it’s just hard. Our personal objectives won’t always bring us joy. Getting there can be hard.
But on the way through I reckon we should be finding some joy. Not just from reaching a purpose, finding a meaning, or even reaching a goal. But on the way through.
Reminding ourselves “these are the good old days“. Making it a daily challenge to find the mindset that brings joy to us is not easy, but worth a try for our own sense of purpose or meaning, and our teams.
I woke up early this morning for a Sunday and even earlier ‘cos it’s the end of Daylight Saving. I read quite a bit at 6.30 this morning from Zite – the on-line magazine you tailor to suit your interests (and prejudices too no doubt!) – including a piece about happiness and the need for us all to play without a goal. Like kids do. And on your hands and knees sometimes.
Martin Seligman, the author of “Authentic Happiness” is quoted as saying the three pillars of mental health are love, work and play.
I’ve seen an awful lot of work lately, come to think of it I always have. Why do we work so hard? Or you might think work so poorly that you have to spend way too much time at work. Which could be true. Work can be play of course and can bring satisfaction.
If, on the other hand we’re working hard for money because we believe at one level that that will bring happiness then it might be worth thinking about Martin Seligman’s other work on positive psychology. He talks about three life states: the pleasant life (things) the good life (discovering our unique strengths) and the meaningful life (finding a meaning for our life greater than just us).
Money gives us the pleasant life. Work gives us money. But neither can give us the good life or the meaningful life on its own.
An extra hour gave me some play, a hint of the good life (whether it’s any good or not I’ve blogged again!) and even some time to reflect on meaning.
I’m loving the extra hour!