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Choosing to be joyful

I know it sounds cheesy, but choosing to be joyful is truly a decision we make every day. 

I am 100% positive you know of at least one person that despite all of the awful things that may have happened to them, they’re still smiling. They seek to find silver linings and love no matter what. 

There’s a lady I had the pleasure to work with at my former job. Her husband had died (tragically of a heart attack in his 50’s), her daughter had been diagnosed with cancer (she was 28), and she had a scare with cancer herself. This lady ALWAYS smiles…always gives the BEST hugs and always has kind words to say. She has the most compassionate and loving spirit…but yet her life has been filled with tragic events. Regardless, she chooses joy.

Interestingly enough, I was on a call recently with a potential new client and one question they asked me was how do I stay joyful at work. The first thing that popped out of my mouth was this: I choose to be joyful. I choose to find the good. I choose to extend trust. When you do these things, your life can generally be more joyful. Pretty simple, but pretty profound too, right?

This organization has joy as one of their core values. Although there isn’t a validated measurement of improving joy at work (at least I couldn’t find anything!), I wish more leaders would think about how they can incorporate joy into their conversations, team meetings and daily work.

I found an interesting article on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s website. The article mentioned lots of survey tools and things you can do to measure joy. However, there were 3 key questions that stood out to me and are easy to remember…things your employees should be able to easily answer.

  1. Am I treated with dignity and respect by everyone in the organization?

  2. Do I have what I need so I can make a contribution that gives meaning to my life?

  3. Am I recognized and thanked for what I do?

The concept of choosing joy at work is more than just a happiness or satisfaction measure. People who find joy at work produce higher quality outcomes and don’t go looking for alternative employment. 

At the end of the day, we are all people…people who want to live with purpose and feel good about ourselves and the work we produce. If this can be easily achieved by acts of kindness and gratitude to your employees, you, my friend, just picked up the winning lottery ticket.

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