As I drove to a Social Media training session for the employees of an active adult community, I was thinking about the word Joy. I had been working on a project with my mastermind group and we each had to come up with a specific word that we felt best represented us.
So when I was asked to come up with my word, the first word that came to mind was humor. It seemed like the perfect word for me because I’m so full of it (humor that is). But when I really started to think about my word, I took it down to its core about what humor really meant to me. What was humor? It wasn’t about being funny, quirky or good at telling jokes. Humor was really joy.
Humor brings out the purest form of joy in all of us. It’s about sharing a joke with a friend over lunch. It’s about watching your child on stage singing off-key in the school play. It’s about laughing so hard that tears roll down your face and you can’t even remember what it was that you were both laughing about in the first place. It’s that feeling we get when we know that all is right with the world.
So here I was driving to the other end of town and thinking about joy. The workshop session was about developing blog content for the company’s blog but when I came into the room, I had immediately noticed their body language. Legs were crossed and their bodies were leaning away from me. The employees were already looking at their watches and checking their phones about 20 minutes into the session.
Sensing a problem, I stopped the workshop, pulled up a chair at the table with them and asked what was going on. They admitted they didn’t want to be there, they didn’t like the idea that they’d have one more thing to do for their jobs. One of the managers confessed that she was trying to find a way to cancel the meeting before we showed up.
Fortunately for me (and the client), I had joy on my mind. I turned the session around into an informal exchange where I had them answer the questions, “Who are you in this company?” “What do you love to do?” “What are you passionate about?”
I found that when I took the time to ask the right questions, the session turned away from the idea that we were adding more work to their already busy days. Their body language changed, arms were uncrossed, their faces glowed with enthusiasm, their bodies were leaning towards me. We started laughing. They started to enjoy participating in the training session.
The rest of our time flew by and we did ultimately develop the content for their blog posts. The employees who attended this session had discovered their voice. They worked through the different layers surrounding their jobs and unwrapped why they love their work. In the end, they found their joy.
So when we look at ourselves and why we became business owners, we know that we ‘felt joy’ for what we do. That internal joy is why we took a deep breath, reached down inside to find our strength and started our companies. It’s not work if you love what you do.
Take the time to ask yourself these questions:
What joyful thing do you wish you could experience? What’s stopping you?
“Your calling isn’t something that somebody can tell you about. It’s what you feel. It is the thing that gives you juice. The thing that you are supposed to do. And nobody can tell you what that is. You know it inside yourself.”
― Oprah Winfrey
Photo credit: Joy