cheerful woman working on laptop and smiling

Leveraging JOY for Maximum Results in Your Business 

Leveraging JOY for Maximum Results in Your Business 

Are you getting the results you desire?

If you are a mid-sized business, it’s likely that you haven’t been getting the results that you want from your business lately. Mid-sized companies haven’t exactly benefited from the last decade’s economic progress. Per the study done by Computstat and published by the Harvard Business Review, the growth rate in profit, sales and assets has declined over the past 50 years and was lowest during the last decade ending 2019. However, due to growth in household income, GDP and several other factors, that same period was labeled as a decade of economic recovery. What a frustrating place to be!

There is hope – The facts about Joy

There are plenty of studies on the increased productivity of happy employees. Most research has found that happy employees are somewhere between 13% and 20% more productive. What would your business look like in 1 year if the employees were 13% more productive? What would it look like in 5 years if they were 20% more productive?  

Joy as the fuel

The key to leveraging the effects of joy in business is simple, but not always easy. When Joy is the fuel for your success, you are starting with motivation that everyone can get behind. Joy isn’t selfish, it isn’t profit focused and isn’t discriminatory. There are 4 key steps to using joy as the fuel to maximize the results in your business:

1. Permeate a Belief of Joyful Possibilities

The first step in making any lasting change is to start with the belief that the new outcome is not only possible, but also inevitable. Jumping into a plan of attack with a group of people (preferably leaders) in your company that believe deeply in your vision and possibilities that joy can have, will ensure that you have a solid foundation to build on.

2. Develop a Standard of Joy

A clear standard of joy, of which all employees are held accountable, is imperative to obtaining sustainable transformation to a culture that includes joy. For example a statement like, “We do all things through the lens of Joy”, helps employees filter their actions, reactions and elevates their performance. 

3. Design Habits that Support the Standard of Joy

Habits that are designed from this standard are more sustainable and thus can achieve better results. Are you starting to see how these all build on each other? It is key that each process is supported by the previous processes so that you build a pyramid of transformation that is not easily toppled.

4. Track and Celebrate the Results

The old adages apply here; “What you track gets done” and “What you celebrate increases”. Implementing fun and easy ways to track and celebrate your employees’ results will cement all the previous work and ensure that you develop a continuous cycle of joy.

How are you currently fueling results in your company? If you are an inspired leader in your company I would love to assist in your process. Join Robin Advisors and Joyely for a collaborative event to continue the conversation about leveraging joy to maximize your results!

Details Here

woman sitting in front of macbook

95% of workers are thinking about quitting their jobs – Survey

95% of workers are thinking about quitting their jobs – Survey

Anna Cooban – Jul 7, 2021https://www.businessinsider.com/labor-shortage-workers-quitting-quit-job-pandemic-covid-survey-monster-2021-7
  • Ninety-five percent of workers said they were thinking of quitting their jobs in a Monster.com survey.
  • Burnout was the most commonly cited reason for wanting to leave.
  • Two-thirds of workers felt job opportunities were available to them, and 92% said they’d consider switching industry. 

Nearly every single worker in a recent poll said they were considering quitting their jobs, with many citing burnout as the main reason.

Job site Monster.com polled 649 employed US workers on June 14, and 95% said that they were considering leaving their jobs, according to the results published earlier in July. A third of these people said burnout was the reason.

Worker burnout has rocketed during the pandemic — a recent Insider survey found that 61% of Americans felt they were at least somewhat burnout, and more than two thirds of respondents to an Indeed poll in March said they felt more burnt out since COVID-19 upended their working life.

The second-highest rated reason for wanting to quit, at 29%, was a lack of growth opportunities, the Monster poll showed.

A majority of Monster’s respondents, 66%, believed there were job opportunities available for them, and 92% said they were willing to change industries for the right role — a potential sign that workers are feeling more confident about their prospects in the tight labor market.

A record 4 million people quit their jobs in April, the highest number in 20 years, according to data from the Labor Department. Job quits rose the most in the retail sector and in professional and business services. A Microsoft survey conducted in January also showed that 41% of workers globally were thinking about quitting their roles. 

Some companies have tried to tackle worker burnout by offering paid time off to recharge. For example, dating app Bumble said in June that it would give all of its staff a week off.


Joy at Work

Joy at Work

Joy can be a powerful force. But what factors lead to joy, and how successful is the business world in cultivating joy in the workplace? To find the answers, Kearney sponsored a global survey.

Executive Summary

Joy can be a powerful force for business success. In any endeavor, success sparks joy, then joy fuels even greater success, in a virtuous cycle. Further, the shared experience of joy connects people as powerfully as any other human experience.

To help business leaders understand the opportunities and obstacles they may encounter when working to tap the practical power of joy, Kearney sponsored a global survey of 503 people (including more than 150 C-suite executives) working in companies with more than $2 billion in revenues. The survey explored:

•    Whether people expect to experience joy at work

•    How often they do, in fact, experience joy

•    Which factors correlate with the experience of joy at work

Finding: There is a “joy gap” in the business world. People overwhelmingly expect to experience meaningful moments of joy at work. Yet fewer than half say they actually feel high levels of joy in their workplace. This “joy gap” is most pronounced in companies more than 10 years old. 

Finding: Shared impact and higher purpose matter most. Correlation analysis suggests that employees who believe their “company makes a positive societal contribution” and who feel “personally committed to achieving the company’s vision and strategy” experience the most joy at work. 

Finding: Team dynamics are also important. Survey respondents who feel more joy on the job also more frequently report having the kinds of in-team experiences that visibly yield joy during team athletic competitions. 

Finding: The work experiences most strongly correlated with joy are also those holding the greatest room for improvement.

Joy and Success

The practical power of joy is clearly visible in the sports world. When a team performs at its awe-inspiring best, every player—indeed the entire arena—experiences a brimming ecstasy that lifts the team even further. Success sparks joy. Joy fuels further success. Everyone is caught up in the moment. 

Joy@Work Podcast

When’s the last time you felt real joy at work? Join host Alex Liu as what brings each of his guests joy.Listen

Joy can also be a powerful force for business success. Why? Two reasons. People universally relish the experience of joy, which makes it intrinsically motivational. And shared joy connects people as powerfully as any other human experience, uniting them in inspired and cohesive efforts to meet great challenges and realize unprecedented achievements.

To gain insights into joy at work, Kearney conducted a global survey that explored people’s workplace experiences across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. The sample included more than 500 executives and employees of various ages in companies with more than $2 billion in revenues, in a range of industries (see figure 1). 

Graph of The joy survey included works from various roles, regions, generations, and industries

Joy Drivers 

What leads to joy at work?

Making joy a priority at work

Managing Partner Alex Liu writes about joy’s intrinsic value to business in Harvard Business Review.Learn more

We first asked respondents to report how much joy they experience in the workplace. We then asked them to rate how much each of a series of statements reflects their own experience at work, so we could gauge which variables most notably correlate with feeling joy at work. In correlation analysis, a correlation coefficient of 1 means the two measured variables always occur together (perfect positive correlation), while -1 means they never do. For this study, any correlation measure of 0.40 or above was considered a significant degree of positive corre­lation (see figure 2).

Graph of Those who believe they are doing meaningful work are likely to feel joy on the job

As shown in the chart above, a range of factors correlate with the experience of joy at work. Above all, joy on the job stems from believing one’s work is truly meaningful. Employees who feel “personally committed to achieving the company’s vision and strategy” and who believe their “company makes a positive societal contribution” experience the most joy at work. 

Several team experiences also correlated with joy at a statistically significant level, most notably “Celebrating shared success within the team” and “Feeling strong bonds within the team.” 

Further, the factors most closely correlating with joy at work were largely consistent across organizational levels and generations (see figure 3).

Graph of The factors leading to joy at work were largely consistent across organisational levels and generations

The lesson? Crafting business cultures that more consistently engender such experiences can create a much stronger sense of personal interconnection, shared purpose, and heartfelt pride across the organization. 

The Joy Gap 

There is much work to be done, however, as the survey also points to a pronounced “joy gap” at work. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they expect to experience a substantial degree of joy at work, yet only 37 percent report this as their actual experience (see figure 4). 

Graph of Respondents indicated a substantial “joy gap” in their workplace experiences

A closer look at joy in athletics.Learn more

This joy gap is not confined to any particular generational cohort. For Gen X and Millennials (the vast majority in our sample), the joy gap registered at 57 percent and 44 percent respectively. 

Company age also appears to shape how much joy people experience at work, as participants from companies less than 10 years old (just over one-tenth of the total sample) reported substantially higher levels of joy than did people from older companies (see figure 5). This suggests that to reap more of the practical benefits of joy, legacy companies must be particularly diligent in cultivating the joy drivers identified above. 

Graph of Respondents from companies less than 10 years old reported higher levels of joy

Joy opportunity

A further comparative analysis suggests that the factors most strongly correlated with joy (noted above) may also offer the most room for improvement. Figure 6 compares how people who reported feeling lower versus higher levels of joy at work responded to the question “To what extent do the following characteristics reflect your current experiences in the workplace?” for each joy driver, using a 1 to 10 scale. 

Graph of The factors that correlate most with joy also offer the most room for improvement

The differences were largest in the areas most closely correlated with joy, pointing to opportunities for companies to focus their efforts to cultivate joy at work to the greatest practical effect. 

And as before, this pattern largely held true across organizational levels and generational cohorts (see figure 7).

Graph of Joy opportunities are consistent across organisational levels and generations


In sum, our survey found remarkable consistency in how people experience joy at work and surfaced a wealth of highly actionable opportunities for companies to cultivate joy.

Business leaders tend to think a great deal about success, but rarely about joy. Chances are, few are even aware of the joy gap in their organization and the resulting lack of interpersonal connection and team aspiration. Companies that prioritize joy in the workplace will be better positioned to apply the full power of their human potential to improving business performance.

This report is the first in a series of articles exploring joy in the workplace
Originally posted on kearney.com

Four team members expressing togetherness

How to Build a Successful Team

Original Post by Adam Bryant – NY Times:

Building a successful team is about more than finding a group of people with the right mix of professional skills. Over the course of interviewing over 500 leaders for Corner Office, I asked them all about the art of fostering a strong sense of teamwork. Their insights can help you lay the groundwork for a highly productive team that can communicate, cooperate and innovate in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

Make a Plan

You need a clear and measurable goal for what you want to accomplish.

Hiring Well Isn’t Enough

 “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.” — Jim Collins, author of the best-selling management books “Good to Great” and “Built to Last.”

If you ask enough top executives about their leadership style, you’re likely to hear a number of them say, “I hire the best people and get out of their way.” It’s a good line that makes sense at a certain level. Hiring the right people is the most important part of building a strong team, of course, and delegating to give people more autonomy is a powerful motivator.  

But managing a team is not that simple. Leaders have to play a far more hands-on role to make sure the group works well together and remains focused on the right priorities. 

There are six main drivers for creating a strong culture of teamwork – the things that, if done well, have an outsize impact. And the insights are applicable to any team or organization, from five people to 500,000.

Related Guide

How to Run a More Effective MeetingAnother meeting-filled day? Meetings don’t have to feel like time-sucks. With these tips and strategies, they can be efficient and productive. 

Create a Clear Map

Leaders owe their teams an answer to the same question that young children often ask their parents before setting out on a long drive: “Where are we going and how are we going to get there?” In other words, what is the goal and how are we going to measure progress along the way? 

And that may sound simple, but it is often one of the greatest challenges that teams, divisions and companies face. What does success look like? If you were to set up a scoreboard to track success over time, what would it measure? 

The trouble often starts when leaders start listing five or seven or 11 priorities. As Jim Collins, the author of the best-selling management books “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” is fond of saying: “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.” Determining these priorities and how they’re going to be measured is arguably the most important job of a team leader because most of the work that everybody does will flow from those goals. Those priorities have to be lined up as carefully as the trajectory of a rocket launch, because even the slightest miscalculation can take a team off-course over time.

Have a Shared Scoreboard

Another benefit of having a simple plan is that it creates a shared goal that will offset the tendency of people to identify themselves as part of smaller groups. Think of a football team, for example. There are many “tribes” within a team – offense and defense, linemen and receivers, running backs and defensive backs. But because the goal of the team is clear, and there’s an external scoreboard to track progress, there is a greater sense of “us” on the team than the “us and them” dynamic that can often divide colleagues in companies.

“Metrics are actually the way that you can harmonize a large number of people, whether it’s dozens or even thousands,” said Adam Nash, the former chief executive of Wealthfront, an online financial management firm, who is now an executive in residence at Greylock Partners, the venture capital firm. That way, he added, “when they’re on their own and making their own decisions, they can be empowered to make those decisions because they know they’re aligned with the rest of the company.”

In the absence of that simple, shared scoreboard, people will make up their own ways to measure their success, Mr. Nash added.

“If you have a company where everyone has their own ways of keeping score, you’ll get incessant fighting and arguments, and they’re not even arguing about what to do,” he said. “They’re arguing about how to keep score. They’re arguing about what game we’re really playing. That’s all counterproductive.”

You May Feel Like a Broken Record… 

Once you have a simple plan, you have to keep reminding your team of the priorities, even if it can feel repetitive. People often have to hear something a few times before they truly remember it. Marc Cenedella, chief executive of TheLadders.com, a job search site, shared a good rule of thumb:

“You say something seven times and they haven’t heard you,” he said. “Until they start making jokes about how often you repeat it, they haven’t internalized it.” 

Rules of the Road

You’ll need a set of values, behaviors and cultural guardrails so that everybody knows how to work together.

Create Your Team’s Culture

“I think it’s easy for people at many companies to become cynical, which then leads to politics, which can create a cancer that can topple even the greatest companies.” — Kathy Savitt, managing director at Perch Partners, a consulting firm.

All families have values, even if they aren’t discussed explicitly.  There are certain behaviors that are encouraged and discouraged — like rules of the road — for how everyone is going to (try to) get along and spend their time. 

Teams aren’t really that different. Pull together a group of  people to work on any project, and they will develop a culture of their own, and it will be as unique as the people in the group. 

As a leader, you can take a laissez-faire approach and hope the team meshes well over time. Or you can look for opportunities to set some shared guidelines for how  people will work together. 

There are no hard and fast rules for developing the cultural values of a team. In some cases, the founder of a company will issue them to employees. In others, top executives will turn the exercise over to employees to make it a bottom-up effort. 

…And Stick to It

The most important thing is for the team or company to live by their stated values, rather than just going through the motions of the exercise, with people earning promotions even though their behavior runs directly counter to the stated rules of the road. 

“I think it’s easy for people at many companies to become cynical, which then leads to politics, which can create a cancer that can topple even the greatest companies,” said Kathy Savitt, managing director at Perch Partners, a consulting firm.

A couple of other traps to avoid:

  • Don’t make your lists too long. Most people can’t remember more than three things day-to-day, and the lists don’t need to somehow address all potential human behavior, good and bad. Just focus on the things that feel unique to the group or organization, and are good reminders to keep everyone aligned and moving forward.
  • Specific is better than vague. Many lists of values share similar words, like excellence and integrity, but those broad notions can create problems of their own, said Michel Feaster of Usermind, a customer-engagement software firm. “The problem with values like respect and courage is that everybody interprets them differently,” she said. “They’re too ambiguous and open to interpretation. Instead of uniting us, they can create friction.”

Read More About Creating a Positive Workspace

What a Messy Desk Says About YouSeptember 18, 2013American Workers Say Internet Makes Them More ProductiveDecember 30, 2014Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?September 16, 2013

Show a Little Respect

If team members don’t feel respected, they won’t be motivated to bring their best ideas — and their best selves — to work.

The Effects of a Bad Boss

“We make everyone understand that the reason the culture works is that we have that respect. There is a comfort level and a feeling of safety inside our business.” — John Duffy, chief executive of the mobile-technology company 3Cinteractive.

Unfortunately, most of us have worked for at least one bad boss (and sometimes many of them) over the course of our careers. 

They often share many of the same bad tendencies. They don’t listen. They micro-manage. They’re not trusting. They see employees only as pawns to help them accomplish their goals. They point fingers rather than owning their mistakes. They steal credit for the team’s accomplishments. They dress people down in front of their colleagues. The list goes on and on (sigh).

That kind of treatment puts people in a defensive crouch and they start subconsciously checking part of their self-image at the door before they go into work. And it means that if they have an out-of-the-box idea for the team, they may think twice before sharing it, out of fear it will be dismissed. In this kind of environment, innovation is hard, if not impossible.

Set the Tone

It is incredibly important for leaders to set a tone, and model the behavior, that everyone will respect one another. 

Robin Domeniconi, chief executive of Thread Tales, a fashion company, told me at the time of our interview that she used the expression “M.R.I.” as a cornerstone of culture. 

“M.R.I. means the ‘most respectful interpretation’ of what someone’s saying to you,” she said. “I don’t need everyone to be best friends, but I need to have a team with M.R.I. So you can say anything to anyone, as long as you say it the right way. Maybe you need to preface it with, ‘Can you help me understand why you don’t want to do this, or why you wanted to do this?’”

John Duffy, chief executive of the mobile-technology company 3Cinteractive, said he established a zero-tolerance policy for disrespectful behavior. 

“We have absolutely clear discussions with everyone about how respect is the thing that cannot be messed with in our culture,” he said. “When we have problems with somebody gossiping, or someone being disrespectful to a superior or a subordinate, or a peer, it is swarmed on and dealt with. We make everyone understand that the reason the culture works is that we have that respect. There is a comfort level and a feeling of safety inside our business.”

It’s About the Team

A team is stronger when everybody delivers on their individual roles.

Accountability Goes Both Ways

“You just need people who follow through, and it’s a lot more fun when the people you work with do that.” — Brett Wilson, chief executive of TubeMogul, a video advertising software company.

Treating people with respect is part of a two-way street to help foster teamwork. At the same time, leaders also need to hold everyone on their team accountable for their work and role on the team. In effect, it’s a simple bargain that leaders can offer their employees: “I’ll treat you well, but we’re also going to be clear about the work you’re expected to contribute.”

At many companies, this culture of accountability is discussed explicitly. “I hold people accountable for everything that comes out of their mouth,” said Steve Stoute, chief executive of Translation LLC, an advertising and marketing firm. “Don’t say you’re going to do something and not do it, because in a company of this size, everybody is directly responsible for the person next to them.”

If You Say It, Do It

Brett Wilson, chief executive of TubeMogul, a video advertising software company, uses a smart phrase to signal the importance of being reliable at this company. 

“It’s a culture where we value the people who do what they say — they have a high ‘do-to-say ratio,’” he said. “You just need people who follow through, and it’s a lot more fun when the people you work with do that. You can count on them, and you can get by with fewer layers of management, and communication flows faster.”

Tobi Lütke, chief executive of Shopify, an e-commerce software company, developed a clever metaphor of a “trust battery” to signal to employees that everything they do can help or hurt their reputation for reliability. 

“Every time you work with someone at the company, the trust battery between the two of you is either charged or discharged, based on things like whether you deliver on what you promise,” he explained. “Humans already work like this. It’s just that we decided to create a metaphor so that we can talk about this in performance reviews without people feeling like the criticisms are personal.”

Have Conversations

Difficult discussions aren’t anyone’s idea of fun — but they are necessary for running a successful team. 

Stay On Your Side of the Net

“Having those good conversations is really 80 percent of being an effective manager.” — Seth Besmertnik, chief executive of Conductor, a search engine optimization company.

A big part of holding people accountable for their work is a willingness to have frank discussions about problems and misunderstandings that inevitably arise among colleagues. 

But the fact is that most managers go out of their way to avoid these “adult conversations.” It’s understandable. They can be unpleasant, and most people would rather deliver good news instead of bad. Also, you never quite know how somebody’s going to react to feedback. That is why problems are often swept under the rug, and maybe dealt with months later in an annual performance review.

One of the smartest tips for having such conversations is to make sure you “don’t go over the net.” 

It means you should never make statements that include assumptions about the motivations behind someone’s behavior. Instead, you should stay on your side of the net and talk only about what you’re observing and your own reactions and feelings. That way, it’s harder for people to get their back up because you’re not devising rationales to explain someone else’s behavior. 

Consider, for example, the small but important difference in approaches in the following paragraph: 

  • “I’ve noticed you keep showing up 20 minutes late, and it seems like you don’t care.” The boss has gone over the net here and accused the person of not caring. 
  • “I’ve noticed you keep showing up 20 minutes late, and it makes me feel like you don’t care.” Here, with just a small language tweak, the boss is staying on the right side of the net, and avoided an overheated conversation because the employee can’t argue about how someone feels.

This approach was first described to me by Andrew Thompson, the chief executive of Proteus Digital Health, who said he uses it as a counterweight to a natural tendency of human beings.

“People concoct all this imaginary garbage about why the person is doing this to them when in fact the person may not even realize that they’re doing anything,” Mr. Thompson said.

Set Expectations for Feedback

How often people give feedback is just as important as how they deliver it. Some leaders tell their employees upfront that they are going to give them frequent feedback. That way, employees are not so alarmed when the feedback comes, and they’re more open to hearing it and acting on it.

“A lot of bad patterns happen when you go for really long periods without giving people feedback, and it just bottles up,” said Seth Besmertnik, chief executive of Conductor, a search engine optimization company. “They’re so used to not getting any feedback that when they get it, it’s this huge deal. If you get into a rhythm of giving feedback, they get used to it.”  

He added: “Having those good conversations is really 80 percent of being an effective manager.”

The Hazards of Email

This last point may not seem as big a deal as the others, but email can have a corrosive effect on culture. 

The problem starts because emails often lack the tone and context to clearly signal what the sender is thinking. So a straightforward email can get misinterpreted, create anxiety or trigger an angry response. As a result, email can often damage the connective tissue that forms relationships among colleagues rather than help build it up. 

“If there’s a conflict and you need to resolve it, you cannot really do it in an email because people don’t know tone,” said Nancy Aossey, chief executive of the nonprofit International Medical Corps. “They don’t know expression. Even if they like you and they know you, they might not know if you were irritated or joking in an email.”

The problems really begin when people start an argument over email, she added: “Arguing over email is about having the last word. It plays into something very dangerous in human behavior. You want to have the last word, and nothing brings that out more than email because you can sit there and hit ‘send,’ and then it just kind of ratchets up and you don’t have the benefit of knowing the tone.”

Many leaders are aware of the dangers of email, and are explicit about the rules they expect people to follow. For example, a disagreement should never extend beyond two emails. After that, you have to pick up the phone, or do something potentially out of the ordinary — get up from your desk and go talk to your colleague in person. 

Simple … in Theory

If there is one overarching theme that threads through most of the points covered in this guide, it is that most problems on teams can be solved by colleagues being up front with each other, and having respectful, frank conversations face-to-face. 

That sounds simple, but just as with the art of distilling complex goals into a clear, three-point strategy, simple is often very hard. 


About the Author

Adam Bryant is managing director of Merryck & Co., a leadership development and executive mentoring firm. An 18-year veteran of The New York Times, he created the Corner Office interview series and spoke to 525 chief executives about how they lead. He is also the author of two books, including “Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation.”

Twitter: @AdamBBryant

jumpshot photography of woman in white and yellow dress near body of water

The Origin of Joy: What Happened?

The Origin of Joy: What Happened?

What happened? Well, I think we have lost sight of what joy is, to some extent. We search for joy all around us, living in a state of frustration because the world is not giving us what we need, when really, Joy is not something to be found but something to be realized within.

For most of my life, I associated joy and happiness as one and the same; they were synonymous to the best of my knowledge. But what I recently learned is that happiness and joy are, in fact, not the same, and the way that these two concepts are used interchangeably, as our world continues to do, has made it difficult to truly know one from the other.

Here is the breakdown:

Happiness is a feeling, typically provoked by something that happens to us. Happiness is ultimately an external experience and lasts temporarily.

Joy, on the other hand, is a choice. Joy is a conscious commitment we make to embody enjoyment, gratitude, inner peace, and/or contentment for what exists in the present moment. Presence is key. Joy is a place inside each of us, a state of being, acting as a reservoir, always present if we choose to access its beauty and energizing power. 

“Joy is the dynamic aspect of Being.” – Eckhart Tolle

If joy is inside all of us and is solely an aspect of Being, it would make sense that joy has existed for as long as humans have existed. The origin of joy lies within the origin of humanity. But then I wonder, why does it seem we are experiencing less and less joy in our current culture? Where is the joy in depression rates spiking, suicide numbers climbing, and epidemics like obesity, heart disease, and cancer as common diagnoses? What happened?

The evolution of technology and industrial advancements have had an impact on the decline in joy that we perceive around the world. With digital technology steadily blending itself into the human experience, people are constantly being fed images of what a “joyful” life should look like through TV shows, commercials, advertisements, social media influencers, etc.

Joy is disguised everywhere as something we should be looking for outside of ourselves, so what do we do? We acquire all of the ingredients that we’ve been told will create a perfect recipe for a joyful life. We experience happiness, but only for a moment in time. Many of us soon return to states of frustration, irritation, stress, and depression even though we have acquired the things that have been advertised to us as JOY. Then where is the joy?

From the outside, many people seem to have everything they could possibly need! But what about on the inside?

Put simply, joy is something we will never obtain out in the world. Joy is not found in the bigger, better, shinier, and sparklier things IF the intention is to achieve joy from acquiring these things. Joy is not a means to an end. These aspects of life can inspire great amounts of happiness, but they don’t actually bring JOY. We bring joy into these aspects of life. We are the origin of joy.

“Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.” – Eckhart Tolle

When I first read this quote from Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” I had to re-read it multiple times. The statement, “Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you,” reframed my understanding of joy, especially in the materialistic, consumeristic world we live in.

We have lost sight of Joy’s true essence and origin, and I believe that is why we are looking for it in all the wrong places, thus, experiencing higher levels of undesirable life situations and dangerous health conditions. Joy is an internal experience, not an external experience. Joy is being present and enjoying what you have, what you do, and all that is. The world does not provide Joy to us, we provide Joy to the world.

Joy is in everyone; it’s international!

There are studies conducted such as the “World Happiness Report” and “Happy Planet Index” which both measure happiness across the world based on the Gallup World Poll, which is the most comprehensive and farthest-reaching survey of the world, tracking human development worldwide. The World Happiness Report gathers its research based on six main factors, including levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption. The Happy Planet Index gathers its research based on wellbeing, life expectancy, inequality of outcomes, and ecological footprint. Observing the data from all categories, the Nordic countries typically rank in the top ten out of all countries in the world, according to the 2020 World Happiness Report.

These reports focus mostly on external circumstances and conditions of living which equate to certain levels of happiness. This caught my attention! If I move to Copenhagen, Denmark will I be happier, more joyful? If my goal to move to Copenhagen was to experience a happier life, moving would be a means to an end. Going where happiness is said to be will not make me more joyful. Why? Because Joy is an internal experience and happiness is an external experience.

You don’t have to move to the Nordic countries to experience joy. You can travel anywhere in the world and bring your joy with you, because you have the power to allow joy to flow into all that you do, be it in luxurious travel, buying a new car, a beautiful home, designer clothing, or any material goods. Joy flows in the present moment, in true enjoyment of all that is.

Joy is not something to be found or achieved, but something to be realized and chosen.

This is a movement, as people become aware of their own power to cultivate this inner joyous state of being that exists within themselves. This is going on all around the world as more and more people begin to truly realize and distinguish Joy from Happiness. We are remembering, collectively, together, that Joy is our choice and no one can take that away from us.

Happiness does not cause joy, but happiness is an effect of being in a joyous state.

Internationally acclaimed psychologist, author, and survivor of the Holocaust, Edith Eger, said, “Today, I have a joy that is within me that I cherish so much because I don’t have to wait for anything to come from the outside.”

You are the origin of Joy. Know it, believe it, feel it, allow it.

Article originally posted on Joyley.com