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JOY INWORK, FAMILY, ANDSPIRITUALITY
When you wake up on Monday morning ready to take on the day — rather than dreading it — that means you love what you do. You may still need a cup of coffee or two to get the day started, but you possess this feeling of positive energy. You want to go to work, see your co-workers, and get to it. When you can work diligently and passionately, your job is a source of joy. You feel as though you’re contributing to something that is worth your time and energy, and you know others will benefit from your efforts. This is what I feel while working at Mometrix, and a lot of that positive energy is due to my history with the company. One thing many people don’t recognize is that focusing on others is really important in order to gain that healthy perspective. Whether it’s through your work, your family, your friends, or complete strangers, much of your joy comes from dedicating time to others. To do this, you need to listen, be attentive, and validate them by performing selfless acts. Our 7-year-old daughter was in a performance of “The Nutcracker” last year. She’s a graceful dancer, and when she comes home from class, I say, “I heard you learned something new.” I ask her all about it, and she tells me and shows me. When I engage in what my daughter is passionate about, her energy and joy come back to me. It’s rewarding to validate her and what she loves. Our 12-year-old son is incredibly smart. He’s been learning Latin and getting into theater. Last year, he was the narrator in a performance of “Scrooge.” To top it off, he performed his narration duties with an English accent. I found myself blown away by his talent. After the performance, I asked him how he got so good. He was thrilled to talk about something that brought him joy, and we shared that enthusiasm together. It turns out he had been listening to “The Chronicles of Narnia” audiobooks, which feature a British narrator. Again, this comes back to validation. For many people, it’s rare when they receive validation for the things they do and are passionate about. Validation is important, and when you give it to someone, you get to be a part of the joy they experience.
Another source of my joy is God. So much in our modern lives is superficial, and leaves us feeling hollow. I look at God as an infinite source of true joy. Regardless of life’s circumstances, by following God, you fulfill a greater purpose in the larger story. I also find that when I don’t stay plugged in to scripture and prayer, it’s easier to get sidetracked with frivolous distractions. Frequently, I need to take a step back and relish those moments that really do matter. When it comes down to it, the key to experiencing joy is sacrificial love, pouring yourself into the lives of others. It’s about being selfless rather than self-absorbed. I always think back to something one of my managers from way back once said: “When you’re all wrapped up in yourself, you make a pretty small package.” My advice is to look for joy in whatever circumstances you’re in. Not everyone will find happiness in the work they perform, because everyone’s story is different. But when you make yourself available to it, keeping your eyes and heart open to appreciate others, joy will find you.
–Ja y Willi s
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