I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine recently over cocktails. The best conversations start when having cocktails with friends don’t you think?
She said that she had been asked whether she had joy in the work she did by one of her bosses. That started an interesting conversation.
Its not often we are asked that. More likely it’s: Is the job going well? The job all that you thought it was? Are you happy at what you do? and so on!
It started my mind thinking what is the meaning of joy and is it the same as being happy and how do we measure it?
So I did some research, asked some people and it seemed that most interchanged the words automatically and then I came across a great blog by@briancromer, which gave me the answer to my questions and at the same time offered a practical way to measure Joy.
Brian made the observation that “Frequently these two words, joy/happiness, are used as one and the same. While they do share some characteristics, they are actually different.”
He states that happiness is an emotion usually directly related to circumstances that are currently happening. So when the circumstances are good and going our way, we feel happy. On the other hand, when we do not get what we want, or when things do not go our way, we feel sad and are not happy. “
All these are temporary and bring temporary emotional happiness, or a state of unhappiness.
On the other hand Brain says that ”Joy is something entirely different from happiness. Joy is attitude of the heart.” I Like that!
Joy is something that lasts; happiness is something that is temporary. When happiness fades away, joy remains.
Joy is a state of mind. It comes from within, and cannot come from anywhere else. So we can control it and is a key part to the shadow we cast as a leader.
It seems therefore that to feel the emotion of Joy you must be in the present and the power comes from within. Not concerned or thinking about the past or the future.
When conducting my coaching and mentoring work I have to prepare to be “ fully in the moment and in the present-zone”, in other words be there for the person without distraction and give fully of myself.
I get it! but how do we harness this source of engagement, and how do we measure it? Then I read a comment from Sean White one of Brian’s followers who said that
“Happiness is like a thermometer that changes based on the environment around it. Joy is a thermostat that we can learn to set and will effect the environment around it. “ ( and is the foundation of who we want to be)
So there we have it the measure!
“The temp-thermo tool!” as our personal Joy and Health Check.
This is something that we can all use to measure our Joy whether in our place of work or worship or with our friends and all relationships – after all when we get mad at something our temp goes up to red!!!
Not so good for clear thinking or our emotional health.
Check whether we are truly where we want to be in our heart, or giving of our best, and being the leader we want to be.
So next time we feel our temp rising lets check it against that thermostat! Lets stop and check it against the temp-thermo tool!