In childhood, it’s easy to get joy from simple things. Sometimes memories from those times make us sad when we realize how happy and carefree we were. It’s becoming harder to enjoy things when you grow up and your responsibilities expand. To reclaim those moments of joy as an adult, you need to learn how to enjoy things in new ways, and sometimes it takes time and effort to get there.
I had a great collaboration with Lorenzo Flores and Chris Stark from the “Hacking your leadership” podcast. On that amazing show, Lorenzo and Chris share their experience to help you become an effective leader who people never want to leave.
We were discussing the topic of joy. When I hear the word “joy”, I think about the choice of being in the moment and really training yourself to be in the moment as much as possible. That takes practice and a lot of time. Lorenzo finds joy in seeing people grow and challenge themselves to be better. For Lorenzo, joy is not what you like about your job, it’s about finding joy in what you’re doing every day.
People tend to focus on the things they don’t have or the things they need to do to get better. Some elements of it are social media-driven. There’s this constant poking of what somebody else has and what you don’t have, or want to achieve. That plays out in how we see ourselves. When we look in the mirror, we tend to see a lot of our flaws. This stops us from considering and thinking about “What do we enjoy about ourselves? Are we proud of ourselves? What are the things that we’ve done, where we have surprised ourselves in perseverance and grit, exceeding our own expectations of different things that we’ve done in life?”. We tend to focus on what we don’t have, what we need to work on, instead of thinking about what we do have in the work that we’ve done to get to this point.
If we’re talking about work, it’s important to make sure you’re chasing development and not a title and that you’re not turning mile markers into milestones. Because that’s what happens in careers. We think that once we have this title, or once we’re doing this work, now we’ve made it. It’s about the process of continuous development and not about reaching a particular goal. There’s always another level we can achieve, and focusing on the process brings much more joy and a sense of fulfillment than the constant chase of some achievement.
When we grow and develop, we have the power to change our reactions and behavior from destructive to more healthy. This power is continuous work on yourself and for that, you need to stay on the path and actually learn to enjoy it. It’s about accepting that it’s a journey and enjoying it. Sometimes there has to be a little bit of blind faith, but if you’re finding joy in what you’re doing, even if it’s frustrating or tough, it’s a lot easier to fuel that progression and movement down the right way. Growing can be painful, exhausting, and frustrating but sometimes it’s what we need to go through to become a better version of ourselves. Our inner compass can guide us here. It lets us know how every event, every action of ours contributes to our bigger goal and purpose, and how that aligns with our values.
To learn more about the topic, listen to the whole episode of the Genius Leadership podcast with Lorenzo here.
Stay tuned and be genius!