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The JOY of  work?

penguin love my job

joyI recently watched ‘Sunshine on Leith’, described as a feel good movie, I found myself grinning at large chunks of the film. The same expression I saw on my father-in-law’s face as he watched his younger son with newest grandchild on skype. How often do we feel real joy like that? We often talk about job satisfaction or enjoying our work, but when does it give us that real boost of endorphins? And should it?

Well work should give you both satisfaction and joy but for it feel ‘joyful’  I think you have to release some of your inhibitions, to understand that it is OK to take pure pleasure in a  job well done, in a colleague triumphant and a customer satisfied. I think we fail to find joy in work because we don’t savor the moment.. we rush on by to find the next customer, the next task… So my advice for 2014 – savor the moment!

It’s an exercise I often set people, spend a few minutes each day focusing on what went well. Get a nicely bound notebook (such a Luddite, I know) and make a note of what went well. Turn your focus and attention, not to what you have to do tomorrow but to what you have done today. On the minutiae of your accomplishments and observations.  I often wonder if daily prayer is not an excellent way of doing this but you don’t have to be religious or address your comments to God. Just notice what went well and allow yourself to smile. Keep your book in private place and revisit it often – especially when you feel down.

We know that our brains are very selective about what they notice and what they pay attention to. Your brain finds evidence to support the mental map it has made of the world. But the map is not the territory and if you send this fantastic, sophisticated tool on a mission to find things at work that make you smile and give you joy.. then it will succeed. Joy can come from (as the cheesey song says) raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens… if we stop and notice those things and allow ourselves the possibility of joy. So savor your moments and capture those things that make you smile.

And if you would like to see what made me smile..  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOAv4KYnweo, this is an amateur video of the screening but shows the exuberance of the flashmob dancing at the end of the film. Now being part of a flashmob that would make me smile… just how do you find one?

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