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As we were preparing to open the online JoyPowered® shop, we selected items that power our joy. Specifically, we want to make the distinction that Items do not bring us joy, but they may power it.  Items may bring us happiness, but not joy.  Sound confusing?  Let’s delve into this further…

If you’ve read any of the JoyPowered® series, you’ll understand the concept of the difference between happiness and joy already. One of my favorite comparisons between happiness and joy was written by Sandra Brown in Psychology Today, December 2012:

“Happiness is external…. It is dependent on outside situations, people, or events to align with your expectations so that the end result is your happiness.

[Joy is] a spiritual quality that is internal…. Joy comes when you make peace with who you are, where you are, why you are, and who you are not with.”

So, items – like the candle, the journal, the earrings – might be external factors that bring us temporary happiness, but not internal joy. They can, though, help us create an environment that powers our joy; so, the candle itself doesn’t bring us joy, but lighting a candle may be a way for us to slow down, relax, take time for ourselves, and find a little joy in our day.

When we can find joy in our work, we are more engaged.  When we’re more engaged, we are more likely to stay with our organization, be more productive, and have more positive, creative, and innovative moments.  Do you find joy in your work when:

  • Helping customers resolve problems?
  • Researching technical issues?
  • Tackling challenging assignments?
  • Analyzing data?

At the end of each day, ask yourself, where and when did I find joy today?  Repeat it tomorrow.

Ask your team members the same question; then, think about how you can help each other find joy.  Too many times, we try to “bring” joy (pizza, ice cream, new swag) and expect them be more engaged.  There’s nothing wrong with fun swag and food – believe me, I love it! – but understand that it does not lead to joy and engagement, only temporary happiness.

This is a good time to also reflect about what brings you joy in all parts of your life; when, where, and with whom do you find your joy? Once you find it, how can you repeat it?

It might be as simple as taking time to pray with a cup of coffee and your favorite candle, strolling the beach with a loved one, writing in your daily journal about what you are most grateful for, or watching the sun rise or set.

Where do you find joy?  How can you be more intentional about finding it? What items, situations, or people power your joy?

Let us know what powers your joy; maybe we will add it to our JoyPowered® shop!


JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis, SHRM-SCP, CPA, is the author of four books in the JoyPowered® series, co-host of The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, and Founder of Purple Ink and the ink pad. JoDee has a passion for helping organizations and individuals discover their talents and do more or what they do well!

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