The Importance of Joy

Everyone seems to be talking about JOY!

Joy is in the air

At the start of 2019, Netflix launched a new show, Tidying Up, where Marie Kondo instructs families to declutter their homes by only keeping items that “spark joy.” (To learn more about how her Kon Mari Method can be applied beyond the home, check out my book note and an opinion piece Kondo wrote.)

I’ve also been reading Ingrid Fetell Lee’s delightful book, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness (via Amazon or IndieBound). Lee is a designer and writer who has spent 10 years searching for hidden joy in the material world.

importance of joy
My daughters knit these donuts. They bring me joy.

I met a lot of talented women who were not able to experience much joy in their day-to-day lives. This wasn’t surprising given that smart and caring women tend to take on a lot of responsibilities. They worked hard and they were hard on themselves.

What I’ve Learned about the Importance of Joy

But, through our work together, I saw how enjoyable activities helped them to…

  • Set the right goals and meet them
  • Embark on new and exciting projects
  • Make a lasting changes, and
  • Figure out what they want to do with their lives

Joy is not frivolous. It helps us be more productive, giving us boosts of energy. It helps us make decisions as well as surprising connections.

Joy also has lasting effects on our well-being. As Lee notes, “The power of the aesthetics of joy is that they speak directly to our unconscious minds, bringing out the best in us without our being aware of it.”

I’ve discussed how doing very small and enjoyable things can help lift your mood to build the momentum you need to figure out what you want to do in The Lighthouse Method.

In my article in Real Simple, I described knowing what you enjoy can help you be more decisive and quickly identify what to do or what to give up.

Both of these ideas are embedded in the worksheet I created to help you build habits that help to achieve your goals.

Your turn

Given the importance of joy, I’m really curious to learn what you’ve done and/or what you hope to do:

  • What small steps have you taken (will you take) to add more joy in your day-to-day life? At home? In your workspace?
  • How did you (might you) add more joy in the spaces you occupy?
  • What did (will) you do to commemorate celebrations and other joyous events?
  • How did (might) you share joy with others?