Joy is a funny thing, we all know what it is, and we can usually tell when people are experiencing joy. Many of us feel too little joy in our lives. It seems far too easy to get caught up in all the duty of our adult lives and lose the joy that we had when we were younger. For the last year, I have been focussing more on the things that bring me joy and trying to help people around me find their joy. The funny thing is that I cannot tell you how to find your joy, I can only ask you to think about what brings you joy and tell you what brings me joy.
I am very fortunate to have built a job out of things that bring me joy. There are still plenty of parts of my job that are not joyful. I doubt any business owner finds joy in doing their accounts and I know that I spend way too much time in planes and airport lounges. It would be naïve to expect every part of work to be joyful. But even in airport lounges, there is joy, chatting with a well-known bartender in the United lounge at SFO is one example. Merely knowing how to get to the right lounge at Houston Bush airport is a source of pride, although there is little joy there.
I have to say that the vBrownBag crew has been a source of joy since I first met Cody Bunch sitting on the floor of a hotel room at VMworld US in 2011. I remember the giggles that Damian Karlson and I got as we stuffed swag into the “vBrownBag of Awesome” before VMworld 2012. I really enjoy seeing new presenters at vBrownBag TechTalks, very nervous before their first public presentation and then lost in their passion for their topic a few minutes into their presentation. I get a lot of joy from the success of my friends in the community, particularly vBrownBag crew who have moved up in their careers. Every time I read one of Emad Younis’s articles about VCSA I remember him ditching me on a tourist bus in Barcelona to meet with people that lead him to that job. I get a real buzz from the occasional person who says Hi and Thanks for vBrownBag or AutoLab, usually out of the blue. Most of all I enjoy that vBrownBag has enabled community members to achieve their potential.
I also get lots of joy from my life in New Zealand. It is secure and peaceful here, our second woman as our national leader (prime minister) has just delivered a baby while in office, the pregnancy was announced using a Maori word that most New Zealanders understand even though little Maori language is taught in school. I find joy in walking away from my home office to have coffee with my wife or visit my daughter in the next city where she is studying. I even find joy in sitting in a public library writing this article.
Looking for the joy in your life is part of being thankful for your life, which in turn is a significant element of happiness. I suggest that you think about what brings you joy and seek out those things. Also seek out the ways that you can bring joy to others, thoughtfulness for others is another element of happiness.
© 2018, Alastair. All rights reserved.