Episode 077: How to Practice Joy

Today we’re continuing our Life 2.x series in how to iterate your way to a second life.  Where do we start?  With joy.  On today’s episode, we’ll discover how to practice joy, especially when it doesn’t come naturally.

(c) Ann Thompson
Life is worth celebrating.

(c) Ann Thompson

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – What’s Your Definition of Done?
Random Riffs – Happiness
Feature Segment – Life 2.x: How to Practice Joy

Today’s Quote

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.  –Joseph Campbell

Rhythm of Life – What’s Your Definition of Done?

In Agile Software Development, we often use the term “definition of done”.  You may think it’s silly, but it’s actually critical to the process. It includes quality measures, as well as defining what is complete enough for this version.

I realized I needed to apply this to other aspects of my life.  Particularly things that don’t ever seem to be done – like clearing leaves.

If I define done as perfection, I will be perpetually frustrated.  I have to find a definition I can live with.  At the same time, defining done can be challenging.  Different people may have different opinions.  Even when challenging, it’s important.  Otherwise, you might feel like it’s NEVER done.

Random Riffs – Happiness

The musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is based on your favorite Peanuts characters.  In song after song, the typical stuff befalls Charlie Brown.  The football, kite, school.  He even strikes out at a crucial point in the baseball game.

At very end of play, the mood changes.  One at a time the characters step forward and sing a song about happiness.  In the end, what really matters are the simple things.  And love.

Feature Segment – Life 2.x: How to Practice Joy

This is the 3rd episode in our mini-series called Life 2.x – How to live the next chapter of your life or career, and experiment as you go.

In Episode 076, we talked about fact that happy people aren’t happy all the time.  They have a higher joy set-point.  We discovered there are 3 reasons to start with joy.

  1. Resilience
  2. Contagious
  3. Success

How do you get joy?  Does it just zap you, like a lightning bolt?  I wish!!! Nope, it happens through practice, especially if it’s not your natural state, like me.

Here are 3 practices and 1 bonus.

  1. Gratitude.  You may have heard this a zillion times.  Because it’s true.
  1. Grace.  Also called forgiveness.  Toward yourself and others.
  1. Grins and Giggles.  Humor makes a huge difference.  It doesn’t have to be knee-slapping, joke-telling.  Just humor.  Fun.  Play.  Any and all.

While watching a video about our eyesight, I pictured joy working the same way.

Bonus:  Gang Up.  Get a group of people to encourage one another.  It’s harder to do alone.

So…practice.  Not when you feel like it.  All the time.  Especially when don’t feel like it.  And bring other people with you.  It’s so worth it.

Today before this podcast ends, decide to take ONE ACTION to enhance your joy.  Practice for when circumstances get hard and you need it.  What’s it going to be?  You choose. Make a commitment in the comments. Then do it.  You can even share your funny story.  Add to the comments or send me an email.  I might share some of the best ones on a later episode.