What do you know about what brings you joy?

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Monday, December 24

You would think we would be subject matter experts on what personally makes us happy. However, just like we don’t always know what’s going on down in the basement of our subconscious, we also aren’t necessarily entirely aware of where our joy comes from—as in knowing what really accounts for our happiness over the course of any given day. Without that intelligence, it makes it hard to know where to reliably go find it if we want to be smart about joy.
 
But Nanci Miller, a project manager in the IS PMO Department, knows. A year-long participant in the 2018 joy experiment, Nancy logged her joy in her iPhone by the month. She recently started scrolling back through. Over and over a single theme consistently came up. Any guesses?
 
Puppies? Babies? Candy? Kindness? Funny stuff? Meaningful interactions? Chance encounters? Dunkin’ Donuts? A comfy bed? New socks? A clean house? The best parking spot? Fame and glory? A good workout? A job well done? Pretty clothes? Beautiful music? Facebook likes? A new series to watch? All good stuff, but not what does it most consistently for Nanci.
 
For Nanci, it’s nature. The great, wild drama playing out every day in the sky and on the ground, in the tiny shoots and in the boundless explosions. That’s what gets her. And now she knows. Now she looks for it. And when she sees the stars at night or the sunrise in the morning she finds herself saying, “Okay, this is my joy.” Then she feels fortified. She knows she’s gotten what she needs.
 
This week’s assignment is just that—looking back over our joy notes of the past eight weeks to identify the themes. Equipped with this knowledge, we can go into this week’s final holiday phase with a plan for finding the joys and plucking them up. The holidays can be hard—the hardest time of the year, actually. But no matter how dire our current situation this year, there is something to be grateful for, some way of seeing that will let in some light, as this stunning story from Happier Now, a book by Nataly Kogan, demonstrates. We are the chickens. We will pull the worms we see. There are undeniably the nasty tasting worms, but that does not mean there are no delicious ones to balance the bitter.
 
I’ll send out the link to the completion survey next week, the taking of which will secure you a spot in the prize lottery. Thanks so much for going along for the good ride. I had a great time and, as always, learned so much from participant reports from the field. I hope you had some fun, too, and made some discoveries about how to be happy.
 
A healthy, happy holiday to you and yours,
 
Elizabeth
 
Good Day Sunshine,