Day: December 7, 2020

V49: The Response of Joy

Looking to the dictionary definition of Joy, we see that it is “a source or cause of pleasure or delight,” not just “the emotion of great delight.” Joy is not limited to how we feel – it is an active response to the feelings of others. When we see others bursting with Joy, we can’t help but feel Joy too.

This insight is powerful when we start to think of Joy as a response and understand that there are infinite ways to elicit it. For some, it may be a scent, a memory, or an Experience. For others, it could be as simple as a smile, a certain person, or even the salty beach wind in our hair. No matter from where it comes, the incredible thing about Joy is that it actually has the power to make our lives and our work better. This week we dive deeper into creating Joy and the amazing response it evokes in ourselves and others.

Sharing Joy

Researchers found that sharing Joy with others increases our capacity for Experiencing Joy within ourselves. This study explores how shifting our focus to Joy and discussing these Experiences with our close friends and life partners can actually lead to a greater satisfaction with life in general. While writing Moments of Joy and Gratitude down in a journal is a great way to build this practice, the researchers found that there was an even greater increase in Joy if verbally shared with someone of value in our lives.

As we notice the Joyful moments witnessed within our organizations, share the goodness with others in our work and home lives. Not only will it brighten their day, it will exponentially increase our own appreciation of the moment.

Snap Your Joy

Our friends over at Soul Pancake created a giant polaroid camera, put it in the street, and invited passersby to “Snap Your Joy.” This infectiously Joyful video they created shows people’s expressions of happiness. Take a minute to watch – we bet you can’t help but smile.

Your expressions broadcast how you feel and can inspire others. What message are you sending the world today? It just takes a simple smile to spread Joy and lift others.

100 Ways to Joy

Writer Christian Wiman was so impacted by Moments of Joy that he dedicated an entire anthology to it. Joy: 100 Poems is a compilation of the varying experiences of Joy over the course of one’s life. Wiman selected the poems to include in the anthology with the Intention of exploring the minutiae of life through which the extraordinary is revealed. In an effort to spark readers to remember the many sources and meanings of Joy, the poems celebrate the everyday – for example, the “round jubilance of a peach” as a metaphorical symbol of the Joys of summer in Li-Young Lee’s “From Blossoms.”

From blossoms comes

this brown paper bag of peaches

we bought from the boy

at the bend in the road where we turned toward   

signs painted Peaches.


From laden boughs, from hands,

from sweet fellowship in the bins,

comes nectar at the roadside, succulent

peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,

comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.


O, to take what we love inside,

to carry within us an orchard, to eat

not only the skin, but the shade,

not only the sugar, but the days, to hold

the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into   

the round jubilance of peach.


There are days we live

as if death were nowhere

in the background; from joy

to joy to joy, from wing to wing,

from blossom to blossom to

impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

What simple Joys do we Experience every day but don’t necessarily record? How could we celebrate these Joys with our team members, patients, and guests?

Joy is the Solution

Feeling stressed? Give Joy a try. Kelly McGonigal, empathy expert, shares that when we increase our capacity for empathy, we increase our susceptibility to catch the Joy of others. When we see the good fortune of others, it can actually stimulate the reward systems in our brain which are linked to greater life satisfaction and peace of mind.

We have the power to decrease or eliminate stressors by opening our hearts up to the Joy of others. Shift energy in your everyday work. When you next conduct LOOKING rounds, intentionally LOOK for and spotlight the Joy of others.