A Word for the Coming Year: Joy


I sat down in the stillness of the early morning, today, December 31, 2020 to write a few reflections in my journal, and after partially completing my thoughts, I decided to bring them here to the blog – to share with you as peer reflection.

About 1-2 months ago, I worked out an info-graphic to highlight some of the essential keys to resilience (above). One of the things that I discovered in the process of constructing this illustration was the interaction of emotion (emo) with all of the various areas. This has led me to contemplate how we can keep our emotional capacity up, so as to enable the various aspects of resilience.

Brief note: emo is connected to each area with bi-directional arrows – signifying that emo is spent and accumulated, in each area, depending on context / situation.

In any event, my reflection this morning took me to the word, “joy”.

Webster’s dictionary defines joy as: “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires”.  I started to breakdown the definition into bite-sized pieces (a regular habit I use for calibration of a principle in my life):

  1. Emotion (cool, as EMO is what I am looking to understand)
  2. Well-being (thoughts turn to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs)
  3. Success (relative to what I desire and work toward)
  4. Good Fortune (relative to a blessing outside of my control)
  5. Possessing what one Desires (In this definition, joy may be signified by “happiness”, but it may also be “contentment”, and/or even “peace”)

The next note I wrote in my journal was, “No matter the means or pathway (whether I worked for it, or it arrived otherwise) what has given me a sense of well-being and satisfaction in relation to the desires I have in life?”

I was surprised to quickly compile a list of a dozen items, with very little effort expended; they simply flowed. I believe that what I came to realize through doing this exercise is important to note: the evidence to support joy exists, but I am not always aware of its existence. Therefore, it seems that joy is something that I must contend for; to struggle and strive to recall all of the foundational reasons for joy that exist.

These reasons may be slightly different for each of us, for they will be found as items that are in alignment with what we each value as individuals.

Suggestion: Find a quiet space and moment to compile your own list – then send me a note on what you discovered about your reasons for joy in the coming year.

Be blessed in deep abiding peace!

David E White - Expanding Your Leadership Resilience