Keys to Cultivating Everyday Joy: LinkedIn Speaker Series with Chade-Meng Tan
February 7, 2018
Would you believe me if I told you that historically, how fit you were was believed to be the result of your genetics? The thought was that you were born with a certain level of fitness that couldn’t be enhanced - even with exercise. Clearly there was a misconception.
“Joy” is encountering a similar experience at this very moment. Some perceive joy and happiness to be things that we cannot develop intuitive muscle for over time. However, our most recent Speaker Series guest, Chade-Meng Tan would beg to differ. As Google’s former “Jolly Good Fellow,” he was tasked with with solving spiritual and mental unhappiness within the company. He recently took time to speak with us and share the simple task of “cultivating the mind” to access joy to in turn, develop happiness, productivity, and appreciation in all facets of life.
Meng’s insights can be applied broadly, but he emphasized that taking this joyful mindset at your place of work is especially beneficial. It only makes sense that the more joyful you are at work, the happier, more motivated, and productive you are.
“Joy is a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind - not a mood, feeling or emotion, but a state of being. Happiness is the broader sensation that you feel over time - joy is the building block of happiness.”
“Cultivating the mind” may sound like a tall order, but Meng insists that it is not. In fact, he not only assured everyone that it was simple, but offered advice for how anyone can train their happiness with a few easy steps for sourcing joy:
Easing into joy. First and foremost, putting the mind at rest is essential to attaining joy. This can be done with a practice as simple as concentrating on your breathing, and ultimately freeing yourself of stressful, worrying, and distracting thoughts. When the mind is clear, calm, and at ease, joy will arise. Calming yourself forces you to concentrate on the present -- not the future, which elicits stress, nor the past, which is where regret thrives.
Inclining the mind to find joy. Our lives are interwoven with an uncountable number of joyful moments that are simply overlooked - sourcing joy is just the practice of being aware of them. Whether it’s the sensation of having your first cup of coffee or just taking a step back to enjoy a gorgeous sunset, being able to train the mind to find joy interwoven in life can make the difference of a lifetime - literally.
Uplift the mind with goodness. Take time - even if just a little - to share, give, offer, and wish goodness and happiness upon others. In return, you’ll intrinsically enable inner joy. Wishing for joy upon others is a highly powerful tactic for cultivating inner happiness of your own.
In following these three simple steps to cultivate an acute awareness of joy, Meng is adamant that you’ll be equipped to enhance your approach to happiness and ultimately, life. Because with the added enhancement of joy….
Positive experiences become more positive
Neutral experiences become more joyful, because they will no longer be taken for granted
And negative experiences, or emotions of pain, become more manageable because the moments of unadulterated joy from within them will be identifiable
….and who wouldn’t want that?