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“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy”

Thich Nhat Hanh




Picture this; you stop for a cup of coffee, tired from a long day followed by a short night, stressed and in a hurry - you just need that cup of joe. Which cup of coffee is more likely to set your world right, the one handed you by a blank-faced, perfunctory server who is “nice enough” or the one served by someone whose smile is genuine and whose face is alight with joy?

During a recent coaching session a friend, fellow coach and client of many years confessed to me that she still struggles with charging a fee for coaching because it brings HER so much joy.

So I asked her “what is a coach who does not bring joy into the relationship worth?” She admitted that would have very little value. “So then,” I challenged her, “you would have to agree that it stands to reason that, assuming their skills and talents were similar, a coach who brought tremendous joy into the relationship would be worth proportionately more?”

Yes, she agreed, that seemed reasonable. Uh huh - I let that sink in for a few moments.

While coaching another good friend; author, speaker and interrogator extraordinaire, “Hello My Name is Scott” Ginsberg (whose 10th book is about to become available and he’s not yet 30!) this summer we talked about all the things that he had NOT been doing because of a situation in his life - things that brought him joy. He made a plan to reengage with those activities and coined the phrase “triggers for joy.” He soon “reported in” that “pulling his triggers for joy” let him break through what might have been a roadblock in record time.

In my keynote; “Igniting Your Light” I suggest that audiences connect with their personal passion and purpose to project a powerful presence, a presence that resonates with joy. That presence and the clarity of the message behind it can transform a person, a career or a business more quickly and more sustainably than any other factor.

In my last post, “So you say you made a resolution”, I suggested that New Year’s resolutions and goals that are grounded in things that bring YOU joy are more likely keep you moving forward toward your objectives.
In fact, I suggested that you focus on “outcomes that make you dance a jig and turn crazy cartwheels on the landscape of your mind.”

BUT - Remember that joy needn’t BEGIN with your business or your professional goals in order to BENEFIT your business or professional goals. That server whose attitude lifted your spirits before you even took a sip of that morning coffee may not have ENJOYED her tasks but she had a joy that she brought with her into her job. And her joy, regardless of the source, made her more valuable to your morning and therefore, to her employers, than the server who was simply performing her tasks and being “nice enough.”

Certainly “triggers for joy” that can be pulled by things you do in your work are powerful in building your value but living a life that allows you to experience joy adds to your net worth, regardless of the type of work you do.

In The Go-Giver, authors Bob Burg and John David Mann share the Law of Authenticity; “The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.” How do you make that gift MORE valuable? Add joy. Because joy cannot be faked. Enthusiasm can be faked, but joy, by its very nature, must be authentic.

Do you know what brings you joy? What makes your heart sing and ignites your inner fire?
I have realized that for me it is witnessing transformation. I experience that joy when I see a smile dawn on someone’s face, when I see a rose bush come into bloom, when I see the seasons change the landscape and when I see a client whose inner fire shows in their presence and when their business growth reflects the power that they are using to transform themselves. I connect to it though dialog, through music, through long walks, through networking, through meditation and through writing. I am privileged to have clients who are seeking to transform their professional success through personal transformation and who will let me partner with them in that process - that brings me the greatest joy of all.

So that is where I began my resolutions and goals for the new year, with a Joy List.

My Joy List:

In 2010 I will…
Make more people smile
Plant more roses
Take more walks
Play more music
Write more poetry
Reach more clients
Be more aware of the transformations that happen every minute of every day

What is on YOUR joy list? How will you ignite your fire in 2010?













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