“Joie de vivre” at work: illusion or attitude?

Isn’t it weird how sometimes the universe seems to be listening and just sends you exactly what you need? Lately I’ve been struggling to find my “joie de vivre” at work. I am typically a very happy, optimistic, and bubbly person (at home and work) but lately at work I feel an incredible sense of “blah!”

I’ve been questioning if what I am doing is what I want to be doing. And if not, then what’s next for me? What’s going to fill me with passion and fuel my life fire? Not that I am going to up and quit my job tomorrow but I think it’s healthy to consider where you are in life and ask yourself “am I happy; is this for me; where do I want to be in two years, five years, ten years; what’s on the horizon?” Just because this career choice was right for me five years ago, doesn’t mean it’s right for me forever.

Interestingly enough, last night I was having a conversation with my Mom about it and then this morning I come to work and voila, an email arrives in my inbox entitled “Joie de Vivre” at Work: Illusion or Attitude?” Faith, destiny…obviously a must read.

For me, “joie de vivre” is an overall sense of happiness that resides within a person – it’s the ability to smile with your heart. It’s free and it cannot be bought. It’s contagious and makes everything seem lighter. It’s what adds a pleasant feeling to most situations and enables us to make friends and strengthen interpersonal relationships. It’s a general take on life that’s uplifting and optimistic. But if it’s so wonderful, why do so many people seem to live without it and why does it seem to rarely exist in the workplace?

Is having “joie de vivre” a choice? Is it an attitude, a perception, and something we can control? Is it reasonable to expect to enjoy a certain “joie de vivre” while at work?

According to the article I read this morning, having “joie de vivre” is a choice that begins with acquiring and developing the appropriate skill and applying them to one’s self, relationship, family, and work. And it is something that is done in the same way that one learns to read and write.

Fabulous news – maybe I can find a way to get mine back.

Here were a few tips provided on how to bring “joie de vivre” into the work life:

  1. Find a Role Model who Exudes Joie de Vivre and be Inspired
    It’s possible to be inspired by the example of another person who exudes joie de vivre at work. Observe and try to imitate his/her reactions, interpersonal skills, the way he or she manages problems, etc.
  2. Use Effective Approaches
    It is important to avoid negativity and to remain positive at all costs. For example, try to avoid reacting when things are not working out. Apply different solutions until you achieve success. Set limits when it comes to uncomfortable situations, and take action towards that which is enjoyable. In short, focus on adhering to your choice to live joyfully and act accordingly.
    Furthermore, do not give too much time or attention to people who are toxic. Stay away from those who take up energy, create conflicts, and with whom you feel uneasy.
  3. Think about the Role of Enjoyment at Work
    Reflect upon the following questions:
    What are the things that make me happy at work, either on my own or with others? Once you identify these, make them happen as often as possible.
    Do I feel fulfilled? Am I doing all that I can to move in this direction?
    Am I in this job for the right reasons?
    Do I enjoy working with my colleagues? What am I doing to ensure positive relationships with others?
    Am I in harmony with my colleagues, my boss, and the organization?
    Identify how you really feel about your work life. Focus on the elements that are good for you and try to modify the things you do not like. Appreciate the positive parts and try to play down those that are not working.
  4. Make Sure to Take Care of Yourself at Work
    Joie de vivre builds on harmony between the heart, the body, the mind and the soul. Are these four dimensions of you in harmony when it comes to work? The more you tend to this, the more you will be able to experience joie de vivre with your colleagues.
  5. Take Responsibility for your Role in the Level of “Joie de Vivre” at Work
    Each person must facilitate the best possible conditions to experience joyfulness at work. Your colleagues should not have to bear the brunt of your feelings of frustration, disillusionment, disappointment, or exhaustion. When one is unhappy, others should not be subjected to this.

    It is a good idea to think about the image that you project to your colleagues. Are you awkward? Negative? Lazy? Constantly dissatisfied? Always frustrated? Remember that bad moods, negativity, defeatism, and discouragement are contagious. It is even said that three positive people are needed in order to counter one negative person!

  6. Influence your Colleagues
    In certain workplaces, teams deliberately choose to implement a code of conduct that encourages joie de vivre at work. It is defined according to the needs of the team. It encourages saying “no” to anything that is destructive to the work climate, and aims to support courtesy, levity, cheerfulness, playing things down, enjoyment, as well as self and team fulfillment.

So what do you think? Are these tips reasonable? Think they’ll work?

I found most of the points helpful and felt that would likely increase my joyfulness at work. Surrounding myself with happy people, avoiding negative ones, looking at myself and how I am contributing to the overall “mood” at work are all good suggestions. I also loved the questions to consider, which are much in line with where I am at. I also think pinpointing those things that do bring me joy at work and trying to ensure they happen as often as possible is key.

What do you do to create and maintain “joie de vivre” in your life – at work and/or at home?

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