The Orbit of Enjoyment

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If you just had a better job, made more money, and got a bit more recognition, you would be happy, right? Sounds reasonable. However, studies show that it works in reverse. If you just had a better attitude, and enjoyed what you do more, you’re more likely to get higher paying jobs and recognition.

Most of us intuitively believe our enjoyment is linked to our success–which is true–but we expect success to provide us with enjoyment. We believe our joy orbits our success. Success is the center of the universe. The opposite is true. Nobody wants to hire a miserable person, buy from a miserable person, or partner with a miserable person. We’re drawn to charismatic, joyful leaders. We see satisfaction and we want a piece of that. Which means you will have to already be enjoying life before people trust you enough to follow your lead or buy your product. This is especially true if you are the face of a brand, freelancing, or holding down other leadership roles such as parenting or mentoring. People are drawn to joy. It is success which orbits joy.

If you’re waiting for external circumstances to make you happy, don’t hold your breath.

True joy is not defined by what is happening externally, but rather by what is happening internally. Finding internal enjoyment increases the probability of finding external success. How much effort have you spent caring for your spirit, mind, and body lately? Are you prioritizing it above external work demands? How much are you enjoying your life now? That’s probably how much you would enjoy it if you made an extra $100k next year. Miserable broke people make miserable rich people, but joyful janitors can make joyful managers.

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