Eating the tasty pie. A client of theirs was struggling with attending law school. She had no passion for law and she wasn’t excited about taking the admission test to get into law school. Most nights she was tired and angry and then up the next day doing the same thing. She needed to increase the fun in her life and they suggested she take time off before taking the test and do something fun. She had always enjoyed acting and wanted to get back into it. She was a different person when she spoke enthusiastically about acting. She decided to form a drama group with others at work and the first week she had four people attend. She was having such a good time, she had lost track of having fun. She realized she didn’t want to pursue a legal career but wanted to work with students. She got a job working as a Manager of Student Engagement at a major software company where she interacts with engineering students on how to tackle challenging projects and interact with people to encourage their career growth. She continues to work on acting and has been doing some standup comedy. She realized that personal enjoyment and career growth go hand-in-hand. In life, eat the tasty pie and to know what pie is tasty you need to eat lots of pie.
Tracking your joy. To build more tracks of joy in your life journal your experiences. Consider tracking what you did today that was a lot of fun, what did you experience that was amazing, what did you see that was inspiring, what fulfilling social interactions did you have.
Mapping joy. Spend more time doing things you enjoy and less time doing things that drag you down. Create a map of the daily places in your routine you enjoy. Those significant places you enjoy – home, park, library, office or the mall. Try to spend more time at that place. You may feel those places you aren’t enjoying could be the office – but you have the choice to do what you want to do. Spend your time filling your life with joy.
Fail fast, fail often. A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life doing nothing. When was the last time you accomplished something you were proud of. Did you make mistakes and mess up. Times when you grew and accomplished the most were those times you made mistakes. Be encouraged to fail as quickly and as frequently as possible rather than worry about doing things badly or making mistakes. Use your mistakes and failures to accelerate your learning and you will be exposed to new opportunities.
Do it badly as fast as you can. Easy to think of accomplishments are from a brilliant idea. Howard Schultz’s creation of Starbucks provides a good example of how success arises from many mistakes. When he first formed Starbucks he had the idea of modeling the store after Italian coffee shops. It was a good idea but today they have little resemblance of the Italian stores. The coffee shops today have evolved around experiments and revisions along the way. Failing forward is at the heart of many businesses. Push ahead as soon as possible for feedback so you can take the next step. Challenges faced by writers is allowing themselves to write a really shitty first draft so they have a better second and third drafts. This is essential to the fail fast approach. You can’t know what something is like, how you will feel about it until you are actually doing it.