Episode 83: What IS Joy, and Why Should I Care About it at Work?

Jun 07, 2021

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What’s the last thing you did that brought you a true sense of contentment? 

Was it playing fetch with your dog in the park, or sliding down that hot metal slide at the playground with your niece tucked securely in your lap? Maybe you heard the chimes of the ice cream truck rolling through your neighborhood, bringing a child-like smile to your face and memories of sugar highs and sticky fingers. 

There’s one thing that these experiences all have in common. 


As a functioning adult with bills to pay and responsibilities to fulfill, joy is probably the last thing on your mind. You’re doing what you need to in order to be successful. Why should you care about something silly like joy? Joy’s for kids... right? 

Actually, the experience of joy is detrimental not only to our health, but equally for our career aspirations.

Promotions and raises aren’t going to bring you joy... because joy precedes success.

Did that get your attention? 

The role of joy in our success isn’t just some whimsical pursuit. It’s science. 

In this week’s episode, Karlee defines joy as a practice, and the science behind its importance in your life and in the workplace. She’ll explain why it matters, and share a few clever ways that companies are helping employees go about their tasks with a little more joy in their day to day work. Then, she’ll share four pragmatic things you can do right now to cultivate more joy into your life, helping you lay the groundwork for success. 

Joy is far too important to not leverage as one of our most practical professional assets. It’s scientifically proven to be the key to good health, career success, and harmony in your life. 

If you’re ready to understand the true nature of joy and find practical ways to bring more of it into your life, then this episode is for you!

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • A simple formula for thriving (3:31)
  • The difference between joy and happiness (11:02)
  • The connection between joy and confidence (12:56)
  • How joy leads to longevity (14:55)
  • What’s misunderstood about joy and career success (19:50)
  • Cultivating workplace joy (21:17)
  • Four ways you can bring more joy into your life and work (28:36)
  • The value of soft strength (33:04)

People Mentioned in this Episode:

Dana Lemay

Sophie Cliff

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


LISTEN NOW: The Boundary Brunch 

Book:  The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Douglas Carlton Abrams,  Desmond Tutu,  Dalai Lama

Study: Martín-María, Natalia et al. “The Impact of Subjective Well-being on Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies in the General Population.” Psychosomatic medicine vol. 79,5 (2017): 565-575. doi:10.1097/PSY.0000000000000444

Study: “Positive Intelligence.” Harvard Business Review, 8 Oct. 2014, hbr.org/2012/01/positive-intelligence.

Study: “Read @Kearney: Joy at Work.” Kearney, www.kearney.com/leadership-change-organization/article/?%2Fa%2Fjoy-at-work. 

Podcast: Joy@Work podcast

Video: Virtual Tour of Kickstarter Offices

Episode 80: Have To Do It All Yourself? How women get aboard the “Allyship” and let a few key people and strategies bolster their professional success.

Episode 75: Devotion to the Dream: What to stop so you can really start with with Charlyn Reihman

Send your Audio Comments and Questions to [email protected]

Connect With Karlee: 




Messy and Magnificent is produced by the folks at Ginni Media

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