Practicing Gratitude and Finding Joy in Your Career

This article describes the difference between happiness and joy and why joy is more worthwhile. It explains how to be grateful and take joy in the little things in your career and the benefits that will follow, like avoiding demotivation and helping solid and steady progress in the profession.

Gratitude and Joy

When you talk about your career, gratitude and joy probably won’t come into the conversation very often. It is easy to get into the routine of begrudgingly getting up every morning and dragging yourself to work to make ends meet.

Being grateful and joyful to go to work can seem impossible. This is understandable, but considering some slight tweaks in your life can allow you to cultivate gratitude and joy in your career and provide a sense of meaning in your work life.

Joy vs. Happiness

Joy is not the same as happiness.

Happiness is an emotional response, a feeling based on your surroundings, and it is temporary.

Joy is something coming from within, an intense feeling of deep spiritual connection and pleasure. An attitude adopted regardless of circumstances and joy is much more meaningful and worthwhile than happiness.

Finding Joy in Your Career

Finding joy in your career is a matter of paying attention to the little things. Think about your typical workday for a moment. Are you too busy chasing down the sensational moments that you miss out on smaller bursts of joy found in ordinary things?

In modern society, it has become commonplace to measure people by their level of public recognition – fame and fortune. Being ordinary has become the same as being boring.

The age of social media and influencers has exacerbated this even more.

When you can turn on your phone and immediately see exciting and interesting things ad nauseam, ordinary things feel boring.

If you want to find joy in your career, you need to abandon this attitude. Joy is more often found in the little things than in the exceptional and glorious moments.

Take joy when the sun is shining on your commute, when a co-worker smiles at you, when you do an excellent job on something when you have a good day.

Take joy in knowing that you are on the path to meeting your career goals and bettering yourself. Joy rarely comes from the pursuit of pleasure alone but rather from the search for responsibility.

People who exemplify joy are a pleasure to be around. On the other hand, those who are consistently grumpy and pessimistic are exhausting.

Seeking joy in your career will lead to opportunities that otherwise would likely not have been available to you. A joyful spirit is irresistible. If you can find joy in small and menial tasks, people will feel compelled to trust you with more extensive and more critical work.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is inherently connected to joy. When you seek joy, you will quickly recognize how good things are. Practice gratitude in your everyday life by:

  • Remind yourself to count the things you ought to be thankful for and for items that are going well in your life.
  • Taking time to help others can also help you to feel grateful when it gets complicated. Gratitude requires practice.

A gratitude journal to write down things you are grateful for maybe a touch too sentimental for some, but it is an excellent exercise to inspire joy for others.

Suppose the journal isn’t for you. Try talking to yourself during your commute and listing a few things that are going well in your work life or in general.

Bottom Line

Do your best to cultivate a gracious and joyful spirit in your career. Not only will you find that your career goals will be more easily achieved due to this attitude, but it will also lead to a more meaningful and satisfying career.

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