Recently I received the results of my Connective Intelligence survey through OPC. Two of the items that were the lowest in my survey were Self-regard and Happiness. This struck me because in the past when I completed my EQ360 Happiness was low at that time. This made me reflect. What is happening in my life that I am not feeling happy? How do I go about changing my outlook? I have always thought of myself as a person that views the glass as half full so why am I not happy?
I shared my results with a good friend on one of our walks at Springwater. She too has struggled with the same issue but she reframed my thinking. She suggested that it is not about finding happiness it is instead about finding joy. Stay in the moment and find joy in every day things. It is easy in our roles as school leaders to get bogged down in paperwork, deadlines and problems. We often deal with serious issues in our jobs: poverty, abuse, mental health, illness, homelessness and the list goes on. It is hard in those moments to find joy.
Yesterday morning I had to gather some photos for a slideshow for my older son. One of the pictures requested was a baby picture. For me this turned into an exercise in joy. I spent the better part of an hour reflecting and remembering many of those times that have brought me joy over the years. Simpler times, joyful times!
How can we find joy in our daily lives at home?
Find something you are passionate about: bake, cook, read, scrapbook. Connect with nature. Exercise. Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy. Travel. Meditate. When you are doing what you enjoy stay in the moment. Focus on the joy!
At work find joy when you head down to the FDK wing and hear the children laughing, playing and learning. Enjoy a hug, a smile or a wave from a child. Watch one of your special needs students being included and enjoying recess with their peers. Watch the lightbulb go on for a student the first time. Watch a struggling student persevere and finally get it. Support a family in turmoil. Support teachers trying out a new strategy in the classroom. Go into classrooms and observe students engaged in their own learning. All of these things can bring joy!
I am trying to stay in the moment and to find joy in everyday items!