Helping leaders emerge


More Joy in 2023! Train Your Mind with the Dalai Lama!

Happy 2023! May you enjoy the new year with good health, a feeling of peace, and many good times ahead!

This month I want to share the skill of cultivating joy, the idea in which joy is a skill, not a fixed, factory setting. We can benefit from establishing daily, easy-to-do, practical practices to facilitate more happiness in our lives. So, I’m sharing a recent executive’s story, hoping it may inspire you to cultivate more joy in the upcoming year.

After the Thanksgiving holiday, a client shared she wanted to cultivate more internal joy and bring more positive energy to others; she was feeling stuck and not so happy. The daily news around the world was not so positive, the days were getting shorter, darker, and colder, and she was feeling a bit grim. She also sensed others were struggling. She wanted to learn how to shift her mindset to be happier through practices which encouraged internal reflection, keeping a healthy perspective, and mental reframing versus some of the external factors which felt fleeting and not always in her control. Her goal was to be in a better state of mind by the start of 2023.

In her coaching engagement, we began by evaluating how she spent her time, what activities brought her joy, and what activities drained her. She discovered the first step was to think of joy as a leadership skill to be develop, not just something you have or don’t have. She also made the connection that when she was happier, she felt more confident. So, in her coaching plan, under the category of “executive presence,” she made a commitment to enhancing her ability to find joy in her life, radiate positive energy, and show up with a spirit of confidence and happiness for herself and others.

I’m happy to share that this leader reached her goal and felt more confident and joyful by implementing a few new activities: she meditated each morning for ten minutes during the weekdays, journaled each morning about twenty things she was grateful for and why, took short walks during the week to get outside and enjoy daylight, took longer walks with her dog in nature on the weekends, and expressed gratitude to her colleagues during the work week. And when she could, she made a concerted effort to spend more time with individuals who provided more positive energy and less time with individuals who drained her.

She learned cultivating joy is a skill in which positive and negative energy is contagious, and she is a better leader when she showed up with a spirit of confidence and happiness. When she showed up with this enhanced executive presence, she inspired and motivated others to also be happier, more energetic, and more productive.

Resources on Cultivating Joy

  • Express Gratitude. Journal. 15 minutes of Cardio Exercise. Meditate. The Two Minute Note. Click here to learn more about ways to cultivate gratitude and joy by Shawn Achor, a Harvard-educated happiness researcher who works with Fortune 100 companies and author of several books including Big Potential and The Happiness Advantage.
  • Rewire Your Inborn Negativity Bias. Yes, it’s a bit like brainwashing – out with the old and in with the new. Click here to learn more about how to meditate, journal, or pray with phrases to help you cultivate more joy. Feel free to adapt and make the worksheet your own.
  • Identify Your Energy Boosters and Drainers. Click here for a worksheet to learn more about emotional intelligence and activities that give you or drain your energy.
  • FREE CHALLENGE! SIGN UP BY JANUARY 9TH: Train Your Mind and Heart to be Happier with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Click here to join The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness Challenge on Ten Percent Happier. The challenge is free and begins on January 9 and ends on January 19, 2023.