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Finding Joy in Our Work

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.
Aldous Huxley

“Creating workplace happiness has led management organizations and eager consultants (myself included) to showcase ‘happiness’ workshops, fun team-building exercises, and cool ideas for making workers happy,” writes Luis Hernandez, in an article that forms the basis of an Exchange Reflections, “Finding Joy in Our Work.”

He goes on to ask, “But do pizza parties and balloons on birthdays truly create joy in the work we do every day? First, let’s reflect on some distinctions between the ever popular ‘happiness’ factor and the elusiveness of ‘joy.’ Being happy is feeling pleasure and being content. On the other hand, joy is feeling great pleasure and happiness. In a most perfect world, we need a combination of both to achieve our good intentions in working with children, families, and each other. The essence of both requires enthusiasm, motivation, energy, and positive attitudes. And these elements cultivate a genuine ‘passion’ for the work we do. That passion is what propels us day in, day out — very often with a smile on our face even if our teeth hurt. The day the passion diminishes, it is time to look for other work.”

This Reflections provides a wealth of discussion topics and potential action steps for finding (or cultivating) those things that bring true joy to our work with children, families and educators.

Here's another opportunity to increase your joy: Attend the CDA Council Annual Conference (available as a hybrid model – in-person and virtual) – “Shaping the Future: A Time for Resilience, Renewal and Reform

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