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    The Joy Toolkit

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | September 19th, 2022

    The Joy Toolkit

    As you know, I am all about sharing what I learn. This year’s theme for my job is finding joy at work and in life. With this theme, the leadership at work invited Shabnam Mogharabi, an entertainment entrepreneur, to speak on the Power of Joy. I did not get to see her live, but the video of her presentation was shared, and I had a chance to watch it. The purpose of her talk was to provide the tools to harness the joy within us. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is an emotion, just like anger. Emotions come and go. When we harness the joy within us, we can deal with the challenges in life. We understand that life can be hard, but we can respond positively to challenges.

    How do we harness this joy? She provided a Joy Toolkit, which included:

    1. EXPRESSING GRATITUDE – She asked the audience to do the following – close your eyes and think of someone who has had a profound impact on your life in a positive way – take a few minutes and write a note to that person. List 2 -3 ways this person has impacted you. Call this person or write them. Not only does this impact the person who receives the message, but it has a profound impact on the person who is sending the note.
    1. KNOW YOUR WHY – What drives you? What motivates you? What is your intention? What is your personal mission statement? She reminded the audience that your purpose in life does not necessarily have to align with your job. As human beings, we want to go where we are needed. We want to feel like we are contributing. Spend some time reflecting on your why.
    1. CONNECTION MATTERS – We need to be connected to nature and other people. We need to get outdoors. She shared that 92% of most people’s time is spent indoors. This needs to change.  She talked about the 20-5-3 rule – Spend 20 minutes, 3 times a week outdoors. For 5 hours every 3 months, go more into nature and for 3 days a year, truly unplug – no cell phones, no computers. Spend time building relationships with people. Building relationships with people can be uncomfortable initially. It requires you to be vulnerable. In the end, relationships are important.
    1. START SMALL. START TODAY – Nothing she talked about was one and done. It would be best to practice gratitude regularly, make sure what you do aligns with your purpose, and be connected with nature and people.

    Along with the above, eating well, regularly exercising, and getting a good night’s sleep is essential.

    She ended her talk with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

    “Comparison is the thief of Joy.”

    I have been thinking about that quote since I finished watching the video. We miss out on much of what we have when comparing ourselves with others. We can never be someone else, so let us accept the beautiful person we are and harness the joy within.

    6 Responses to “The Joy Toolkit”

    1. Linda K. Jackson says:

      Oh my goodness! This was absolutely invaluable! I can really attest to gratitude, and what brings you joy, which is something that I would ask my clients when I was working. I’m going to check out Shabnam Mogharabi. Thank you!!!!!!!

    2. Cleopatra Martey says:

      Thank you for this beautiful post Ngozi! Gratitude is something that I practice daily & encourage my children & students to make a part of their daily practice. Being grateful makes you appreciate what you have already & stops you from always being in the space of wanting. As for being out in nature, I’m always mentioning to my colleagues at school, how much more effective learning would be if we conducted class outdoors. I’m going to check out Shabnam Mogharabi!!!
      The joyful journey continues.

      • Ngozi Osuagwu, MD says:

        Thank you for sharing your daily practice with your children and students. It is so important for our youth. Thanks for sharing.

    3. Dayna Hale says:

      I love the quote! And this makes me feel like I am on the right track since I just spent 6 days with friends, partially unplugged, and all outside!

      • Ngozi Osuagwu, MD says:

        Yes, you are truly on the right track. Being able to take time to be unplugged once in a while is pure joy. Thanks for sharing.

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