How Joy and Fulfillment Can Change the Face of Health Care and Human Services – The Role of Appreciation and Action

Where there is no Joy…

Have you ever received service or support from someone who was disgruntled, perhaps, overwhelmed and stressed out? Did it make you want to run for the hills?

Have you ever worked with colleagues whose resentment and frustration always simmered beneath the surface? How much fun was that?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we have all been there at one time or another – feeling discontent – feeling like what we are doing doesn’t matter – wishing we were somewhere else – pushing ourselves far beyond our limits and feeling completely unappreciated.

Appreciate Yourself First – Others will follow Suit

To appreciate means to place value on something. Place value on yourself. Value your unique qualities – your desires – your passions. Know that you are worth the time and energy it takes to discover what really makes you joyful in your chosen vocation. What is it about providing service to others that makes you happy? Get curious.

What is your dominant feeling when it comes to work? Are you inspired? Are you energized? Are you excited about your work? Is there a special project or program that you are just itching to get involved with? These are all indicators to me that you are on the path of joy and fulfillment. When this energy is dominant in your being, you naturally embody this and share it with others – the people you serve and your colleagues. Your quality of service goes through the roof as you connect with and honour what is personally meaningful for you.

Take an Inventory

If this isn’t currently true for you, start to consider what would help you make the shift. Take an inventory of your daily activities and interactions. What is missing? Where are the gaps? Are you just plain tired of the routine you have fallen into? You might notice that there are little adjustments you can make either personally or professionally – or both – that will significantly alter your experience.

In the spirit of personal responsibility – speak up! Tell someone what you need to do for yourself. Share your aspirations and ideas. Be creative. Take a risk.

Inspired Action

Inspired people inspire people. The more you can come from your heart, the more heart you have to share with others. And in this heart space, you create an opportunity for connection – for growth – for healing. For everybody.

You may have noticed this in your life already – when you are doing what is both enjoyable and meaningful for you, you are filled with energy. You could do it all day! You are in the moment – creative, connected, kind, loving.

Know that from this place, the service you offer to others will begin to feel effortless and effective. You will go home at the end of most days feeling filled up as opposed to sucked dry. It may not happen all the time, but it will happen more often as you practice taking inspired action in your life and your work. Dig deep to grab hold of that courage that will allow you to follow your intuitive nudges and to be true to who you are.

Selfish or Self-ful?

Iyanla Vanzant used the term “self-ful.” I love that! To honour your needs – to care about what matters to you – to cultivate opportunities for your self-expression at work – all of this is not selfish – it is self-ful. You are being mindful and present to you. As you create this space for yourself, you will naturally create it for others as well.

Let’s get started!

Forget about bubble baths and candles – well don’t forget completely – but go beyond that a bit.

How you can become more self-ful in your life so you can deepen your connection with yourself and others.


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