Last fall I discovered the book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans of the Stanford Design School.  I found it after I went through the Desire Map [link to post] process and it was the perfect mechanism to pull together two years of serious work to define who I am in this phase of life. Learn more about how they can rock your world on their website.

One of the early activities in the book has you make a dashboard of the status of your life in four different areas.  One of those areas is joy and when I read their definition and reflected on my life, I had to put that one at zero.  It was shocking to me that I literally had nothing in my life that I did purely for unadulterated joy.  It also made me a little sad…

If you’ve been following me, you already know I’m an INTJ [link to post] and that my top strength in StrengthsFinder[link to post]  is learner.  These two things are part of the reason I have such trouble with joy.  I don’t see value in activities unless they are helping me improve or gain knowledge.  Unfortunately, those activities = striving and that is NOT part of Burnett & Evans’ definition of joy.

After making a geographical move and changing jobs at the end of 2016, I decided I needed to be more intentional about seeking joy.  It was SO much harder than I expected it to be!  One day in March, though, I found it and it was staring at me from my very own bookcase.

I have been a rabid Harry Potter fan since 1998.  I avoided the books because I was in college majoring in English education when they first came out, and I was taking 24 credit hours a semester.  Not conducive to reading for fun.  My mentor gave me the first one for my birthday and it was all down hill from there.  I had an entire room in my house decorated with Harry Potter everything for years.  It was even in the paper!  When the first movie came out, I got my hands on four tickets to the sneak preview and I held auditions to determine who was worthy.  My mentor and her daughters won and the four of us set off in full Hogwarts costumes to the event.  We were the only people dressed up because the rest of the tickets went to an orphanage, so we were interviewed by a local news station.  You may be thinking I must be nearly as famous as “The Chosen One,” but alas, I am merely infamous for being a little too in to a franchise that continues to define my generation.

Now that I spend most of my time “adulting,”, I have fallen in to the habit of watching the movies repeatedly.  When I first saw them, I loved them, but starting in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, entire characters and/or plot lines were missing from the movie versions.  It didn’t make me love the movies any less, but this March, I decided it was time to remind myself of what I’ve been missing from the books.  I’ve just started Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) and I have to say, with the end of every book, I feel the same sense of sadness I felt on the very first reading.  Getting lost in those novels has brought me back to the joy of a much simpler time in my life and I will forever be grateful to J.K. Rowling for creating such an amazing world where I can find my joy.

If you haven’t discovered it yet, be sure to check out where Ms. Rowling is continuing to create new content related to the world of Harry Potter!

*TRANSPARENCY ALERT: Some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links which means I may make a little money if you purchase something linked from this post.