How to Spark Joy in Your Life

4 December 2019

In 2014, Marie Kondo was an established cleaning consultant with a unique approach to decluttering. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, published in October of that year, made her a best-selling author, and she currently has a series on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. The KonMari method is now close to a household word.

Marie Kondo advocates tackling one’s stuff, not room by room, but category by category, and retaining only those items that “spark your joy.” For example, you would take all your clothes, from drawers, from closets, and go through them, item by item. If it sparks joy in you, keep it. If not, get rid of it. Ms. Kondo also recommends thanking each item you discard for its service to you.

But is physical clutter the only area of our lives which can be bettered by such an approach? I think the answer is “no.” It’s my belief that we ought to review, periodically, every area of our lives, to see whether we can improve the quality of what we have and use. Whether it’s at home or at work, whether it’s people, processes, or habits of mind, it’s a good idea to evaluate and declutter ourselves to better spark our joy.

Do your work processes and procedures answer your business’ needs – not yesterday, when they were instituted, but today? It’s worth taking time to ask the question, and to answer it honestly. If you find one which no longer serves its purpose as it was meant to, create a new one that does, and be glad you have a starting point that worked well for its time.

Does your business have a particularly toxic client, one who never seems happy and/or creates too much stress for your team? Ease him or her out – with thankfulness for the business you’ve benefitted from.

Be grateful, too, for the attitudes and habits of mind you decide to change purposefully – they’ve been your tools, and they have served you, it’s just time for a change.

Start with one or two items, people, or attitudes – give the method a chance to work its magic. Take your time. This is a difficult task, but the effort is likely yield fruitful results.

Keep the things, hold close the people, and use the attitudes, that spark joy in your life.

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