The French have an expression that I relate to: Joie de Vivre! It means the simple joy of living, embracing all that life has to offer – right now, in this moment. Joie de Vivre is about being aware of things around you. It’s being conscious of life as it happens. It’s being enveloped by the love and laughter of young children. It’s connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. And of course, good wine and good food. But most of all, for me Joie de Vivre is about acceptance . . . of the current state of one’s authentic self, while being accountable of the impact on others.
Recently, I was co-leading a team building retreat of senior leaders during which several individuals stated that they didn’t view themselves as particularly bright, creative, or bold enough to be fully effective. That shocked me, for I saw them as more than capable. What was the difference between what I saw and what they accepted as true? It was the lens through which they viewed themselves. Instead of being grounded in gratitude and living in self-acceptance, these individuals were viewing themselves as flawed and disempowered. I was saddened to see these lives overshadowed by the belief they were “less than.”
If you look for pleasure, joy, and satisfaction each day, every day, you’ll find it. I’m fond of saying, “Take what you do seriously, but not yourself.” Don’t beat yourself up, as you’ll never be perfect. Too many of us live in fear of being discovered that we are not ______ enough: not bright enough, capable enough, experienced enough, or courageous enough. Instead of focusing on what you lack, focus on what talents you do have and . . . bask in the moment.
Enjoy your Joie De Vivre!