top of page
  • Writer's pictureJon Polly

The Difference Between Fun and Joy

Simon Sinek recently had a video that has gone viral about Millennials. In this video he talks about how companies are offering Millennials everything they want and the Millennials still leave. Now, I don't want to debate the video, but it is a good one to watch. However, it did make me think or better rethink my own life.

A number of years ago I was listening to a friend of mine, a preacher, speak to a group of college and young professionals. I was living the way I thought I needed to. I was a Police Officer for a respected department. I was moving forward in my career with a 30 year retirement on the horizon... well, way on the horizon. Until that day. On that day my friend asked this group a question. A question I would ask anyone reading this article today.

What is the Difference between Fun and Joy?

I think this is a big piece of what is happening in corporations today. Now, please understand that I think Mr. Sinek was correct when he said that society, parenting, etc. has said there is no wrong and right, there is no winner or loser, there is a trophy for everything. Anyone who has been turned down for a job offer, a date, or walking into Wal-Mart realizes that life is not fair. There are winners and losers. There is a right and a wrong, however we as a population keep trying to push that boundary.

To the point, I think that speaks to only one part of the group. So why do people stay or leave a company? While everyone can give their reasons; I think there is a very simple, very linear answer. It is the answer to the question. What is the Difference between Fun and Joy. A good friend of mine answered it the best I have ever heard. His definitions were Fun is Fleeting, but Joy lasts Forever. Now, let that sink in for a minute. Do you have fun at your job? At the time of that subtle, but mind blowing answer I was having fun driving police cars fast. I was having fun running down suspects. I was having fun at work. But when I got to thinking about it, I only enjoyed one part of what I did. I worked with child psychologists to help abused kids get over the abuse. It wasn't long until I decided that while it was fun doing what I was doing, that wasn't what I was meant to do, I didn't enjoy it.

Fun is Fleeting, but Joy lasts Forever

Millennials and many others today I think are bouncing from job to job frequently because they have no joy. I'm not really sure they were taught what joy really is, so how would they know. When companies provide bean bag chairs and Foosball tables, Starbucks in the lobby, and a relaxed dress code and people still leave; it has to be for some other reason that the company didn't accommodate them. Corporations are making "fun" atmospheres to work in. Who wouldn't want to work where you can play pool and have a drink catered by a barista during your 10am conference call; but yet, people leave. Is it the money? Maybe, but there are a number of individuals that want for nothing and yet they still have a hard time wanting to get up and do something. Okay, for some its because its a Monday. For others, and I would argue this point is that in corporate America we have lost our joy. We get stuck in a job that is just that. Its where we spend most of our waking hours and we can't stand to be there.

Money helps. Or does it?

We are raised to make the most money as we can and that the stuff we buy will make us happy. Funny, if that were true, a boat owner would have only one happy day. Currently he has two, the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it. Okay, so maybe its not about the money, but money is still why we work. Yes, completely agree that today we have to make money to all but survive. We all know what we are worth. In some way shape form or fashion. But would that matter as much if you got up every morning and couldn't wait to get to the office? Not because you are running away from your kids, or trying to meet the new girl in accounting, but truly because you "enjoyed" going to work. What would that look like in your life? Have you ever felt that at your job? I can honestly say I have. I can say I have gone through hills of joy and valleys of misery. If we are honest, most of us have. But did you start there and are still there? Did the money help? Probably not.

In closing; if you were offered a treasure chest full of money, or a job you would enjoy even past retirement, which one would you take?

26 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page