Back when I lived and worked at Camp Stevens, we had semi-annual staff training + retreats, one in August when the new “winter interns” started, and one in January. Because everyone who works at Camp Stevens also lives there, continuously getting to know ourselves and one another was an essential part of building intentional community, as well as running an effective organization. Through self-reflection and plenty of personality/workplace assessments (You name it, we took that assessment.), I learned a lot about myself and how I engage with others and the world. Here was a main takeaway: The closer the deadline, the shorter my patience. I’ll let the Enneagram Institute do the diagnosis (I’m a 6.): Excellent "troubleshooters," they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. That’s me! Sorry co-workers! So, this reflection from The Aesthetics of Joy author deeply resonated with me.
When we are faced with persistent stress or overwhelming circumstances, many of us respond by postponing joy. Joy becomes something we either have to earn or deserve, through patience, hard work, or self-denial.
But here’s the thing — the science says that this is all backwards! We shouldn’t put off joy until after we’re out of a stressful situation. Instead, we should see joy as a tool for coping with stress. Joy is a form of a resilience.
Let me say that again: Joy is a form of resilience.
How do you handle stress? How are your co-workers expected to handle your stress?