Long before I became a motivational speaker, I was a professional actor. I performed on stage in dramas, comedies, musicals, and the classics. I loved it. Passionately, deeply, sincerely loved it. And today, after seeing a production of a show called "Noah Racey's Pulse" at the Asolo State Theater, I saw a much bigger picture of what might be going on when an audience shows up to watch a bunch of actors, singers and dancers leap and hop around on a stage. Something that everyone could benefit from – regardless of what they do for a job – or in life.
Actually, today was my fourth time seeing the show in one week. The first time I saw it, I had tears running down my face for half the show – and the tears showed up for every performance thereafter. I was, simply put, overwhelmed with this tremendous feeling of joy. The cast was a brilliantly talented group of singers and dancers, drummers and musicians. Conceived, choreographed, written and narrated in spoken word artistry by Mr. Racey, he and the rest of the cast proved to be some of the most astonishing performers I have ever seen. Prior to today's show, I had been fully fixated on the EXTREME over-the-top passion that every single person exuded as they sang or danced. There was not one single nanosecond of "work" going on on that stage. Nothing but passion and joy and love and happiness exploding from each and every one of them. And oh, how I caught that passion. Hence – the tears of sheer joy.
But today I noticed something else. From where I was sitting in the theater, I could see other audience members. And I saw that they ALL, like me, had caught the passion of the performers. Yes, like me they were screaming and wildly applauding. They leapt to their feet just as I did in spontaneous standing ovations in the middle of the show. They laughed, they cried, they were stunned and moved and totally filled with….joy. Hundreds of people, old, young, and from every walk in life were undeniably, unapologetically and unabashedly happy.
The actor/singer/dancers all felt it and freely expressed it – and we caught it. I was lifted up by it. I felt like every single cell in my body was nourished and healed by this tranferrence of joy. And that got me to thinking.
What if we did that? You and me. What if we made the decision that WHATEVER we bring to the world in the name of work – we would infuse it with joy? How happy would we be? How happy would that make the people around us? How much sheer FUN would that be?
Oh, I can hear it now. "But I don't even LIKE my job. How can I be joyous about it?" Or, "But I'm surrounded by idiots. They won't LET me by joyous."
Okay. Two things here.
One: If you are not joyous in your job – or with the people in your life you have three choices.
- You can learn to be joyous in SPITE of your circumstances or the people (yes, it can be done.)
- You can leave. You really do have that option. And/or…
- Accept everything the way it is, and give up on the "joy thing." (You might want to stop reading now if this one applies to you.)
Two: If you can't be joyous at work – then find SOMETHING to get joyous about! Painting, gardening, volunteering, something, grand-parenting! Get over-the-moon happy about what you are doing and then go give it away to anyone who comes within a five mile radius of you. You will be SOOO happy you did. And they will be so happy you did.
Oh, and if this show ever comes ANYWHERE near you, go see it. You'll be…um…happy you did (is there a recurrent theme here?)