What Brings You Joy?

You know, the living wholeheartedly, belly-laugh inducing, memory-making-for-a-lifetime kind of JOY!!

Maybe it’s…

Traveling somewhere new

Enjoying a relaxing family dinner

Drinking the perfect cup of coffee or tea

Or just finally sleeping in…

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Experiencing Happiness, Cultivating Joy

In the first three decades of my life, I’ve learned how hard (and necessary) it can be to choose joy over comfort and control. I’ve realized that while joy doesn’t necessarily come easily, it reaps amazing rewards. And most importantly, I’ve discovered the immense difference between experiencing happiness and cultivating joy.

Over the centuries, many individuals and great minds have contemplated the difference between happiness and joy. A simple Google search will leave you with pages of hits and thousands of results. So what’s the bottom line?

As you begin to live a joy-filled month, take a moment to consider these powerful questions:

Do you base your happiness on the external environment and what your relationships and activities give you?

Or do you seek a deeper, internal state of joy that you can access regardless of what happens around you?

When you base your happiness on external things, you give your power away to circumstance and, ultimately, risk feeling unhappy or disappointed. Psychology Today writer Sandra Brown, M.A., shares that “Happiness is external…It is dependent on outside situations, people, or events to align with your expectations so that the end result is your happiness.” So if the end results don’t go your way (because you’re still human after all!), your happiness is at stake.

Now consider joy. Harder to explain, yet easily accessible, joy can be ever-present when you are in a mental, emotional, and physical state to choose peace over control. Brown continues, “Joy comes when you make peace with who you are, where you are, why you are, and who you are not with.”

Joy is the ability to rise above circumstance and failed expectations to realign with a deeper purpose and fresh perspective.


Three Steps Closer to Joy

While accessing more joy in life sounds great, let’s be honest: People who exude joy can be downright exhausting sometimes!! Our annoyance factor is generally rooted in the fact that we just can’t understand why they are so positive. Their joy mystifies us!

So to help you begin your own journey to joy, here are three simple steps to try today

STEP ONE: Slow down and appreciate life.

Joy calls us into the moment.Instead of wishing, hoping, and even planning for something better, simply “being with” whatever is happening and finding the joy in the moment is deeply transformational. This month, intentionally try to slow down (yes, even when everything around you seems to be going SO FAST!) so you can more deeply appreciate the beauty of life and the gifts it holds when you notice and accept them.

STEP TWO: Make sense of your circumstances.

While the people and experiences we encounter don’t always go as we planned or hoped, these moments offer invaluable opportunities to consider what really matters. These are the spaces that you can actively choose your perspective with positive intention, rather than become a victim to your emotions and gut reactions.

STEP THREE: Tap into a deeper purpose.

When you are connected to something bigger than what’s happening now, all the “stuff” that’s getting in the way doesn’t seem as big and daunting. Consider the purpose that grounds and guides your life and use these opportunities to refocus on what matters most. Combined with a greater appreciation for life and intentional perspective, you should be feeling more joy-filled already!

Creating Your “Joy Gallery”

Whatever fills you with joy, we invite you to join us this month to discover more ways to embrace joyful living as we start the summer! Start keeping track of the moments that hold deeper meaning or make you come alive and notice how they help you access more joy in your life. Capture these snapshots of JOY as you create your own “joy gallery” and collect these precious moments. Here are a few of mine!

Post your own #JoyGallery this June to capture and share what bring you JOY!

Let’s Have a JOYful June!


  • Leslie M. Bosserman

    Founder and Executive Coach

    Lead With Intention®

    Leslie M. Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC is an Executive Coach and Lifestyle Strategist for innovators and creative professionals leading dynamic and diverse teams. As a creative thought leader, Leslie has spoken at TEDxEustis and is currently writing a book on a decade of research around the science of Emotional Endurance. After working for a decade in higher education and student development, Leslie launched Lead With Intention® – a boutique coaching and consulting practice that specializes in leadership coaching, customized training, and organizational strategy for clients and their teams around the world. She collaborates with a range of creative professionals from entrepreneurs launching their startups to executive leaders at Fortune 500 Companies. Leslie is committed to enhancing her local community and co-created and launched The Makers Place™ with her husband. As the regions first coworking space with onsite childcare, this innovative multi-use space supports parents who need a professional workspace along with flexible childcare options. She also currently works as the Director and Site Supervisor of Mini Makers™ Preschool. Leslie has also served locally on the leadership team for TEDxSacramento as the Event Coordinator and volunteered as a coach for emerging female leaders through The Women's Impact Alliance (formerly The Coaching Fellowship). As a two-time UCLA alumna, Leslie graduated with her Bachelor’s in Mass Communications (B.A.) and a Master's of Education (M.Ed.). She is also trained as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through The Co-Active Training Institute, international leaders in Coach Training and Leadership Development. Before becoming a Professional Coach, Leslie worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she taught leadership and diversity classes as well as ran a campus-wide Leadership Certificate Program for over 500 students, faculty, and staff members. She also has worked professionally in residential life and academic research at UCLA and in Public Affairs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under the U.S. Department of Energy. Leslie loves to travel and explore new places and has visited over 30 countries, including living abroad in the Middle East for a year where she volunteered at local schools in Amman, Jordan with her husband. She is an avid artist and creative who also enjoys karaoke, cooking ethnic food, supporting local coffee shops, and practicing yoga. Leslie is a novice pickleball player and an expert bargain shopper! She lives in Northern California with her husband and three young children, and travels internationally for coaching, organizational trainings, and retreat facilitation.