Podcast – Episode 0329 – Creating Joyfulness In Your Life
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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about using a system thinking approach to create joyfulness in your life.
In this podcast you’ll find:
- What does joyfulness look like when we are a child and as we develop through life?
- Happiness coming from “within” and “without”.
- The idea of joy as an emergent of a system – and seeing it as something we need to build skill around.
- How do we build a system where the “internal” and “external” work together to create joy as often as possible?
- Viewing this as a more empowering framework
- The maturity and skill development levels of creating joy:
- Reactiveness – why do we trust our reactive emotions?
- Responsiveness – developing the skill to pause before responding
- Proactiveness – displaying the emotion you want to feel – and why this is difficult
- Tony Robbins’ “empowering and disempowering rules” – how this fits into creating joy.
- Reaching a place of curiosity – how this can be empowering and differs from other emotions
- The importance of proactivity and “end game”
- Pre-determining thinking and feeling
- How could thinkers and feelers experience this differently?
- Approaching a situation with an emotional or thought framework
- Some thoughts and an example of pre-programming joy
- How does an ability to be present affect joy?
- Why simply being “blissed out” isn’t building skill development around joy.
- Outrage culture and how this can detract from reaching a more empowered state.
- What skills do we need to build in the outer world in order to have joyfulness?
- The role of “purpose”
- Choosing “acting” over “articulating”
- Why having a goal makes you build skills
- Merging with something outside of ourselves to achieve a transcendent frame – in The Righteous Mind Jonathan Height talks about how there is 10% of us that craves something bigger.
- We all unconsciously decide what we’re going to feel before we feel it.
- Exception thinking and “the disempowering rule” when it comes to joy.
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Showing 8 comments
I’m an academic who does research on emotion/emotion regulation. What Joel is talking about when he describes the skill of seeing the benefits/positives about a situation to maintain a positive state is called “cognitive reappraisal.” In emotion regulation jargon, Joel is suggesting that people attempt to develop a “high dispositional tendency to cognitively reappraise.” This is generally regarded by emotion researchers as the most effective and functional way to regulate (ie change) your emotional states. People who have the dispositional tendency to do this to manage negative emotions report more “psychological adjustment” (ie less depression, anxiety, happier relationships, generally more good stuff, etc). Emotion regulation scholars also talk about this internal vs external world dynamic as two different ways people regulate their emotions— proactively influencing their context to try to experience the emotions they want (influencing the external world) vs reappraising a challenging/negative situation as an opportunity once they are in a challenging/negative context (influencing the internal reaction to external circumstances). Therefore what Joel is talking about is far from radical—it is accepted theory from extensive research.
One of the aspects of this that I am trying to do research on, though, is what Antonina discusses when she says it’s important to analyze the situation to understand the root of the emotions and not be “blissed out.” The work I am doing is trying to essentially get people to be more “curious” about their own and others emotions instead of just suppressing (ie hiding) or quickly reappraising (ie framing as positive) them. I know Joel is in agreement about the importance of still recognizing and feeling a variety of feelings (and sees reappraisal and joy as enabling this), but that is not how most people think—most people just don’t want to feel bad. This means they often are ignoring the information/data that is contained within their own and others’ emotions. I therefore found the idea of reacting to emotion with curiosity (which is not formally considered an emotion in the emotion research world) interesting here. I think the nuance both of you bring to this—that it is important to still notice, recognize, analyze, feel, and process emotions, while also striving toward joy/happiness and not getting too stuck on processing/noticing emotions is what is thought provoking and not fully captured in the existing literature on this topic. Hopefully I can add some of that to the scholarly conversation on this.
You might be interested in reading more about “emotion regulation” given you talk broadly about these ideas a lot.
I can see how different pieces of my life are fitting together. I reference the Big Five personality traits and myself as an INFJ. Especially my co-pilot. I think my Fe or Harmony is connected to the trait agreeableness. It is exactly at this point that so much hinges. Without my conscientiousness trait no work would get done. Without my agreeableness I couldn’t relate to people.
Thank you for your effort you guys take to unpack concepts. I appreciate It!
Thank you so much for doing an episode on this concept, everytime Joel brings it up I end up listening to the sound bytes repeatedly hoping to suck out more information about the process.
Personally it brought up A LOT of repressed emotions that have been brewing for a while, as an ENTP I’ve actually kind of had a F*** the world mentality and using joyfulness most of my life almost as a weapon against others. Wanting to instead play almost devil’s advocate for others personal power to enable themselves to enact joyfulness in their life, this doesn’t always go over well.
I really think ExTPs actually have a lot of leverage here in manipulating their own joyfulness if they respect their own (and others) emotions long enough to sit with them and parcel out the root of each emotional stream of consciousness. Based on this episode, it actually seems like Antonia is outsourcing the “feely stuff” to Joel, and sticking to her Ti guns. Given that this is such a game-changer for personal development, it seems like something that is worth sucking at for a long time, since the payout is so good once you reach the point of optimal brainwashing. The problem here is the time, and just general head beating this seems to entail, plus the fact that it is so much more fun to play in other people’s sandboxes.
One thing that I also disagree with is the idea that children inherently believe that others are responsible for their happiness. Although that seems true at a very early age, when there is no division between self & everything else. As kids learn that distinction they are hypnotized by their own power over objects, sounds, and their parents & siblings. For me, I distinctly remember having an unerring sense of joyfulness as a kid that family to this day still comments on, to me when I was 3-10 everything was a game that I had the rulebook to. During middle school-college my general effervescence was met with actual disgust from peers (that whole extroverted too much muchness), that really broke down that confidence in my own personal frame of thinking.
Trying to learn how to build the joyful backbone back up again now, to bolster self-care and maintenance has been challenging. There is a really desperate Fe want to show off, talk a HUGE game, and go for flashy accomplishments, that eventually leave me feeling completely empty. The best and hardest thing is to simply keep my mouth shut and let my work do the talking, the instances where this has actually happened are few and far between.
If any of this made any sense, I would love to know if either of you have faced any of these concerns or challenges:
-Having enough confidence in your physical work to display it (also what would you consider your physical work,) without feeling the need to cover it with verbal explanations or disclaimers.
-Fears of getting close with others since you might show your joy (or lack thereof), and it might make them feel bad about their circumstances or emotional reaction.
-Understanding the Extroverted muchness, and knowing that you might be draining the introverts that you care about… how can we be close but together, without it being too much?
Thank you again for addressing this, listening to the podcast again for the third time. Anymore follow-up thoughts should probably be a journal entry, but thanks for reading!
Joel- “Joy is a platform to feel other emotions from”
Antonia- “Yea… I don’t know what that means, we’ll have to deconstruct that in a second” 😂😂
Is there such a thing as too abstract? What happens if you go too abstract? Would we just not be able to understand or would our minds get fried?
Joy to me feels like a sense of inner and outer alignment… like there is no resistance in my energy channels, even if it’s pushing up or taking in some yucky stuff.
I was also wondering about your Ti lenses and the questioning of the lens In order to spot biases, Antonia.
I’m not sure if I am going to be able to articulate this very well but I’ll give it a go.
Do you have an almost infinite number of lenses to look through and question? Or do you question the same ones over and over again? In my mind I’m like, how many biases are there to question lol. I would love to hear more about this though.
If I come across a Ti framework in my mind that makes the world and my experience not good (leads to existential nihilism). I’m just like “nope, that one doesn’t work for me” and I put on a different set of glasses. I can still hold some not very pleasant truths without making it my focus.
Every winter a few miles from where I live there is a nature reserve that Starlings use as a stop off point in their migration. The murmurations are one of the most epic things I’ve ever witnessed, I actually felt like I was flying with them. I was reminded of this by your talk of a shoal of fish. https://youtu.be/GQ5DA_Z1X5s
I watch sponge bob with my son!! Who would have a thought a sea sponge could be so wise🤣.
Joel, I cannot comment on your thoughts at the beginning of the podcast about an event that went a little awry as it makes me laugh too much!
I hope you are all well😊
ENTP here. No insights here as ENTPs don’t need results to create inner states. As far as people-dependent joy, ENTPs don’t find themselves wrapped up in that either (esp. female who are a pretty low percentage.) But an “emergent system” design is a complete carrot for me. The rust in my system is always MEMORY-contingent (car diagram.) After listening, I decided the use of an egg timer would turn my world upside down and turn drudge into joy.
I’ll let you know how it goes because I choose choosing.
Great job guys.
I was reminded of a movie “Life Is Beautiful”, about a man who was captured by Nazis and sent to Auschwitz along with his son. He made all the hard labor and punishment into a game/contest for the benefit of his son, saying that the winner at the end would win a tank.
Yes it is all about perspective, and learning to keep an undercurrent of quiet contentment through all difficulty. Like Antonia, I prefer the terms “quiet contentment” or “inner peace” to “joyfulness”. It took me decades, but was all worth it.
It seems I was not the only one!
when you were talking about choosing to experience joy even when enduring hardship (like the SpongeBob example) I had to think back to a film I saw when I was young “La vita è bella” (I guess the English title is “life is beautiful”).
Very powerful reframe.
This also leads to why I personally feel more for the term “quiet contentment” too.
I have tried to be more “joyful” is different times, but for me (with ENTP and enneagram type 7 preferences) this comes a bit close to reality avoidance. Especially to the outside world this is not acceptable behaviour and I must admit I might have tricked myself into believing the reframe was not avoidance.
“Quiet contentment” is much more socially acceptable and it gives me the time and space to include my Ti instead of being “joyful” which I can do with my Ne/Fe loop.
Intp here. What’s coming up for me is the concept of “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”. Framing challenges and even traumas as something that serves you or brings benefit to you, teaches you lessons, or builds strength. It’s hard to look at it that way in the midst of it all, of course, but in hindsight I love to look at my past traumas as something that has made me strong and wise. When someone in my life is going through something, I love to share some of my past traumas and reveal that I got through it and now feel gratitude towards them because I’m such a strong and wise person now. One may call it desensitized but I call it wisdom and strength.
Also, I love how Antonia pointed out the wheel of emotions being an aha moment for thinkers. It’s so true! I spent so much time researching and analyzing this concept. Of course i probably took it too far (hyperfocusing on it), but nevertheless the concept gave me so much insight. I loved your episode on the movie “inside out” for this reason. That’s a very “lite” version of the concept, but is a great introduction to the deeper concept. If I ever have children I am definitely going to use that film as a resource for them.