How many of us feel our joy comes from things outside of us? Many of us see joy as the result of being able to do work that we love. We like the people and the company; we love our work. We have issues with the people and the company, and joy flows less freely. Don’t get me wrong; the right environment can help produce joy on the job.

Yet what if you could bring joy to anything you do? Doing so can transform the mundane into the enjoyable and let loose incredible energy for all you put your attention to. The secret: creativity. Feeling creative and playful helps break through resistance, fear, boredom and disbelief. We are engaged and satisfied, and more often.

Test your joy quotient with this Self-Quiz.


1. Creativity doesn’t just belong to artistic types living in loft studios. Work is a place I frequently exercise my creativity.
2. I think of myself as someone who doesn’t just want what I want, but as someone who is going to get it. It’s just a matter of figuring out how.
3. I keep blank notebooks in several places for jotting down my ideas and inspirations, and a tape recorder for recording observations.
4. No matter how “uncreative,” sensible, or logical I might consider myself, if I have a pressing idea—a core desire—I’m going to express it.
5. My family, my company, my community, my world all benefit when I access and use my innate creativity.
6. Feeling vulnerable and insecure is part of the process of creating anything. To see me through those times, I call on those who I know support my project, not those who might discourage my efforts.
7. I bash boredom when I need to by doing everyday things differently.
8. I encourage laughter in my department through such means as a humor bulletin board, a prop box and humor breaks.
9. I quiet my mind regularly, and when I do, creative ideas and inspirations often show up seemingly out of nowhere.
10. I look around my world—city streets or nature’s paths—for creative inspiration and sources of joy.
11. I anticipate unexpected twists of fate, chance encounters and unorthodox solutions.
12. I make a regular habit of connecting with my wishes, and I’m not afraid to wish for too much. But rather than wish for personal success alone, I link my wishes to how they serve people.
13. I use affirmations—positive statements phrased in the present tense and repeated often—to keep my joy level high.
14. I make it a habit to do one scary thing every day.
15. I laugh at myself—frequently.

If you answered “false” more often than “true,” you may be plugging up your joy channel.

I invite you to share your thoughts on how you access joy as a leader. If you want support in “re-connecting” to your Natural Leader’ joy, sign up for a complimentary “Break Through Your Barriers” Strategy Session. Joy is your birthright to reclaim. Do so and watch your leadership grow

Author's Bio: 

Susan S. Freeman, MBA, ACC, NCC
Executive Success Strategist
Author and Speaker
Founder, Step Up Leader

Susan Freeman is author of the new book, “Step Up Now: 21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others,” and the Founder of Step Up Leader. She is an experienced and respected Executive Success Strategist whose passion is helping entrepreneurial leaders go from “stuck” to “unstuck.” She has created a unique system that helps people access their emotional intelligence so they can lead powerfully and authentically. Susan has helped clients in diverse industries and roles obtain passion, clarity, and exceptional results.

She received her B.A. in Psychology from Wellesley College and her M.B.A. in Marketing from Columbia University in New York. She brings to her clients more than 25 years of strategic marketing, non-profit, and retained executive search experience in London and New York. She received her coach training and certification from The Newfield Network. Susan is an accredited coach with the International Coach Federation, as well as an MSP-certified business facilitator.

Susan is a native of Kansas City and resides in Tampa, FL. She is an active member of The Athena Society and a Leadership Tampa Alumna. Committed to education, Susan has served on several educational boards at the secondary and university level. Her global passion is developing young women entrepreneurial leaders in Rwanda, where she is currently involved with The Akilah Institute, a school that empowers young women with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to become leaders.

Susan is happily married and has three grown sons. Rarely a day goes by when she doesn’t eat a piece of dark chocolate