I want to talk with you about the power of joy as a tool for keeping the mind focused. I hear people talking about the chaos of dealing with a client who seems to struggle with knowing what it is exactly, that they are looking for in a given project. In times past I would find myself resisting exploration of ideas that seemed ‘lame’ or ‘stupid’ when compared to the amazing and award worthy plans I had for the project. Ah-hem… well, I have learned that while there are times that my ideas end up in the lead, there are other times when just having patience to really absorb what the client is saying, leads to a collaboration I would not have expected to find so satisfying. The question I keep in my mind now is not ‘how can I convince my client to go with my ideas?’ but rather ‘where is my joy to be found?’ The question works very well because, if you look for it, you will always find it, that joy which becomes fuel for the creative engine. Here’s the rub, you have to be willing to take joy in small elements of a project, at least to begin with. As an example, I often create custom tools in Photoshop or ArtRage to make the kind of marks I need to complete a given project. It is something I find tremendously satisfying and as a result, it becomes one of my joys. Here is another bit I’ve learned about joy, as I move along through my day looking for and finding the ‘little joys’ they become something larger inside me. They are cumulative and they are contagious. I can allow the accumulation of joy to affect the manner in which I engage with team members and clients. I’m not talking about getting all giddy and manic on your people, but an undercurrent of enthusiasm can be just the kind of infectious event that projects sometimes need. By taking joy in ‘what is’ and continuing to put ideas forward as improvements occur to me, I find that I can focus on meeting my daily goals with just the right kind of mental energy.