The Power of Joy.

February 3, 2021

The Power of Joy.

May 29, 2023

On the 20th anniversary of my boutique hotel company, Joie de Vivre, we invited 10,000 people with the name Joy from California to a “Joy Party” at our Hotel Vitale on San Francisco’s waterfront with the first 50 of them receiving a free room for the night (hence, a “Joy Slumber Party”). Tears of Joy streamed all night.

“Joy” has always been a powerful word for me. Much more resonant than “Happiness.” So, you can imagine my glee when I saw this TIME magazine special edition cover at the airport not long ago.


There is so much goodness in this issue, but I’ll excerpt just a couple of points:

“We tend to think about joy as a singular, spontaneous fragment in time caused by external factors we do not control - a short of lucky surprise like winning the lottery without buying a ticket. But the religious understanding of joy views it as part of a process, the distillate of mindful living day after week after month and even after decades of intention. The Hebrew word for joy is ‘simcha,’ which most scholars believe is related to the word ‘tzamach,’ meaning to sprout, spring up or grow. There is a different word for happiness. That word is ‘ashrei’ and is related to the idea of being fortunate. In other words, as opposed to happiness, which is the result of luck and external factors, sudden and fleeting, joy is the fruit of a slow-growing tree.”


Author J.D. Salinger wrote that “happiness is a solid and joy is a liquid.” Or Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

“We’re not even sure we’re the only species that can experience joy. Great apes tickle one another. Dogs wag their tails and frolic. Baby goats appear to dance. So do parrots - often in time to music. Are they experiencing joy?”

Finally, I enjoyed this National Geographic article about whether joy is the same in every language. Maybe you could reserve an hour today to contemplate and even research the value of joy in your life?

Here’s a video shot yesterday reminiscing about joy in San Francisco at my first hotel.

Hope you have a joyful day!!

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