Speaking of Joy: It's Free with a Catch

Money is such a pervasive part of our culture that it can be really difficult to quantify things that don’t come with a price.

Generally speaking, we don’t think much of “free.”

If something is free, we think that it must not be worth much.   Or worse, it must be something that nobody wants.

Ours is an economy of supply and demand.  Low supply and high demand drive the most perceived value.

Joy seems to be the opposite – plenty available for the taking but nobody seems too interested.

Why is that?

I think it’s because we’re confused about what creates happiness. And with that confusion comes our demand for things that have nothing to do with joy. 

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that basic needs – food and shelter -- are critical for emotional and physical well-being.

But surprisingly, research has also shown that once household income reaches around $70,000, our happiness levels are more alike than not regardless of how many zeros are added to that income.

Now I know what you’re thinking “Not me!  More money = more happy!” 

If that’s really the case, then consider this:

  • the wealthy and beautiful actress who can’t stay out of rehab;   
  • the rich and talented professional athlete sitting in prison;
  • the affluent and brilliant actor who ends his own life.

Linda Sterling Sease, Speaking of Joy

By most measures, these should be joyful people.   They are gifted, adored and they can buy almost anything they want.

Except joy.

And that’s because joy isn’t for sale.

Nope, nada, never.

The truth is this:  joy is free but there’s a catch. 

You have to be willing to do the work.

Until next week, I hope your life is full of joy and gratitude,


Linda Sterling Sease is a professional speaker, career coach & writer on the power of joy to transform companies, homes and communities.  To explore how Linda can work with your organization, call 303-319-5829 or email her at Linda at SterlingSease.com.