Speaking of Joy: Ordinary Things

The idea of finding joy in the ordinary might not be very motivating to us.  After all, the ordinary is not something we generally desire.

The dictionary defines ordinary as “uninteresting, commonplace, normal, with no special features.”   That’s not at all appealing in the super-charged world we live in today.

I'm a good example. I have books with not a single fingerprint after the first chapter. I got bored.  I make a hasty and early exit 15 minutes into a dull movie.  Sitting in a waiting room is foot-tapping torture. 

This demand for engagement and entertainment is why we are so addicted to our phones, our televisions and YouTube.  We live a life interrupted with pings, dings and rings.   We bounce from one channel to the next with barely a two-second pause.  I suggest it all started with the remote control.

Last year there was a popular statistic that many people noted on social media – our attention span as compared to that of a goldfish.  The research from Microsoft Canada indicated that our average continuous attention span may now be as short as 8 seconds.   And supposedly, that’s one second less than a goldfish.

Now I really don’t know how you would measure the attention span of a goldfish. I couldn’t find any reliable data to support this alleged “fact.”  But regardless, I did find a great deal of credible research speaking to the impact that technology is having on our attention spans. 

So no wonder it’s hard to find joy in the ordinary.  We often don’t focus on it long enough to actually experience it.

Finding joy in our everyday life is a choice and that takes work.  

It’s a choice to stop and listen longer than a goldfish might.   I’m sitting on my back porch as I write this and what I hear most is the clack, clack, clack of my computer keys.  

But when I choose to stop, to be quiet and to listen?

I hear the wind rustling through the trees.  I notice the soft trickling of water in the stream behind my house.  And then I hear a bird feathering her nest for little babies on the way.   Right there, building a home under the eaves over my porch.

All very ordinary things and yet suddenly, they seem extraordinary.   

with joy and gratitude,


Linda Sterling Sease is a professional speaker, career coach & author 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.