In a recent edition of her excellent newsletter, London-based journalist Dolly Alderton shared a lovely piece on the things that delight her, inspired by a book on the same theme. It was literally delightful to read - partly because Dolly is an excellent writer, and partly because thinking about the things in life that evoke joy is perhaps the fastest way to feel immediately joyful. It's why regularly practicing gratitude is the most effective way to feel happier in your daily life, and it's the foundation of positive thinking. When you reroute your thoughts towards the good, you automatically reduce the impact of the bad.

But while it's fairly easy (and immensely enjoyable - give it a try) to list all the things in life that we love to do, eat, read, listen to, and see, it can be harder to conjure up a similar sense of joyfulness when we think about our work. No matter how much you ~live your passion~ and ~follow your dreams~, work is still work for a reason. There are lots of boring bits, lots of disappointing bits, and lots of bits that leave you so stressed that you feel your chest is going to explode (just me?!)



All the more reason to spend some time contemplating the delights of your work, whatever it may be. Here are some of mine.

  •  Those rare, Unicorn moments when I find a state of 'flow' - a total absorption in whatever I'm doing, that no iPhone notification or hunger pang can disrupt. Most commonly, I experience this while I'm interviewing someone, but sometimes writing does it, too,
  • The first thirty or so minutes of the day, when my brain is still in a meditative, semi-conscious mode that allows me to do my best thinking. Lying in bed when I'm in this mindstate, thinking all the good thoughts.
  • The hour that comes after that, when it still seems entirely feasible that I'm going to have the productive, inspiring, exciting working day of my dreams.
  • Very occasionally: actually having the productive, inspiring, exciting working day of my dreams.
  • A really good meeting, when I leave with the sense that genuine progress has and will be made.
  • Checking my bank balance after three job payments have cleared at once.
  • Transferring some cash - no matter how small the amount - into my savings account.
  • Remembering that, even though the financial instability of being a freelancer and independent businessowner can (and does) cause me a lot of stress, I'm paying my rent and my bills every month, putting clothes on my own back, and generally just making it work. And I have done for my entire adult life, without the help of a wealthy boyfriend or rich parents to lean on.
  • The feeling of full-body effervescence that comes from a really good idea.
  • Immediately taking action on said idea.
  • Bringing an idea to full fruition. 
  • Looking at ideas I had six months ago and being really glad I didn't take action on them, after all.
  • The buzz in the room after one of our events.
  • Learning new skills, by creating a platform that enables me to explore all my interests at once. I definitely never anticipated how much pleasure I'd find in becoming the rookie designer of all The WW Club flyers and graphics.
  • Fucking up, and then recovering from my fuck ups. Realising that you really do learn from your mistakes.
  • Checking my inbox to find an email from a woman somewhere in the world, saying that The WW Club has helped, inspired, or galvanised her in some way. I live for this.
  • Anytime someone I love tells me that I've made them proud.
  • Being at the point in my career where I know that I'm pretty good at certain things, and I'm getting better at others. Not feeling like I have to issue a disclaimer on that statement, because I've worked really hard to get here.
  • Thinking about all the stuff I've still yet to learn, and how much progress I can still make with writing, speaking, moderating, creative direction, and all the other stuff I've made my job.
  • Talking about work with people (especially women) whose philosophy and output inspires me. 
  • Collaborating with people who are really good at what they do.
  • Contemplating the idea that, in five, or ten, or twenty years' time, I might be doing a completely different type of work in a totally different part of the world. Feeling really grateful that I'm privileged enough to have these kinds of possibilities open to me.
  • Meeting working women in different cities and countries, and learning from the different ways that they get shit done. 
  • Reviewing my annual goals halfway through the year, and realising I've already ticked off most of the list.
  • Slowly learning that I can't do everything at once. Finding peace with that. Cutting stuff from my to-do list entirely.
  • A clean desk. A tidy laptop desktop. A fresh Muji notebook. Black Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip pens in M.
  • Powerdressing for important work days and big meetings. Heading out feeling like I've totally nailed the look.
  • Listing big career and life dreams while I'm lying on a beach.
  • Writing on a plane. 
  • Crossing the Manhattan bridge en route to my office every morning and saying "What's up?" to New York. (Usually in my head. Sometimes out loud).
  • The energy of NYC in the morning, when the whole town is on its way to work.
  • Going home to London and feeling inspired by all the incredible creative work that is being made there.
  • Going to bed at night, totally exhausted from the day's work (in a good way).
  • Getting up for work after a really good night's sleep.
  • Watching my friends thrive in their careers. Seeing them come into their professional power, find creative fulfillment, and make bank along the way.
  • A well-earned holiday.
  • Coming back from a well-earned holiday, raring to get back to work.
  • Knowing, despite much career-related fear and self-doubt, that I'm essentially on the right path and doing the work I'm supposed to do.
  • Never dreading Mondays.