Finding joy

Finding joy Image
Finding joy April 2, 2020

With all that the world is experiencing currently, alumna Lisa Ryan, an expert in gratitude, encourages us to look for the good that's all around us.

Stop watching the news.

That’s alumna Lisa Ryan’s first bit of candid advice to ensure your thinking stays in the best place as you walk through the next several months.

“Really. Just turn it off,” she said.

There’s some benefit in staying informed generally, she acknowledges, but the daily death updates, increasingly worrisome forecasts and overall tone to the news these days tends to throw you into a funk.

“We’re so besieged with bad news.”

But with all the negative press, she’s certain that there is much that we can be grateful for.

Lisa has built a successful career on gratitude. Up until recently, she travelled the country as a workplace engagement expert and appreciation strategist. That means she taught business leaders how valuing their employees increases productivity, retention and bottom lines. You’d think that would be a forgone conclusion, but surprisingly it’s not.

Like millions of others, her business took a significant hit when the coronavirus pandemic worsened.

“At the beginning of year my calendar was full,” she said.

Now, all of those engagements for the next couple of months are gone, but she’s not wallowing in what was or could have been.

“Instead of stressing over the things that you can’t control, find gratitude in the things that you can,” she said.

Each morning, she opens her journal and writes down five things for which she is grateful. Sometimes, it’s a stretch and she has to dig deep to find the last two, but that’s the point. With a bit of effort, you’ll find there’s good all around us even in chaos and uncertainty.

Lisa’s experienced firsthand how keeping a healthy and optimistic perspective can change a life. It helped her weather many a personal storm and led to her current career.

So, when it comes life’s challenges, she understands one simple truth: this too shall pass.

“You use those words in times of joy and in times of pain,” she said.