Issue 04 / Exploring Joy, Reimagining Resilience

The Vocabulary of Joyful Resilience

5 min reading time

5 min read

Reimagining Resilience starts with being inquisitive about The Words we use to define it.

Military-inspired terms pervade business and career jargon. Such a vocabulary normalizes the idea that it is ok—or even necessary—to endure pain and hardship in order to ensure the success of each 'operation' falling under our duty. Using this frame of reference, every mundane task sounds mission-critical and inevitably becomes connected to a 'greater goal' we feel compelled to serve — demanding superhuman dedication, grit, and toughness for prolonged periods of time.

  1. ExperiencesIn The FieldDeployAlignExecuteHeadhunters

  2. StrategyEngagementApproachAltitudePrice Wars

  3. Lines of AttackLanded on an ideaCampaignsGroundworkWar Rooms

  4. Daily GrindIntelligenceLogisticsPhasesDominance

  5. PlanningBleeding EdgeTargetsEscalateSuperiority

  6. Kick-Ass ProductShoot ForLaser-SharpKiller IdeaAggressive Pricing

  7. Rapid-fireDivide & ConquerMarching OrdersSales forceSacrifice

Chronic stress, emotional strain, and fatigue are NOT what our brains and bodies are designed to endure, and certainly not what we need to prosper physically, emotionally, or creatively. Our biology carries a fight or flight 'reptilian' response to protect us from life-or-death situations. When work conversations trigger such a response, tapping into our higher-level cognitive functions for empathetic and innovative thinking becomes more and more difficult.

We all deserve a new vocabulary of resilience. One where joy and creativity become our compass—guiding us out of the crisis we're experiencing and away from the toxic obligations that have compromised so much of our wellbeing.

Let's manifest this new reality one definition at a time—making room for novel behaviors, kinder intentions, and more mindful creative practices.

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Joyful Resilience Index

Introducing a collection of freshly wordsmithed concepts to describe how we can foster and normalize a practice of regenerative joy and creativity for greater resilience in life, work, and relationships.

Otium Leave

[oh-ti-oom leev]

Paid time off granted to aid the replenishment of an employee's full creative potential. Highly encouraged after mentally, emotionally, or physically enduring a particularly difficult time It's typically intended for leisurely learning a new skill, to recharge in contemplation, or to pursue creative exploration without feeling concerned about the outcome.

Otium Teamtime

[oh-ti-oom teem-tahym]

Indulging in a moment of digression and collective playtime in order to supercharge the team's capability to overcome potential challenges and setbacks.

It can be restorative in nature — to replenish optimal levels of trust, optimism, and excitement after a particularly frustrating series of meetings. Or it can be propaedeutic, similar to a 'warm up' exercise — to awaken the imaginative and creative muscles in preparation for a session with many difficult ideas to unravel.

Joy - Complished


The intentional act of measuring a company's or a person's level of accomplishment through the intensity and persistence of joyful feelings generally associated with their routine work practices.

Joy Duty


Consciously prioritizing joy and abundance of playful explorations as primary duties for a company, an individual, or a community. In corporate settings, committing to a shared Joy Duty sets the stage for collective business decisions revolving around questions such as:

  • What is the 'Joy Duty' that my brand can uniquely validate, normalize, and nourish?

  • How can commitment to a bold 'Joy Duty' help my company attract and retain the very best talent along with the most rewarding and expansive wealth of customers?

Affinity Ownership Model

[uh-fin-itee ow-nuh-shuhp mo-dl]

A new model for idea ownership that maximizes an idea's potential and minimizes creative fatigue. Those who organically demonstrate the most ease and interest in pushing an idea further are encouraged to own it—prioritizing elective affinities and creative momentum over traditional authorship rights and duties. This model can also be utilized to ensure that specific affinity groups are empowered to take ownership of an idea that would be greatly be enhanced by their unique life experiences.

Play Advocates

[pley ad-vuh-kits]

A leadership role that focuses on cultivating, protecting, and empowering the natural conditions in which individuals can creatively function at their best: a state of joyful playfulness. In these conditions, contributors are empowered to question, re-imagine, and explore alternative solutions without the pressure of delivering immediate, measurable results.

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