A few weeks ago I was meandering my way down my long walk home from the subway, getting some good pondering time in. While wandering through my ponderings, I stumbled upon the word enjoy in a different way than I had ever previously thought of it, and it struck me.
Going through life we all have moments of enjoyment. Sitting in the sun reading a book with coffee in hand on a Saturday morning? I’m enjoying myself. Cuddling with my lovely cat, The Kit, while she purrs like a motor boat? I’m enjoying myself. Laughing with coworkers as a spontaneous dance break out takes over? I’m enjoying myself. Hanging out with my hubs, sister, friends, family and discussing literature or politics or the newest SNL skit? I’m enjoying myself. Being at the front of a boat (or motorcycle… or skidoo…) going really fast, I’m really enjoying myself.
I do get to enjoy all these things and a whole lot more. Which is awesome.
What struck me on my meandering was the actual etymology, or word origin, of enjoy—specifically, the “en” in enjoy. Following a hunch, I looked up what “en” means and found two definitions: 1. Near, at, or on; 2. In, into, within. With the first, it implies a separation from joy. With the second, a possession of it.
My hunch was for the second definition.
I’m a little bit of a language geek (Writing and Literature graduate that I am), and often think about the limits of language and how that effects our ability to understand everything around us. If we have one word for, let’s say, reindeer, but the Sami people, who live in the northern tips of Russia and Scandinavia have as many as 1,000 words for reindeer, there are potentially 999 other ways in which I can understand reindeer that my English speaking brain doesn’t know—and, therefore, those other 999 reindeer don’t really exist for me.
Do you see what I mean?
So thinking about enjoy, I started to think about how a one letter switch could make a big change. I started thinking about injoy.
That small difference ignited a spark in me. It feels different, to injoy something, because you’re in the joy of it. You’re joy embodied. In that moment, joy is in you, and you have all of joy’s power.
I don’t know about you, but that bowled me over. Since then, when I find myself enjoying a moment, I’ve been taking time to switch the letters to injoy. With the shift I’ve noticed a difference in presence, in availability to the moment, and in personal power: joy is powerful. While I’m injoying myself, I hold that power. And that power for positivity and happiness and JOY… well… it’s quite remarkable.
How can you injoy?
Challenge: the next time you’re feeling joyful, take a moment to think about injoying it. How do you feel possessing joy? How is it different from enjoying? Please share in the comments below or tweet me @AliMercier (I’m sure Erika would like to hear it to! Catch her @ErikaPetrelli1.)
"Injoy: The Power Derived From Positivity", The Leadership Program, Inc. 2016