Joy on demand: the three second fix

In his new book, Joy On Demand, Chade-Meng Tan gives practical advice on how you can easily and quickly access joy. He believes you can train yourself to experience joy with a few simple exercises.

Chade-Meng Tan gives practical advice on how you can easily and quickly access joy

6 years ago
Duration 1:29
Chade-Meng Tan gives practical advice on how you can easily and quickly access joy

Chade-Meng Tan is an award-winning engineer who worked at Google, where his official job title was Jolly Good Fellow (Which Nobody Can Deny). He started giving mindfulness classes to his coworkers at Google to help them manage stress and that experience eventually lead to a dramatic career change for him.

Chade-Meng Tan (Mark Tuschman)
Taking early retirement from Google in 2015, Meng now dedicates himself to his charitable foundations, namely One Billion Acts of Peace, which is working with 13 Nobel Laureates to inspire world peace, and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a training program that uses mindfulness techniques for effective leadership.

In his new book, Joy On Demand, Meng gives practical advice on how you can easily and quickly access joy. He believes you can train yourself to experience joy with a few simple exercises.

Exercise #1: Look for thin slices of joy

Notice the joyful moments in your day, however small, however fleeting. Notice how good it feels to have that first sip of your drink. Or how tasty that first bite of food is. The pleasurable feeling of your skin in warm water when you wash your hands or take a shower. The moment of delight and comfort when you see your friend.

These thin slices of joy only last a few seconds but they add up! The more you notice joy, the more you will experience joy in your life.

Exercise #2: 10 seconds of loving kindness

Identify two people. They could be in the room with you, at your workplace, or strangers you see walking on the street. Think to yourself: "I wish for this person to be happy and I wish for that person to be happy." That's all. 

Everyone emerges from this exercise smiling, happier than before, because being on the giving end of a kind thought is rewarding.

Exercise #3: One mindful breath

Bring total and gentle attention to one inhalation and one exhalation. If you have a little time, practice noticing your breath for one minute.

There, don't you feel better?

CONTEST CLOSED: Win a copy of Joy On Demand

Congratulations to Paula Hudson-Lunn of Nelson, BC. She is the winner of Chade-Meng Tan's book, Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within

Read the CBC's contest rules.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?