JoyReturns 1st Annual Virtual Conference

How to chase the mid-winter blues bye-bye?

Attend a conference, your own conference. I wish I could say this was my idea but I stole it from Chris Brogan.   

Here are a compilation of my favorite Ted and Tedx Talks.

None pertain to joy but if you act upon the ideas in these talks you will find or create joy in your life or the lives of others. Every speech pertains to you no matter what age or what nasty life event you have or are experiencing.

There is a break after every session so you can review notes or rewind to rewatch part of a speech. So grab a pen and notebook and start the conference when your schedule permits.

One day we will all gather in a warm location, wearing bikini’s and speedo’s and sipping tropical drinks with umbrellas in them and listen to speakers live and not via Memorex (Does that even still exist?).

Hungry? Here are some recipes for your conference:

Cherry Cheesecake Tarts: How To Get Out Of The Doghouse

Easy Heath Bar Cookies

Feta, Beans and Champagne – Oh My!


Opening Prayer: How Great Thou Art by Elvis | Jordainaires | Imperials

How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek


Small Ripples Make Big Waves by Abby Kohut


The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown


5 Ways to Listen Better by Julian Treasure


Connected, but Alone by Sherry Turkle


The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain


How To Sleep by Jessa Gamble


Should you live for your resume…or your eulogy? by David Brooks


Closing Remarks: A Pep Talk by Kid President

Music by the BeeGee’sYou Should Be Dancing.  You will understand why I picked this song after you watch Kid President’s pep talk.


Recommended Reading: 

Start With Why, How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

Daring Greatly – Brene Brown

Connected by Erin Davis (a nice compliment to Sherry Turkle’s speech.)

Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome – Robby Novak and Brad Montague

The Impact Equation, Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?  by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Official Conference Quote: 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

(emphasis mine)

Official Conference Poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Official Conference Scripture: 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

I hope you enjoyed attending the JoyReturns 1st Annual Virtual Conference.

Please let me know what you thought about the speakers. Who would you like to see next year?

Disclaimer: None of these links are affiliate links, so I do not earn any money when you click on them. I have not been paid by anyone for posting links to the talks or the books.


No Joy In Open Floor Plans


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3

In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain points out the case against open floor plans. After sorting through lots of research (sited on page 295), she indicates the following disadvantages:

  • High staff turnover
  • Impairment of memory
  • Reduction in productivity
  • Making people sick, hostile, unmotivated and insecure.

Now I am not going to give away all the disadvantages revealed, you will just have to read the book to find out.

Not Creative

Open floor plans are not mentally or physically healthy for employees.  Creativity gets stifled because no one has a quiet place to go and work out their ideas – other than the bathroom stall. There are times where you just need peace and quiet to resolve a customer’s problem.

Plus there is one other “minor” issue –

The Federal PRIVACY Laws

None of my co-workers had the need to know the details of my conversation with a customer, other than my manager or the compliance people who periodically monitored calls for quality assurance purposes.

An open floor plan increases the risk of 3rd party information being over-heard by someone who does not need to know.  

If I am sitting in a bank and there are two desks side by side with no walls, the financial counselor and their customer at the other desk can easily hear the conversation I am having with my counselor. 

So before you decide to tear down the walls or not even build any – consider the business you are in and the type of information discussed either in person or on the phone.  You would not want anyone to hear what is going on in your life whether it pertains to career, finances or relationships so what makes your customers want snippets of their life overheard by other people?

Colds & Flu

If you think a cold spreads fast in a cubicle nation, just wait until the cubicle walls come tumbling down or never get erected.

Sneezes can travel up to 100 mph and wet spray can radiate 5 feet.

http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sneeze.html  WordPress would not allow me to link it to the above sentence.)

Now imagine someone suddenly sneezing in an open floor plan.  We’ve all been there, suddenly caught off guard by a sneeze and no time to reach for the Kleenex or cover your nose and mouth. 

While walls will not stop the spread of germs, at least they can slow the spread down.

Cheaper but…

It might be cheaper to not erect walls but don’t be surprised if the money you save is spent on sick time.


Don’t Try To Cure The Children

(Author’s Note: I had planned to talk about open floor plans today but, with the school shooting that happened in Chardon, OH yesterday I changed my mind.)


Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for

I am you God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with

My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Susan Cain’s book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” contains a chapter about introverted children (Chapter 11).  She talks about raising a child who is an introvert and covers educating those children.

All parents and educators need to read this chapter.

One of the most important aspects of the chapter is pointing out how successful introverts are once they get into the working world.  They are successful because they choose the working environment where they know they can excel.

Unfortunately they are unable to choose their school environment.  However, parents and educators can work together to make sure introverted children have the best possible school experience.

Parents and educators:

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.” 

Susan Cain

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”

Work with the children to bring out their best don’t force them to become an extrovert.   Help them learn how to cope with social situations.

Remember one-third to one-half of students are introverts.  They are just as much the future as extroverts.

Please raise and educate them well.  Your children are your future and your legacy.