While adding joys to the compendium it has become clear that joys even the most subtle have many phases of development from our first experience with a particular source of joy to deepening our appreciation for something we find enjoyable. Here is four phases of joy you might recognise.

Phase 1 – The joy of discovery

Our first introduction to any specific joy is that before first experiencing it we had no idea that it existed. Whether it was the first spoonful of chocolate ice-cream, the first bar of our new favourite song before that moment we could only image that whatever it was would bring us joy. This means of course that Phase one joy always includes a sensation of surprise.

Phase 2 – The joy of familiarity

Once we are familiar with a joy we can add a new Phaseof enjoyment that arrises from the anticipation of that sensation.

Phase 3 – Shared joys

A joy shared is a joy multiple tenfold. Our sense of belonging and connection is enhanced when we recognise the same joy in others either because they are undertaking the same action that creates intense joy in us or because we can empathise with just how wonderful their sense if enjoyment is.

Phase 4 – Transcendent Joy

Connects us to something bigger than ourselves, creates a sense of meaning beyond an individual or narrow purpose.

This list of new and existing words have been collected here to celebrate the vast array of joy that we humans have access to. The intention is to maximise enjoyment and potential by defining joys, that readers and contributors have personally experienced and those we might want to experience.

New terms are designed to encourage exploration of a joy that there is currently no name for (not just because making up words is great fun, although it is).

Our greatest hope in building this compendium is that everyone who reads it might explore and expand their experience of joy in their life.

While we have no lofty goals to “save the world” with this project, it is clear that being able to define what our “better world” will look and feel like requires a deep understanding of joy.

Could we build such a library of words for joy for individuals and groups to share that we would eventually see joy on project plans? Could we begin to embed measures of joy into government programmes? If the solutions to our global problems included a measurement of the amount of joy they created rather than just the suffering avoided, how much more successful might they be?