Joyful Gestures Create Happiness

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readMar 7, 2024

“Even the tiniest joyful gestures add up over time…”

Photo by August de Richelieu:

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

Ingrid Fetell Lee is a renowned designer and author known for her work on the relationship between design and joy. She has studied the intersection of design, psychology, and neuroscience to understand how the physical environment can impact people’s emotions and well-being.

Through her research and writing, she advocates for the importance of incorporating elements of joy into our surroundings to enhance happiness and quality of life. In addition to her design consultancy work, Ingrid has authored the book “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness,” which explores the role of design in fostering joy.

Her insights have gained widespread recognition, and she is celebrated for her contributions to the fields of design and positive psychology. Lee’s upbeat quote –

“Even the tiniest joyful gestures add up over time, and before we know it, we have not just a few happier people but a truly joyful world.”

- can be a mantra for those looking to spark a little joy in their daily lives. Let’s break this quote down to better understand its positive message.

“Even the tiniest joyful gestures add up over time,…”

This part emphasizes the significance of small acts of joy and happiness. It suggests that even seemingly minor actions or moments of cheerfulness can accumulate and have a meaningful impact over time. In other words, like a bank account, a sustained effort to deposit even small amounts can grow into a large sum over the years. These actions could include things like a smile, a kind word, a simple act of kindness, or taking a mindful moment to journal and find joy in everyday experiences.

Photo by Natasha Fernandez:

“… and before we know it, we have not just a few happier



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·