on refunds and joy

It's wonderful to get a refund for the work, the time, the effort or good grace engendered. It feels good, but the way one receives a refund has the potential to generate more joy.

Here's what I've noticed: the miraculous call from no where - say your insurance agent - saying hey! you're getting a refund! Awesome you! doesn't give me much joy. What is says is - hey! you're an afterthought and I messed up my math! Oops. And that's not joy.

Not compared to seeing the refund add up dollar after dollar - knowing that what you do will directly impact the bottom line. When you make a choice you see an impact. While the sudden refund feels like - you've been overcharged and we just noticed - the planned, trackable refund feels more like you're doing something to be rewarded/refunded/recognized for. It seems to me to read: we are mindful, we know you and we want to recognize your effort.

Money is money and a refund is valuable either way... but it means more when you're not an afterthought. Why not seek the joy?