Oct 01, 2021
Happiness and joy don’t stick around forever and attacks on joy can come from many directions.
These attacks could be the result of receiving bad news at work, encountering a negative person, getting a handful of unexpectedly large bills or even watching a favorite sport’s team lose a close game.
The trick to maintaining joy is understanding how joy works. Here are a few pointers:
- Diminishing resource. Joy is a bit like an ocean tide. One minute it’s there, the next minute it’s gone. In the same way, you might get some bad news this week, but a week later you might get good news. Or today you could encounter a negative person, but then an hour later bump into one of the happiest people on earth.
- Bring the joy. One of my favorite sayings by Brendon Burchard is “bring the joy.” He says it is always up to us to find our joy and happiness. After all, there is a massive difference between expecting others to make us happy and using others as a tool to make us happy. Nobody can make us happy or joyful.
- Get out of a funk. Being joyful all the time is not the right goal. Every emotion and feeling must reflect at least a modicum of truth. We would never tell a grieving person to just “be happy.” Their deep emotions aren’t reflecting happiness at that time. I often grieve about all the things my disability took away from me. I know some of my challenges can stop me in my tracks. However, it’s up to me to find joy in things like connecting with a friend, reading an uplifting book, talking with my wife or just watching my kids play. If all else fails, chocolate is a great pick-me-up. Finding joy is my responsibility, just as it is my job to get advice from a friend, go on outings or just ask my kids for a hug. I control the level of joy I feel at any time.
One does not simply stumble across happiness. Each of us must create our joy every day. But it’s important to remember that life is not about being happy all the time. Instead, as the old saying goes, “the journey is the destination.” In other words, the true goal for the good life is to always be seeking joy, motivation and inspiration – wherever they may be.