We are all looking for something in life that brings us joy. Sometimes what I tend to find is that when you ask someone what brings them joy they tend to run off a list of people, things, or places. While those things may bring them some type of happiness and make them feel good, that is not the same things as joy. Joy is usually found in the place of awareness of self and in the intangibles of life. Today I want to dig into four things that can set us on the right path to a joyous life. These are not the only ways to bring joy into our lives, but we all have to start somewhere. So let’s dig in.
First I want to talk about changing your mindset. This may take some time to get used to, but we need to reprogram our brains to focus on the positive a little more than the negative. Here is an example. You set a goal to lose weight or save money but never took the time out to really believe in yourself. So every time you hit a bump in the road, you fall and give up. Your negative mindset plagues you. Tells you how you are a failure, how you may never amount to anything, how life will always be a struggle. One day you decide to change your mindset. You tap into some positivity, you write down your goals and create a plan. You say to yourself, “I am a successful person and no matter what I will not fail.” Now when that bump in the road comes along, you don’t give up. You fight because you have already set up that positive stamp on your situation. When you choose a positive mindset, you are selecting a more joyous life.
If you don’t know how to change your mindset start with a daily affirmation. “I am successful, and I know I have a purpose in life” “I am filled with love and joy daily”. You began to set your mind on the correct path, then you begin to see the other side of things that may have been blocked by the negativity cloud you were under. Your mind is the most powerful being. It controls your body, once you get your mind in shape that rest will follow.
Second is gratitude. Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a recovering complainer and gratitude over-looker. Think about it. Have you ever been so focused on the negative you lack practicing gratitude daily? I have, and I also learned during my recovery process how easy it is to get trapped in this dark hole of ungratefulness. For some of us, it’s a very natural process, but for others (such as myself) we have to work on the practice of gratitude. There is a saying that goes: “If you aren’t thankful for what you have, how is God suppose to be blessed with more.” Gratitude opens the door to more. If we are complaining and focusing on the negative how are we suppose to see the opportunities that are in front of us? We can’t because we are blinded by the dark and not the light. So how do you fix it? Let me help you with that.
For the next week I want you to wake up and say today I’m grateful for (fill in the blank). Try this every single day and say it out loud so you can hear yourself. Then the next week, for every time you complain I want you to think of two things that you are grateful for. Combat those negative thoughts. I know this is easier said than done, but practice makes perfect. This will also help put your mind in a more positive mind frame. If you are kinesthetic learner try writing down what you are grateful for. A great journal to use it Alex Elle Growing in Gratitude Journal: 150 Day of Expressing Thanks. I loved this journal and it has help on my recovery journey.
It can be tough defining your own success when many before us have tried to define what success is “suppose to look like”. We have been taught to go to college, graduate, and get a great job. But for many that just is not reality. Millennials have been under great scrutiny because some of us don’t follow the “definition” of success. They are sometimes labeled as spoiled and ungrateful. Yes, that may be true for some, but for many, it has nothing to do with being ungrateful for the path that our ancestors have paved for us. We just want to define success on our own terms. For you, this may or may not include a 9-5, or starting your own business and traveling around the world. I just want to encourage you to sit down and figure out what success looks like to you.
Don’t burden yourself with the views of others, or what somebody may have had planned for you. Go after what you truly want. You may have to work a job you may not enjoy until you get your feet off the ground, but being miserable at work is no longer the only option. Success is also not only defined by your career choices.
I want you to consider what success looks like for you in these four life domain: Health, Finance, Career, and Relational (family and romantic). Ask yourself what needs to happen in each of the domains to fill successfully. You may not succeed in all four domains at one time and that’s OK. This will be a journey and a tough learning experience but on the other side your destiny.
Last is forgiveness. Forgiveness is something we should try to practice daily. Let me start by saying just because we forgive someone doesn’t mean we need to forget and blindly trust. You can provide forgiveness to someone and not continue to have them in your life. Forgiveness is more for you than the person who has wronged you. We have to learn to forgive, let light in and not be clouded by the darkness of someone else ways. I know for me the ultimate act of forgiveness was given to my mother. She may not have explained to me why she left or even apologized, but I had to learn to forgive her without those things. I had to stop caring anger, shame, and hatred in my heart.
Here is how we are going to work on forgiveness. I want you to grab a piece of paper and write down two people who you haven’t forgiven and the situation that occurred. Now look at those two situations and think about how not forgiving them in your heart has affected your life. This is why we need to practice forgiveness more often. Let go and be happy. During this process please don’t forget to practice forgiveness for yourself. We can’t keep holding on to wrongs that we have done, because we can’t change the past. We can only live in the present.
Remember Joy is found in the intangible. It can’t be stolen, broken, or misplaced.Jnycoleh
True joy is one of the most beautiful things to acquire. Feeling the light running through your body radiating it to other people. We will all have hard times and sad moments but things I have spoken about today are how we combat those negative times. I want you to create a joyous life for yourself. Not defined on anybody else terms, but your own. Remember joy is found within the intangible things in life. The only way someone can steal your joy is if you give them access to do so. So, let’s get to work and began living joyfully.