Undoubtedly, we all experience joy differently. Joy plays an integral role in our life - it’s the feeling of great pleasure, happiness, and peace, but it’s not an innate feeling - we have to work to ensure we have joy.
As Henri Nouwen states, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
Here is what I know about joy…I’ve spent a great deal of time researching and reflecting on the role joy plays in life. I’ve come to understand that it is an underlying feeling in your core – no matter what happens in your day or the unexpected challenges you face, you want to cultivate the ability to remind yourself of your personal joy.
Choose joy each and every day
We all experience moments that bring added joy, but joy should be a core part of us. Celebrating joyful simplicities – the small things in life, bring comfort, well-being, and peace of mind.
Each morning, if we’re fortunate to open our eyes, we can tap into our internal joy, just by being thankful to be alive. We set the tone of our day and make a choice that directs our day in a positive or negative fashion.
Fear can be paralyzing…
Many individuals let fear set their path. After years in one career, they may feel they want a change but rely heavily on the financial rewards and stability their career offers so they stay. Leading to them sacrifice their joy and often happiness.
Fear can paralyze; robbing them of the pursuit of things that might be. It sucks away joy and they end up staying in the same place, stuck in mediocrity. That place might feel safer, but it’s dangerous in that it drains the spirit and wastes human potential. Not to mention, often lack of joy creates negative emotional contagion, which spreads outwards to those around them.
Overcoming the fear of failure
It takes great courage to overcome the fear of failure. Realizing that perfection is impossible and that it’s okay to make mistakes is vital. We learn and grow from our errors and move forward with that knowledge. The greatest inventions in the world were born out of failure and materialized because inventors didn't quit, instead they found success through their mistakes.
Never settle, never give up on your path to finding joy.
Our journey through life can be challenging; we need to build resilience to fill us with the mental, emotional and physical stamina necessary to manage our feelings, daily trials and tribulations in order to hold on to our personal joy.