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What is joy? According to the dictionary it is "the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires." But I think, if done right joy is far more than just an emotion, it is a state. To live in a state of joy instead of just experiencing the emotion from time to time you have to actively find joy all around you. Make it a game. How many things are you looking at, listening to, smelling, or doing at this moment that can feed a little bit of joy into your heart.
Humanity fights for joy in ways that consistently go unnoticed and unsaid. Look at the holiday season. Winter is the coldest time of year, where the nature around us begins to die and become barren. And yet I cannot think of a time of year where people are more full of hope and joy. From the beginnings of the season when people begin to wrap up into warm comfortable clothes, to the decorations and lights we cover our towns and homes with people begin to look for joy.
People often say how the holiday season is all about spreading joy. So if finding joy isn't working then send it out where you can't find it. You know how we always get told that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Well it's the same with joy, the more you focus on sending it out eventually you'll realize that you have transformed yourself into a little of beacon of joy creating ripples of smiles through everyone you meet. And let's be honest who doesn't want to be a beacon of joy?
If you can’t find it, or spread it—then create it. Don’t leave it to the universe or someone else, take the fight into your own hands and do it yourself. Grab a sticky note and a pen and right down five things that you can think of right now that make you smile. Stick it on your computer or your desk or your mirror, somewhere where you will continually see it in the corner of your vision. Anytime you start to feel depleted or you get that sinking grey feeling of hopelessness, look at your list and watch that movie or make that snack or call that person and just give yourself a little injection of joy to keep the grey feelings at bay.
In a funny way almost everything that we do is motivated in some way to find joy, regardless of whether we succeed in seeing it or not. We work hard to build a successful career, or to save enough money to travel or buy a house, or even spend an hour cooking a delicious meal. Each of these actions are pushed forwards with the hope that the outcome will bring joy into our hearts.
If I were to ask you to tell me about the last time you felt true joy, how long would it take you to think about that moment? How long ago was that moment? If it is any later than yesterday, then why? Why didn't you feel joyful yesterday? Challenge yourself. This holiday season choose to actively find joy and send joy at least once every day. Write it down, like a grateful journal, make a joy journal. And then come back in a month, read through all of your joyful moments and just try to keep a smile off of your face as you realize how much being a human on this planet can be sometimes.
Fight for joy. In every way. Every day.