11 Ways to Embrace Joy in Your Life

I really believe that happiness is an external process based on the attributes or attainment of a specific item or event.

“I’ll be happy when I have a family.”Smiles
“I’ll be happy when I meet Mr. Right.”
“I’ll be happy when I lose 20 pounds.”

I’ll be happy when… if… once…

These are all contingent upon something outside of you. But true joy comes from the peace of understanding that it is simply a choice.  Here are some of the ways you can choose to be joyful on a daily basis.

  1. Don’t require anyone’s permission to act. I understand this is my life and I own every decision I make.
  2. Don’t make excuses. In owning my decisions, I also own the consequences – good, bad or indifferent.
  3. Seek out discomfort. If I’m comfortable, then I’m already doing it. All growth/expansion/advancement lies in the area just outside our comfort zone.
  4. Don’t let fear stop you. Fear may cause me to hesitate, regroup and rethink; yet I understand some of my greatest success and joy has been strategically wrapped up in my greatest fears.
  5. Say YES because it’s powerful. Have you ever had an opportunity present that was so good you simply shouldn’t say no – and yet you did – for lack of resources (time, money, experience, etc.)? Most times the act of saying YES frees up the resources you needed in the first place. Understand the world is filled with infinite resources. Sometimes you just have to do the footwork to find them.
  6. Never settle. I truly believe that I deserve the best that life has to offer, that people have to give, and that I can share with others.
  7. Love yourself more than anyone else. Until I began doing this wholeheartedly I had no idea how much I was missing out on and how it was truly shortchanging the people around me. While it sounds counterproductive, putting you first provides you with more resources to give to others.
  8. Keep learning. Every experience, program, class, book, relationship and/or thought you have helps you to add tools to that toolbox you carry with you through life.
  9. Be flexible. If Plan A didn’t work, relax – there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.
  10. Refuse to quit. If you’ve ever watched a toddler learn to walk it really is a testament to the sheer will and determination of the human race. Those little tiny people with practically no muscle tone, zero coordination and a head that is by weight and volume 1/3 of their entire body – Just – Keep – Trying! They refuse to let those first two or three thousand stumbles, falls, trips or face plants slow them down.
  11. Avoid comparisons. In yoga we’re taught not to compare our experience with others or even with our own from a previous moment. By avoiding comparison the opinions of others carry no weight. By avoiding comparison you silence the inner critic.

What do you do to choose joy in your life?