“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
There is such joy that comes from learning something new. There are no expectations of perfection or mastery, merely the beauty of starting something without a preconceived condition of success.
What prevents us from embracing this joy regularly throughout life? Is it the burden of responsibilities or the expectations of others? Do we allow ourselves to take a less risky and less exciting path simply because we need the “sure thing.”
Fear, doubt, and worry about things that MIGHT happen is the harbinger of death for finding joy in a new beginning. Where is your worry? How can you remove it and enable yourself to experience the freedom of a new beginning?
“The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed.”
Think back over your day yesterday. Did you laugh? Do you even remember if there were moments of levity and joy that created an opportunity to laugh out loud?
If the answer is “no,” then take a moment to reflect on why that was. Were there no opportunities to laugh? Did nothing funny come up through the entire day? Was everyone you associated with far too focused on the “important stuff of life” and not able to see any joy?
So much of life is spending taking ourselves too seriously. We worry about fret about all kinds of essential things and forget that the simplest sound, the music of laughter, can be one of the most refreshing and healing of all sounds we can encounter in our day.
My point is this; life is too short not to laugh daily. If you aren’t finding joy every day, then don’t wait for others to bring it to you; find a way to serve and deliver it to others.
If you can’t remember whether you laughed yesterday, create a simple daily tick sheet and record every time you laugh for a week. Simply by being aware of the presence of laughter in your life, you will find more joy. The life you change will be your own, and the impact you have on others will be profound.
Seek out opportunities to be a server of joy starting today.
“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
While this quote is specifically about Christmas, it could easily apply to any major holiday, regardless of season or Religion. The question is, what are those simple things that matter, those things that give the greatest glow of happiness?
As I reflect on this question today, the things that come to mind have nothing to do with the things that I have received from others. It is all about the time we have spent together or the experiences we have shared.
Are you spending your Christmas holiday this year in a manner that will become one of the “greatest glow of happiness moments when recalled in the future?” If not, it isn’t to late to change your mindset…
“The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.”
If you only look at the big picture, you miss all the beauty buried in the nuances of life. You miss the sound of the owl’s call, the joy of a child seeing something for the first time, the temporal whisp of the present moment which is gone all too quickly like smoke in the wind.
Joy lives in the present moment, and while the big picture matters, it is only in the immediate second that you can make choices that impact the big picture. Make those decisions wisely and intentionally. You never get the time back…
“Either you defend the status quo or invent the future.”
I love this sentiment. It’s a very clear demarcation point on how you choose to live your life. You are either focused on what was, or what will be. There is no in between or middle ground.
Personally I have always tried to live by an ethos of “relentless discontent with the status quo.” That spirit has driven me my entire life. Granted it hasn’t always led to the most optimum decisions or outcomes, yet I would rather live forward with anticipation of a better tomorrow than under a constant state of fear that my world is going to be disrupted. Because guess what? It is. Never has that been more apparent than right now…
So one can either live in a state of fear, or in a state of creativity. I choose the latter.
“It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.”
Are you comfortable laughing at yourself? Can you find the humor in the simple things that you do or say that when viewed from outside-in bring a smile to your lips? Taking oneself too seriously impedes your ability to savor all the world has to offer. The world is a much more beautiful place when seen through the lens of laughter and joy.
A wise person once told me “find something to laugh at every single day and your spirit will never grow old. If you don’t then even if your body is young you are dying on the inside.”
Look for opportunities to laugh today and share that joy with others by laughing out loud. Who knows, you might be giving them that perfect moment of levity they need to hear.
“Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and fill up my heart.”
There is almost nothing better than a good book, and a quiet time and place to read. I have been fascinated with books and reading since childhood. I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on growing up and reading has continued to be an important throughout my entire life.
Some of the reasons that I love to read are to learn and grow but as I get a little older and perhaps wiser I have come to realize that reading is the best possible way to come close to realizing all the potential that God had in mind when he created us.
I have long felt that I could have had a hundred different careers that I would have been both good and and thoroughly enjoyed. Through reading I have found that it is possible, if only temporarily and within my own mind, to embark on different journey’s and embrace the different facets and aspects of my personality.
A couple years ago I started keeping a list of the books I read throughout the year. I desperately wish I had done this for my entire life. Not so that I can show anyone else, but simply to reflect on all richness of the world we have access to, and to remember which books are worth rereading and really marinating in. I am sure that some of the ones I have read, and now forgotten, would be a great friends to pick up again.
The beauty of reading is that it allows the soul to expand and become a little bit more of what it is truly capable of. Whether you are reading for learning, reading to understand, reading to for joy, or simply reading to entertain your mind. Each book is an opportunity to live a touch more broadly and with greater flavor.
There is more life to live than we could ever achieve in a thousand lifetimes, but we can squeeze a bit more into the one precious life we have with each great book we read. So what’s on your reading list?
“Let your joy be in your journey—not in some distant goal.”
I love the holiday season. Beginning with the month of October and then the run up to Thanksgiving and through the New Year is just a magical time of year. Not just because it is a time to indulge in too much rich food and extra time with family. But because the season seems to put a warmer spark in peoples hearts. Of course the true meaning of Christmas is never lost on me and the part I love most is the Christmas Eve service at church singing carols by candlelight.
When I was a child I would spend the entire holidays in breathless anticipation of Christmas morning. It wasn’t about the journey, it was about the goal. Now that I am older, and hopefully wiser, I appreciate the journey through the different holidays so much more. In fact, I would give anything to add another week to the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time of year always seems to go by far to fast.
So when reading this quote today my mind immediately went to the joy of the journey through the holidays and how maturity has changed my focus from the goal to the trip. May we carry that perspective and attitude through the entire year. Along with so many other aspects of the Christmas season…