I keep getting asked the same question. It’s totally awesome and becoming totally weird. In private conversations, after speaking functions, even during media interviews– when I talk about life or kindness or breast cancer, the same question keeps coming back to me: Where do you get your joy?
It’s like God is giving me lots of chances to answer the question with the hope that one of these times I’ll actually get it right!
My standard answer is God. I meet with him every morning and remind him that I can’t do this on my own. It’s my way of tapping into the source of energy and power and positivity, and at the same time, reminding myself that I’m not in control and I don’t need to be in control. I get to let go and let God.
Here’s the problem… when I say that to people, they either say, “Oh” as in, “Well, if God and getting up early are involved then I’m out.” Or they say, “I do that and it’s helpful, but it’s not really increasing my joy.”
So then I had to think, What else am I doing to create joy that could possibly help people? Shopping? No. Great food? No. Awesome sex? No. Did I just say that? Someone PLEASE hire me an editor.
Here it is. I choose joy. That’s it. It’s like a mind game I play all day long. When something stinky happens, I flip it. I force myself to find the positive in every situation.
My kid has to stay home with the stomach flu. I get to cancel everything and wear sweatpants and snuggle!
My in-laws are coming and I need to clean the house. Wow– this is a big house to clean! I am so grateful I get to live in a house that’s such a pain to maintain.
I have friends whose adult son recently died. I mourn and I hurt for them, but even in those situations, in my head, I also flip to the positive. My friends have been showered with cards from strangers who loved their son. He made such a difference in people’s lives and my friends are realizing they must have done something quite right as parents to have raised such an amazing person.
Our first inclination is to acknowledge and talk about what’s easy and what stands out in a situation… which is the bad. Challenge yourself to find and flip and focus on the positive.
It’s taken me a few years, but I’m telling you, it’s now my natural instinct. Silver lining is my favorite color and it’s the color that stands out to me the most.
It’s only fair, though, that I give you a warning with this challenge. My friends have become so used to me pointing out the positive that when I dwell even a second too long on the negative, they start looking at me funny. It’s like they hold their breath and wait, because they know I’m going to turn around soon and get back on the happy train.
Doesn’t it sound fun to ride the happy train? You have the power to live a life that is overflowing with joy. This is a not a secret gift given only to me. It is waiting for you. Play the game and see if I’m right. Spend the day continually flipping to the positive. Before you know it, people will be asking you, Where do you get your joy?