Episode 076: Start With Joy

If you want to create a new life, or even a small reboot, where do you start?  With a vision?  A plan?  Not exactly.  You start by living the life you already have with joy.  True joy comes not from our circumstances, but from inside.  On this episode we’ll discuss three important reasons to start with joy.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – The Power of Music
Random Riffs – Speak Truth to Power
Feature Segment – Life 2.x: Start With Joy

Today’s Quote

Music is love in search of a word.  –Sidney Lanier

Rhythm of Life – The Power of Music

“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”  I still remember the first time I heard that song.  There’s something about music, isn’t there?  It has the ability to unite us in ways mere words cannot.

Brene Brown talks about the power of music in her new book “Braving the Wilderness”.

I want more music in my life.  I want to lift my song with others to create the most beautiful music ever.  Music of love.  Hope.  Joy.  Compassion.

Maybe if we learn to sing together, we can learn to work together.

Random Riffs – Speak Truth to Power

In an article about the singer Jewel, I read she was struggling with self-doubt, and tried positive affirmations to help.  But they didn’t ring true.

So she changed those positive affirmations to what she calls “antidote thoughts”.  Things that DO ring true and still offset the negative thinking. This worked much better for her.  Listen to hear how she did it and an example I thought of too.

Feature Segment – Life 2.x: Start With Joy

Corrie was in the infamous Ravensbruck prison camp in Germany during World War 2.  They were living in the worst possible conditions.  And now it actually got worse…fleas.  Everywhere.  On everyone and everything.

Her sister Betsie told her to give thanks in all circumstances.  Corrie couldn’t imagine how she could or why she should.  Listen to hear what happened.

In episode 075, we started a series on what it means to explore your purpose, experiment with a second chapter in your life.  And because we don’t know how many iterations we’ll have, I called it Life 2.x.

In order to live 2.x, start with joy.  Not a plan, vision, or strategy.

Brene Brown speaks of the tension between circumstances and cultivating joy in her newest book “Braving the Wilderness”.

Henri Nouwen says something similar in “The Return of the Prodigal Son”.

There’s something about this joy – something beautiful.  Hard.  Transformative.  Whether you’re a person of faith or not, joy is possible.  It’s also the foundation for Life 2.x.

Why seek joy?

  1. Resilience

Joyful people are better able to cope with ups and downs, and even tragedy.  We each have a happiness set-point, and come back to it within a year of a major positive or negative event.  With practice, we can raise it.  Check out Dan Gilbert’s TED talk on this topic.

Practicing choosing joy means exercising our joy muscles for when really need them.  Joy builds resilience.

  1. Contagious

Joyful people bring joy and hope to others.  In Jon Gordon’s book, “The Energy Bus“, he tells the story of George – who felt like his life was falling apart because of negativity.  Negativity is so contagious.  And if negativity is contagious, joy is too.  Only it’s got a stronger foundation.

Joy brings hope.  Hope for today…and tomorrow.

  1. Success

Joyful people are more successful.  In “The Happiness Advantage,” Shawn Achor cites performance statistics for people where happiness came before success.  Studies showed that the average performance improvement was 30%.

In his new book called “High Performance Habits“, Brendon Burchard says that the highest performers “strive satisfied”.   Why might that be?  Those who strive satisfied take the pressure.  Which improves creativity.

Want to live your 2.x life?  Then start with joy.  It doesn’t come in a dream.  It doesn’t come from circumstances.  It comes from practices….repeated again and again.  Intention.

So choose.  Choose joy.

Question:  What makes you seek joy?  Resilience, Contagion, Success?  Or maybe something else?  Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.