Some people (and I am not one of them) will tell you: “Choose what brings you joy and let go of the rest. Only spend time with people and things that bring you joy, only do work that brings you joy, only spend money when it brings you joy.”
I see what they mean and I also know that it probably won’t work out in the long run. Because, while it is important to choose the right relationships, work, investments etc., there is something else and interesting playing in here:
Our best relationships and best work are not always comfortable! They cannot be! These are the relationships and the work that grow us and bring the best out of us. And they do so by stretching us beyond our comfort zones and showing us what stands in our way. And that will not always feel joyful.
More importantly, neither our relationships, work, money or anything else external can really bring us joy. I know this is a challenging statement, but hear me out:
They don’t bring us joy because joy is not something that anyone or anything outside of us can bring us. Joy is something that lives within us. It was there the day we were born and it will be there the day we die, and all the other days in between.
Joy is always present within us. Even if we cannot always feel it, it’s there.
And because it’s there, we can learn how to get in touch with our source of joy.
Now, there may be people, things and situations that make our inner joy flow. Great! Let it flow! But don’t stop there. Learn to find joy even if these people, things and situations aren’t around. I’ll show you how in a moment.
Once we have found the door to joy within us, then we are free to open it any time, regardless of circumstances. Rather than waiting for something or someone to bring us joy, we can bring our joy with us, any time we want.
We can bring it to our body, emotions, and thoughts. We can bring it to our relationships and work. We can bring it to our finances and our creativity, and any other area of life. We can bring it with us in good times and in challenging times.
Developing that ability is a journey. But then again, the journey can be based on a fairly simple practice. One such practice is described in the free “Finding Joy Every Day ebook.