Choosing Joy

Part 4 of 4 in The Apple, the Line and Your Emotions series.

Choosing happiness, practicing gratitude and finding joy.

The fourth game-changer those amazing leaders employ, is that they constantly choose happiness. There are two operatives at play here: (a) Happiness is a choice and (b) it is a choice that these leaders make constantly.

If you Google “Happiness is a choice”, you will get millions of links. People are really, really interested in this topic! And no surprise, as it will not only determine how you feel in the moment, it will for sure change your quality of life if you choose to be happy.

One of the best of these quotes is by Rodney White. “We tend to seek happiness,’ he says. “When happiness is actually a choice”.

To me, when you choose to be happy in the moment, the final outcome is not only a happy life. It ultimately lead to the much deeper feelings of joy.

In every moment, we can be experiencing emotions anywhere on the following spectrum of being:

When we experience these emotions, it is up to each of us to decide what we do with them. If we choose to stay in the emotion, it will determine our quality of life, not only in that moment but also from that time onwards. For the negative ones I’ve learnt the best approach is to become curious and ask what the emotion is telling me. By acknowledging and then acting on it, I automatically move to the right on the spectrum into a more positive mindset. Learning from the example of the successful leaders, I can decide to choose happiness. I may be in the process of addressing something very negative, but by choosing the high road, I not only become more effective addressing the issue, I also give myself the gift of a happy and fulfilling life; a mindset that ultimately lead to a place of joy.

Are you ready to give yourself this gift?

One of my colleagues is doing amazing work with gratitude. Steve Foran offers tons of resources to get you on the road of living in a place of gratitude; a place that will definitely improve your life and help you find more joy! Some of the tools I use or have used in this area are:

  • Receiving Steve’s “Daily Gratitudes” in my Inbox. You can also participate and sign up with him to have your turn at submitting your own gratitudes to be shared with the people on his list.
  • Keeping a “Gratitude Journal”. This can be especially effective when you use it to help you sleep better. An easy way to implement —the last thing you do before going to bed—is for you to think of at least three things you are truly grateful for. You can write these down and keep the journal on your bedside table. Keep them in your mind as you settle down. If you wake up in the middle of the night—especially if you wake up with those thousands of thoughts that can sometimes haunt us—your job is to start thinking of those three gratitudes again. Keep them in your mind. Be truly grateful for them. I start praying for more of them! Soon your mind will settle down and you will find it easier to fall to sleep again.
  • Begin every meeting with a go-around of every participant listing at least one thing they are grateful for. This will not only lift people’s thought patterns to a place of optimism and possibility, it will also positively affect the collective thinking of the whole group throughout the meeting. It sets the tone for a great meeting!

My personal purpose can be captured in two words: “joy” and “farmer”.

My first quest is to – every day and in every way – be on the hunt for joy. I want to fill my joy tank to overflowing. I want to have so much joy that it spills over to all the people I touch. I want to be able to withstand the onslaughts of negativity and evil. I want to be able focus my thoughts, be able to reframe them and live above the line. I want to be a master of my emotions and through daily gratitude, find joy.

Secondly – the famer part – I realize that this is constant work. Sometimes it will be easier. Sometimes it will be extremely challenging! Like a farmer I want to continuously work to plant, water, feed, nurture and protect my joy crop. Like a farmer I want to have the faith in the Higher Hand that created the soil and brings the rain. Like a farmer I want to rejoice and share my crop with the world when it is ready.

My hope is that all of these ramblings on from my thoughts, and the tips and tools they brought, will help you find your own true joy. My prayer is that you will soon be able to start overflowing with joy, sharing it with the world.

Together we will make this planet a better place for all of us!

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