Life is like an unwinding road, full of curves and bumps; that if we are not fully prepared to handle its speed bumps, have the tendency to buckle under its immense pressure. Too many people hate their lives or wish that they had other people’s lives, because they lack a fundamental understanding of the blue-print to life. So many people tie the sources of their joys to various things including material possessions, other people, their jobs, their families, wealth etc. And so when these so-called ‘joy creators’ let them down; they are quick to sink into the pit of despair and frustration.
Life is a journey, and like all journeys, we need a truly functional Global Positioning System (GPS) to take us to our individual destinations. It is imperative to appreciate the fact that in order to truly enjoy life to its fullest, or to truly live productive lives, is hugely dependent on us. The adage, “as you make your bed, so will you lie on it”, sums it up. If we continue to hinge the sources of our satisfaction and fulfillment to external factors, then we make ourselves potential victims of perpetual sadness. The point here is to understand that we have the sole responsibility of creating truly fulfilling and joyful lives for ourselves. So many times, we allow our expectations and un-expectations of circumstances, dictate how we feel per time, and this phenomenon if not effectively managed has the tendency to suck the air out of us and others in the room.
So how do we create our own joys? How do we become immune to situations irrespective of their outcomes, and continue to live truly fulfilling lives?
- Reflect and acknowledge your current state in life: Many people frequently get overwhelmed by the pressures of life, when they fail to acknowledge their current states in life. Such people tend to hold on to a fleeting belief, and when that belief doesn’t seem to materialize, they are thrown into the valley of despair and sorrow. To truly enjoy life, we must reflect and appreciate our individual states. In simpler terms, we must be content with wherever we are, and whatever we have. A constant source of sleeplessness and sorrow for many is when people try to ascribe to themselves, what they are not. Take a moment to reflect on where you are at currently, and learn to find joy in that state, no matter what. It’s only when you have come to terms with whom and where you really are, can you begin to make productive plans to ascend up the ladder of life.
- Don’t be hampered down by things you have no control over: This is life, and unfortunately it has been designed in such a way that we absolutely have no control over certain things. The problem for many is that they allow themselves get tied down by the things which they cannot control, which unfortunately becomes sources of depression and despair. Directly stemming from point 1 above is an appraisal of the things you can or cannot control, and making every effort not to get weighed down by things or situations you have no power over. For instance, if you are dealing with a sick family member for whom you are unsure of the prognosis, it does you no good to allow the uncertainty of that situation steal your inner joy and peace. In this scenario, apart from the expertise of medical personnel, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, other than to believe the best outcome, and be prepared for if what you hoped would happen never turned out that way. If you have no control over ‘it’, let it go and believe the best.
- Make the best effort to change the things you can: Some people are just too lazy. They want to live truly happy lives, but they are not ready to do anything about it. A thorough introspective, reflective appraisal of one’s life will show you the areas where you have some control. Many people go through life unhappy and despondent, because they are untrue to themselves. They are not willing to tell themselves those hard truths. It is important to re-emphasize that to truly experience happiness in our lives is 90% dependent on the efforts we put in our selves. We have to be willing and malleable, to making changes on the things we have control over. For example, a man or woman who is unhappy or joyless because they find that they are unable to meet their basic financial needs, with no outright physical, mental or emotional deformity, is short changing him or herself. If you find that you are lagging behind on some key responsibilities, it is time to do a thorough soul-searching on what else you might be able to do to make ends meet. This situation should not steal your joy or confidence, but should rather open up your mind and heart to opportunities which you may not have seen around you. You see, everyone born on the face of earth is uniquely gifted. We are all gifted in some form. But the problem is that, we do not have the patience or time to actually discover those gifted potentials, we have been endowed with. Many times, we expect certain things to happen in certain ways, and when they do not go as originally planned, the tendency for us to lock-up and lock-in arises. And if we are not careful, these things could potentially become joy stealers. Be real and true to yourself, and in your journey towards a joyful life, focus your time, energy and efforts on those things which you have the power to influence, and begin to experience the satisfaction of an achiever.
- Have a positive attitude: believing that anything is possible, no matter the odds stacked against you: Have you ever heard of naysayers? i.e. people that are quick to see the disadvantage or discouragement in every or any situation? If you truly want to live and experience a joyful life, keep your distance from naysayers. Naysayers would drown the energy away from you and kill any ember of hope left in you to forge ahead. The truth is that naysayers sometimes may have failed at certain ventures, and somehow inherently believe that every other person must also fail. That is why you want to sieve them off your life, if you truly want to be joyous or fulfilled in this life. Never believe naysayers (i.e. if you still managed to keep some around you). They have absolutely nothing to offer. They can only see the moon, and would never see the sun. So you must keep them at bay, far away from you. Situations happen that may make you seem like you are at a disadvantage. Do not let that bother you, because if you do, you would soon find yourself sipping in the pit of despair and frustration. Have a positive attitude, irrespective of what happens. Be confident that no matter the situation, there would always be light at the end of the tunnel. I mean, there is always night and day, and so your situation or unique circumstance, is no different. Be positive, and allow that mentality see you through all of life’s journey.
- Be thankful for the little things and breathe: If you go through life feeling blue about every disappointment you encounter, it becomes a perfect recipe for incessant frustrations. The problem many people encounter in life’s journey is that they are always more concerned with the bigger things, forgetting about the ‘little’ things that we so very often take for granted. Remember that, as long as there is life, there is always hope and the opportunity to make something happen. Life will be a lot easier if we learn to reflect on the ‘little things’ we sometimes fail to acknowledge, and try to see the good in every situation, no matter how dire it may seem. If we open our hearts and minds to begin to appreciate the things around us-our families, our health, our jobs, we stand a better chance of living truly happy and fulfilling lives. A thankful heart is synonymous with a joyful heart, and unlocks the door to numerous possibilities. Therefore, take a moment and reflect on all the goodness around you, breathe deeply and keep pushing through life with the confidence and assurance that your better days are ahead.
To your continued success. Cheers!!!