How often in the past week or just today even, did you actively decide to do something because you love it?
Did you organise a date with your partner because you love spending time together? Did you wear your favourite jumper because it makes you feel amazing? Did you go for a walk in the woods because nothing lights you up like being in nature? Did you take 10 minutes out of your day to savour your favourite coffee, because coffee makes you happy?
This little process – identifying what lights you up and actively including it in your day – sounds simple, but it has huge implications in your joy stakes.
And what’s surprising when I share this, is just how often people have a realisation that, in fact, they were barely giving the fun stuff a second thought. Sure it happened sometimes, but everyone agreed that they wouldn’t say no to more fun, laughter and enjoyment in their life!
ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR FUN?
I’ve just finished running the inaugural Joy School (find out when the next one is running over here) and one of the greatest things I saw in the participants was a huge shift in their ability to see the joy all around them.
We talked a lot about how to train your brain to look for the good in your life, rather than the bad. As humans, and as a culture, we often have the tendency to focus on what’s not working in our lives and what’s missing, rather than what’s good and what works.
And part of the focusing on what’s good is paying attention to the things you love, rejoicing in them, and giving them way more air time.
For instance, one of the lovely ladies in Joy School decided to embrace Halloween and decorated her whole house with her grandchildren, which meant they got to do something fun together, she was allowing her need for creative expression to be fulfilled, and it was all a bit of a giggle. Before, she paid the holiday little attention and hadn’t decorated in years!
There is always a way to add more fun and joy into your life, even in situations that feel like they weigh you down.
This brilliant Cherokee legend sums it up best…
A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life.
He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight between two wolves.
One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, hatefulness, and lies.
The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humbleness, kindness, friendship, generosity, faith, and truth.
This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.”
The children thought about it for a minute. Then one child asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The Cherokee elder replied…
“The one you feed.”
HOW WILL YOU FEED YOUR JOY?
A really simple, practical way of making sure you’re filling your life with joy and fun, is by… filling your life with more joy and fun 🙂
But the trick is, don’t wait for it to “just happen”, or someone else to organise things, be proactive.
Whether you want more fun in your relationship, more fun at work or more fun family time, here’s what you can do for starters:
- Make a list of 10 things that you love doing in that arena (for instance, what things do you love doing with your partner, as a family, or in your daily work?)
- Get your diary out and schedule in some of these activities in your week ahead (make them non-negotiable events – if you don’t prioritise these joyful events, you’re probably not prioritising joy in your life)
- Do them, enjoy them, be in the moment and soak up all the wonderful feelings that will come from them!
- Bonus tip: also make a list of your favourite simple pleasures (think the five senses). If you’ve got tasks or chores you’re not really loving, see if you can inject some joy with simple pleasures. (One of the Joy School ladies started listening to her favourite music while doing the Hoovering and discovered she could actually enjoy herself while doing the house work!!)
Get creative and have fun with it!