Imagine living life with joy as a strategy rather than a goal… as a foundational, non-negotiable attitude that insists…. no matter what, I will continually choose to live my life from a place of happiness, peace and empowerment. It is this call to joy that nurtures self-esteem, confidence, peace of mind, and our intuition, both in frequency and accuracy. A commitment to live “from” joy is the alignment of the intellect, emotions and soul to natural law. We are meant to thrive! It’s how we are wired. Yet, how prevalent is the thinking that says…. I will be so happy when, or “I “can’t” be happy until…
The empirical data from neuro-science reveals the importance of choosing positive thoughts and emotions “before” things change. In his book The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Anchor studied results from over 20 years of research on happiness, with over 250 people participating. The data revealed that:
“our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive. When we sacrifice happiness for success, we actually lower our brain’s success rate.”
The bottom line is that success is born from happiness, not the other way around.
To this end, the call to what’s most important and meaningful in life which includes accepting “all” of our feelings, especially the really difficult ones and choosing to live an empowered life regardless. Joy then, as strategy mitigates the critical voice, making it much easier to accept the reality of life, even when it hurts or doesn’t match our expectations. As poet William Blake so beautifully wrote:
“Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.
Joy is an emotion based on our decision to choose it and use it. Mindset takes centre-stage in our determination to consistently look for how we can take what has happened to us, and use it to make it work “for” us. We begin to leverage everything in our lives, especially adversity to forge a path forward… this isn’t just “bouncing back,” it’s “bouncing forward, and puts a whole new perspective on the resulting power of resiliency. “Psychologists have called this experience Adversarial Growth or Post-Traumatic Growth to distinguish it from Post-Traumatic Stress. Psychologist Richard Tedeschi and others that I’ve researched, have made the empirical study of “Post-Traumatic Growth” their mission and found that the strategies that most often lead to Adversarial Growth include:
- Perception on the cards that life has dealt, including positive reinterpretation of the situation or event
- Optimism, acceptance and coping mechanisms that meet problems head-on rather than avoiding or denying
- Self-definitions based not on what has happened to a person, but instead by what they’ll make out of it
- Recognizing that we learn to deal with failure by living through it and using it to accelerate learning and applied wisdom
- Replacing learned helplessness with learned optimism
- Tackling one small challenge at a time to slowly expand outward
Bottom Line: Using Joy as Strategy is emotional intelligence at its finest… as we “memorize” the sensations of joy in our physical bodies, emotions and mind pictures, something really beautiful and powerful begins to occur… we get better and faster at creating state changes that shift into a higher state of consciousness… now we’re not reinventing the wheel, we are using it to gain traction forward.
Challenge: Which of the strategies above most caught your eye? What’s it like to create “from” this place rather than “get to it?” That’s the advantage of choosing joy as strategy. Have Fun!
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Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc.
I empower individuals and organizations to stay inspired and keep moving forward in positive, productive ways, no matter what changes, challenges or adversities they may face.
Personal and Business Intuitive, Consultant/Training/Keynotes/ specializing in:
Intuition in Business, Radical Joy through Conflict Resolution/Communication/