Decebmer 6: Where Is Your Joy?

What in Life Brings You Joy?

Yesterday’s journaling exercise was intense. It meant delving into that which makes us uncomfortable. We looked at what we are afraid of that might block us from our paths to success.

Today we are going a different route. Today we are looking what in life brings you joy.


Joy is going to be the thing we chase when things get dark. When we feel like giving up, joy is going to be what motivates us to keep going.

Non-Fiction Recommendation:
I highly recommend
Danielle LaPorte’s books
and her podcast,
With Love

Yes, there is plenty of non-joy-based motivation, such as love. Alice Hoffman, author of Practical Magic, writes regularly of love so intense that it hurts (I highly recommend reading her work), and the things we do for that love. But that love is its own form of joy. Knowing the person you love is doing well, seeing your family thrive, seeing your dog run through the mud having a grand old time are all forms of joy.

Danielle LaPorte in her books The Fire-Starter Sessions and The Desire Map writes about the importance of chasing what feels good. I have made it a regular practice of mine, and I encourage all my writing clients to do the same. This is why I encourage them to celebrate their achievements, however small, and create a list of what feels good to them.

What Feels Good

I used to have a journal that I got while visiting Vancouver. It was red, had different colored pages. And had a little red mushroom with white spots, and a ladybug hugging the mushroom (because it thought the mushroom was another ladybug, and it wasn’t actually hugging per se…). I called this my Book of Things that Makes Me Happy. In it I wrote every little thing that made me smile. It might be song lyrics (I’m pretty certain Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” and “The Significance of a Pickle” were in there), words that you enjoy, a cartoon, a thought, an amusing conversation—whatever.

The purpose of the book was that every time I was feeling down, I could flip through it and smile again.

I think everyone should create their very own Book of Things that Makes Them Feel Good, and I certainly encourage you to do so.

But for now, this exercise is simply to write out at least 10 things that bring you joy.

But don’t stop there. If they keep coming, keep writing them out. They can be family related, work related, nature related, writing related—if it puts a genuine smile on your face then write it down.

Once you have your list, spend some time with it. Look it over. Ask yourself what on this list you can add to your daily or weekly life. How can you bring these joyful experiences into your goals? How can you bring them into your writing?

Remembering to bring joy into what you are working on or what you are doing can be the difference between a horrible day and a wonderful day. It can be the difference between quitting a writing piece and carrying it through to the end.

Be sure to make yourself a List of Things that Make You Happy, and remember to look at it from time to time. It could be what gets you through to the finish line.

Sometimes in life, we become so focused on the finish line
that we fail to find joy in the journey

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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