I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about self-discipline. It’s a habit or a mindset that leads to intense satisfaction and lasting joy.
The joy comes when a mountain of work is accomplished and the reward is reserved for when it is done. Then upon completion, several deep exhales of held breath eases out as you slip into a state of “Wow, I can’t believe I did that!” Pure JOY!
The joy also comes when you see how sticking to a process positively impacts many people. It’s a sweet feeling of satisfaction to see other people’s joy or need fulfilled.
People who practice for hours every day to perform a few minutes of their craft know this sensation of joy.
But it’s not just reserved for the musical and athletic stars of our times. We can get in on this sweet joy.
Here are 7 Surefire Sources of Joy:
1) Go after the extraordinary – this kind of joy is not felt unless it took some effort to get there and it challenged you along the way. Achieving goals you know are easy brings a certain level of satisfaction but JOY comes from accomplishing those things you weren’t sure was possible when you first thought about it! Go beyond the ordinary.
2) Particularly when the feeling is to STOP, KEEP GOING. Those are the moments when joy is sowed. When you press forward IN SPITE of some negative sensations, joy is down the road waiting for you!
3) Set other-centered goals; serving others is a sure bet to produce sweet joy. EVERY TIME! This simply never fails. Set out to be kind to others and/or achieve goals that will help others, and you WILL experience the sweetest joy. (Be sure you’re doing it from your heart though)
4) Along the way, pray; prayer takes many forms…you can be still and…well, just be still or, go into a meditative state of focus on one uplifting thought/scripture or you can say thank-you for the joy you anticipate.
5) Build the anticipation by imagining the completion of the project or activity. (Much like when a loved one is away and you spend glorious moments thinking of their return, anticipation builds…) This will help you to remain in your path with more joy in your heart.
6) Imagine and visualize the benefits of completing this particular set of action steps…what’s the WHY behind the actions? Keep your why in sharp focus. Our imagination is POWERFUL; use it daily! By imagining the benefits being received, you build the joy in your heart for the work at hand.
7) DO THE WORK! There is no substitute for just getting it done. The joy can only be felt, deeply and sincerely if you gave it your all. Not just enough to get it barely done, but done at your highest and best level. Productivity brings JOY. You may feel wiped out, exhausted and unable to move a single muscle but the joy in your heart will always trump all of those physical aspects.
Get busy daily, doing the work, being self-disciplined and your joy will simply be off the chart.
Now if this not work you enjoy and not resulting in any benefits to others, joy will probably not flow. So see how you can direct your life’s work in the direction of your joy. Consider your passions, your talents and skills and do your best to connect these to your daily work.
If this is simply not possible at the moment, create a plan, get into action and use your powerful imagination to keep you on the path to your purpose and a life filled with joy.
So, go after your joy. It’s there for every single one of us. If we would just produce the cause the effect is sure to follow. Sow it to reap it.
Wishing you an abundance of sweet and lasting joy,