There are many things that can motivate you: fear, hope, anger, desire. One of the more overlooked emotions is joy. What brings you the most joy?
Negative emotions can be channeled into positive action. For example, if you are afraid of losing your job, you might try to impress the people you work for and with.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you think others see you?’
However, positive emotions are very valuable as well. Experiencing joy can be exhilarating, and the desire to recapture that feeling can be very powerful.
In order to have a repeat experience, however, it helps to know just what, exactly, brings you joy.
Can you think of times in your life when you have felt joyous? What did those moments have in common? And what might you do in order to feel that way again?
Related questions: How can we increase joy? How can you take joy from joyless tasks? What makes you the happiest?
Sometimes it feels like there is a decided lack of joy in the world today. Between an increasingly divided world and an ever-growing number of dangers, life can be sad.
And yet, there is joy to be had, even in the most dire of situations.
We need jubilation. It keeps us going when our emotional batteries are drained. It can remind us of the good things in life worth fighting for. Happiness makes learning easier, and it makes hard times more bearable.
Luckily, happiness is infectious. One person feeling joyfulness can share it with someone else, and it can bring a smile to both of their faces. A laugh shared is a laugh magnified. And sharing doesn’t in any way diminish the overall amount: joy is not zero-sum.
What is the best way to find delight, and then to share it with those around us? Can we make it ourselves? How can we increase joy?
Related questions: How can we maintain wonder? How can we appreciate life more? Is happiness the most important purpose of life? How can you take joy from joyless tasks?
Every day, we are faced with tasks we don’t want to do. Washing the dishes. Shopping for groceries. Doing laundry. Preparing for a work presentation.
We do these things because they need to be done in order for the rest of our life to go smoothly. The dishes need to be washed so that there are clean dishes to eat off of later, and so that there aren’t dirty dishes in the sink. We do laundry so that we have clean clothes to wear. In order to get that raise, we prepare the presentation.
The you in the present does these things so that the you of the future will have a better life.
But the fact that we are doing things that are done due to necessity and not because you actually enjoy them means that life is filled with drudge work. These tasks don’t bring you happiness. They don’t bring you joy. But they have to be done.
How can we make these mundane, unpleasant tasks ones we actually enjoy? What makes a boring moment a pleasant one? How can we get the most out of life, and appreciate all that we do, even things that are otherwise dreary? How can you take joy from joyless tasks?
Related questions: Is happiness the most important purpose in life? How can we maintain wonder? How can we appreciate life more? What are you doing to make the world a better place?