If you’ve been following Love What's Next, you've heard me talk a lot about my definition of joy and how it’s very different from happiness. Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes in moments like watching a funny movie or celebrating a birthday. Joy is a sense of being...being present, being grateful, being purposeful and finding peace in your life.
We're all searching for more joy in our life whether we consciously do it or not. We eat, sleep, and we drink too much…these are just a few ways we look to fill ourselves up in an attempt to find more joy. At the moment, they might make us happy but they never sustain us. In fact, according to a recent Harris poll only 33% of us are joyful.
While on my own journey to find more happiness (what I later learned to be joy) now as an empty nester, I was so curious why we weren’t happier so I did some research and this is what I found.
I discovered that scientists have determined that our happiness level is a result of a complex interaction of genes, behaviors, and life circumstances. But while each person has a genetic set point for happiness, a large portion of how we feel is under our control. How we spend our time, who we spend it with and what we say to ourselves throughout our day can really impact our long-term joy.
This was very exciting for me to hear because through my own experiences while on my quest to love what’s next, I uncovered exactly that! We CAN control our own level of joy and this study is in exact alignment with the Love What’s Next 6 Pursuits , six, key, life impacting categories, which is the basis for all our Love What's Next Projects.
Happiness is fleeting but joy is unceasing! Everything we do at Love What’s Next is about teaching you practices to find joy in your daily life...even in times of change and struggle. Each Project is filled with simple, daily challenges created to enhance your current level of joy and show you how to sustain it.
It’s up to you at what level of support you need through our Projects...
Are you one of the 67% looking for more joy in your life? Maybe you have just found here at Love What's Next. Take a leap and see! We would love for you to join us and show you there is so much more to life!!
Tell us what you think...comment below. Also, if you know someone who could benefit from learning more about Love What's Next, please share this post with them!
So you are on a plane and the woman sitting next to you is holding her toddler and he is screaming. I don’t mean fussing a little, I mean screaming at the top of his lungs. What goes through your mind? Do you assume he is throwing a fit and his mom isn’t doing her job to get him under control?
This incident happened to me over the weekend and it's the inspiration to this blog post…
Because I experienced this while traveling with my kids, I knew why the toddler was crying but if I didn’t understand what was happening I might have been thinking, “Why isn’t the mother doing something to make her child be quiet!”
If you're a mother you too probably know why the child was so upset. If a child has an ear infection while traveling by plane, the change in pressure accompanies the change in altitude, which can mean sharp, excruciating, pain if fluid blocks the child's ears. It can actually rupture the ear drum. I don’t know about you but if that was happening in my ear, I am certain I would be screaming too!!
We make assumptions about situations all the time; she didn’t text me back she must not be interested in my business; the coach didn’t play my daughter he must not like her; I could never get that job I’m not smart enough; my kids didn’t text me back they must be hurt or in trouble; he never cleans up after himself, he must not appreciate me.
When we make assumptions we're actually creating a story in our head about ourselves or others. This bad habit can and will affect your level of joy!
A wise friend of mine shared with me a question that we should all ask ourselves when we begin to make an assumption, either about ourselves, a situation, someone else or we exaggerate how bad something really is. It’s so important to check in and ask yourself, "Is that true?”. I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy for me. If you ask yourself, “Is that true?” it makes you stop, think and then realize that you really don’t have all the answers to make that assumption.
My niece plays college basketball in an extremely competitive division one program. While playing a playoff game, she was on fire, driving towards the net scoring and assisting her teammates while they scored. Defensively she was playing incredible as well. But as the game was about to end, she made one mistake that resulted in the other team scoring and they won the game.
I think she was even the high scorer of that game, but she still felt like SHE lost the game for her team. Her mom asked her this simple question, “Is that true?” All of a sudden you could see the wheels turning in her head as she played back the game. How could her statement possibly be true?! Because of this simple question, “Is that true?”, she was able to put the game behind her and have the confidence she needed to play the next game. Just think had she lived with that assumption how terrible her confidence would be?
Be aware of the assumptions YOU make going forward in your day to day life. Ask yourself the question, “Is that true?” when you begin to go down that windy road of assumptions and hopefully you will find the true answer.
I know from my own personal experiences and sharing this simple question with others, that it can and will DEFINITELY bring you more joy in your life! Try it and see for yourself.
Comment below if you can relate to this post and how this question can and will make a difference in your overall happiness.
Nicole Cavey is the Chief Pursuit Officer of Love What's Next. Through her personal journey to uncover what was next for her, she discovered that you can love where you are no matter what stage in life you are in... as long as you know how. Her mission is to show YOU how!