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How To Live A Life Of Joy

Aug 17, 2007
I don't have digital
I don't have diddly squat
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got
-- Soak up the Sun, lyrics by Sheryl Crow

Living a life of joy is when you hit your stride; when everything comes together and you stop looking into the future to find happiness and realize that you have happiness right now.

Is that possible? Can we be happy with what we have right now? Isn't there always something missing that we have yet to achieve or acquire? Of course there is. Up until the moment of death there is always something left to achieve; something else to acquire; some purpose as yet unfulfilled. But that's not what having a joyful life is about. As Sheryl Crow so wisely sings: "It's not having what you want. It's wanting what you've got."

"Wanting what you've got." What does that mean really? It means living every day of your life with the joy and passion of simply being alive. It means celebrating what you have achieved so far and recognizing the strength you've shown in getting there. It means being thankful not only for the good things you've experienced, but also being thankful for the opportunity to grow and become stronger from experiencing the not so good things as well.

But living a life of joy is not all about you either. It's about the people who come in and out of your life and how your mere existence on the planet affects them. Your joy and happiness multiplies when you share yourself with others. People use the term "giving back" to describe acts of charity and kindness that others perform. What a wonderful concept. You recognize that you are receiving the abundance that life has to offer, no matter how much or how little of that abundance you happen to be receiving at this very moment, and you choose to invest some of that abundance into the life of others.

A friend of mine owns his own business. Like most self-employed people he works long hours. Yet, he manages to volunteer as much as 50 hours per month for an organization that helps people who have been impacted by disaster.

He tells a story about being called to a house fire on Christmas Eve. The family who rented the house spoke little English and they were very poor. What few presents they had managed to get for each other were destroyed along with all of their belongings.

My friend arranged temporary accommodations for the family. He also contacted someone who owned a store and asked him to donate a few presents to the displaced family.

When my friend knocked on the door of the motel where the family had been placed and handed the wrapped presents out to the children, the mother stood up on her tiptoes, hugged my friend, and said in broken English: "You're my Christmas angel."

I've seen his eyes well up with tears when he relates this story. Yes, he is living a life of joy. But so is that woman who saw her children's eyes light up when they received those presents. Because, despite the tragedy she had just endured, she realized "It's not having what you want. It's wanting what you've got."
About the Author
Terence Young - For more weight loss and personal growth articles visit: http://www.personalgrowthunlimited.com
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