Joyful woman outstretched arms.jpg

5 Ways to Find Your Daily Joy

  1.  Count Daily Successes
  2.  Face Fears
  3.  Assume Positive Intent
  4.  Explore the “Or”
  5.  Stay Present

          Count Daily Successes 

This includes getting dressed, going to work, keeping your kids clothed and fed and any baby steps towards your goals. Looking at what we’ve accomplished encourages us to do even more next time. It also increases our feelings of self-worth and competency.

Peeking out from hands.jpg           Face Fears 

Unconscious fears drive negative thoughts and emotions. We fear that people will let us down or that we won’t live up to the expectations of others. So we yell or punish or have adult tantrums. When we understand which f.e.a.r. (false evidence appearing real) is driving us, we can ask God to give us His truth. In 1 John 4:18, we are told that perfect love casts out fear. As we learn to trust God more and rest in His promises, we become free from our fears. This also means we can love each other freely.

Positive Intent comic.jpg          Assume Positive Intent 

My colleague, Kimber Lee, has a great post on personal biases. We tend to interpret people’s actions from our expectations and experiences, but everyone comes with their own unique back story and current personal circumstances. Instead of choosing a negative interpretation of someone’s behavior, assume that no ill-will was intended. Especially since that’s usually true. To further explore this idea, consider a time when your intent was misunderstood. God grants us far more grace than we deserve. We should do the same.

Life is about choices.jpg           Explore the “Or”

This goes hand in hand with assuming positive intent. When a behavior feels offensive or we get irritated, looking at alternative explanations is a way to choose a positive mindset. Try this the next time you’re upset with someone’s behavior; come up with at least 3 good explanations for the behavior. Using traffic as an example: The driver cut me off because - they have an emergency or they did not see me or they are running late for work. Remembering that there are sometimes very valid reasons for negative behavior saves us from spending unnecessary energy being upset.

Byrd Baggett Windshield Rearview.jpg           Stay Present

Living in the past, whether reminiscing on our successes or failures, keeps us from enjoying our present. If you woke up today, that means God has greater things in store for you. So count your blessings, be prepared for His plan and keep moving forward.