Bringing joy to your life brings joy to the world
As the clock strikes midnight on the first of January, our first instinct is to wish our loved ones well for the year ahead. We spread joy as we exchange cries of “Happy New Year!”, some choosing to seal the ecstasy of the moment with a kiss. But how long does that feeling of joy to the world last? Chances are, not much longer than the first day of the first month. How can we continue bringing joy to the world throughout the year?
Bringing joy to the world starts when you bring joy to your own life. Laughter is contagious; happiness is infectious; generosity begets generosity; etc. You get the point: a person’s positive energy is self-perpetuating and has a ripple effect on the people around them.
So how do you bring joy into your life? The first step is to let go of prejudice and self-doubt, by prioritising what makes you happy over what others want or expect from you. Focus on your own growth by paying attention to your wellbeing. Listen to your body; get in touch with your emotions; nurture your passion; cultivate close and sustainable relationships with friends and family; make decisions that are mindful of the environment. Those are the hallmarks of Wholistic Wellbeing.
Seeking other people’s approval is only natural, however, and it’s easy to feel discouraged by even the most mildly undermining comment from a colleague or friend. But we can’t let words or situations throw us off course: if negative forces have the power to undermine, positive forces have even more power to energise and motivate. I keep reminding myself of what Vincent Van Gogh, one of my favourite painters, once said: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Likewise, if we can turn our attention towards those positive places and away from the sapping negatives, we will grow. Our strength and clarity of purpose will shine and bring joy to others.
Some may say that all this focus on one’s growth is egotistical and selfish, but I feel that focusing on oneself is not selfishness, so long as we see our personal growth as a gift to the world. Indeed, it is really an act of kindness. If done in a spirit of openness, of giving, we are showing the world a better way of being. We are bringing joy to the world. Once people see our growth, it will spread. It’s not about showing off, but about becoming better, and believing in change. It’s also about embodying those qualities in such a way that they become a permanent mantle that we wear wherever we go. Whenever we walk into a room and others see us, we should bring an air of sure-footedness, confidence and joy.
Confidence is not arrogance. It is not the same as putting oneself above others; rather, it shows others what is possible: that negatives will not always defeat them and that we can aspire to greater happiness through Wholistic Wellbeing. Confidence is about being clear and charismatic, decisive and conscious of our actions. When wielded with an altruistic outlook, confidence can unite people around a common goal. Ultimately, that is how you spread joy to the world.