Before we get into the tips, near the end of this blog post, we include our personal perspective of joy and where it comes from, since that type of conversation is a little deeper than what we are going into here—plus it is always helpful to try and have a working definition! We will also link out some sources and videos where other conversations are going on about what joy is.
Tip 1: Evaluate your routine.
This may sound like an odd thing to ask in relation to joy, but a routine is a powerful way to maximize your time and make sure you aren’t missing those little details (those little things where joy can be found). You probably have a routine right now that looks different from what it was a while back, and it will probably look different in another couple of months or a year. Regardless, setting a routine (even a loose one) to balance your work, family, and personal time is going to set you up for success and actually make you appreciate your time.
One of the biggest pieces of advice here is that you strive to wake up early. Now, this is by far one of the hardest things to do for the younger generation, which we are a part of. But as we were watching another speaker talk about waking up early and how it is the cause of her joy, it started to make a lot of sense.
Here’s another obvious statement: the only thing that is going to give you the maximum amount of time is getting up and starting your day earlier. I suppose the alternative is obviously staying up later, and we get it, we are night owls as well. But as we all know, when the day presses on and you have a million things to do, staying up later is most likely going to be hard to do.
Like most people believe, the evening and night time is a period for relaxing, a period where you can certainly find joy. But look at it this way, wouldn’t you rather wake up earlier, finish and accomplish what you need to get done, and then appreciate that time to relax more? Now you have more time to find that joy you’ve been searching for because all the other stuff at bulk of the day is over with.
Waking up early is going to give you more time to actually wake up, to think and meditate more than you normally would, and be generally more alert and observant to what’s going on throughout the day. If anything, take away and ponder this questions: how are you going to find joy if you aren’t giving yourself enough time to look for it?
Now let’s move to tip number two!
Tip 2: List out the things that you are thankful for.
Another obvious statement, we know. But don’t miss the point here. Oftentimes, it’s easy to be negative about something, or to get frustrated, or even be angry at something or someone. A lot of times we don’t even have to think about that stuff, it comes so easily because it’s easy for us to focus on the negative. So by changing the way you think and remembering how much to be thankful for, you will have a much higher change of being joyful and enjoying the little things through the day. (Notice how the work “enjoy” has the word “joy” in it). How in the world can you enjoy something if you are not in the mood to receive joy?
So let’s think. Can you answer the questions “what are you thankful for?" When is the last time you took just a couple of minutes to reflect and consider everything you are thankful for. If you are struggling with how to answer, there is a great book called One Thousand Gifts that challenges you to write down at least one thing you are thankful for every singe day. Listen to Ann Voskamp's perspective on joy:
The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be—unbelievably—possible.
What a radical expression of how joy can be found. This type of language gets close to how some might say “find the silver lining” or “find the good in a bad situation.” But, it’s much deeper than that, to the point where your state of mind is so clear that you can still be joyful even while going through heartache or another awful circumstance. Hopefully this encourages to continually think on the things you are thankful for as opposed to the next thing that is going to make you mad.
So what are some things that bring Swag Talk's joy?
We are so glad you asked! Here are some things that bring Drew joy:
What brings me joy is elements of branding and design. I love typography and setting type, designing booklets, graphics, websites, all of that stuff. But one thing I really like to mix with it is journaling and note taking. There is something about a fresh notebook with a beautiful cover on it that gets me excited to write notes. Even if you aren’t journaling out your entire day, using your hands and getting away from your phone is a great way to find joy in simple things—like writing down your thoughts in a notebook you really like! As a musician, I also find that music brings me a massive amount of joy, whether that's teaching, writing, or just playing.
And here are some things that bring Megan joy:
One simple thing that brings me joy is just writing down a list of things I am thankful for, which speaks into that book One Thousand Gifts. It challenges me to really think about how blessed I am and honestly it puts me in a better mood than I would have been if I had just went about a normal day. Another more creative way I find joy is with watercoloring and hand lettering. I love Calligraphy, and whether I am learning how to use watercolors together in a new way, or if I learn a new feature on the Procreate app, I am reminded of the gifts God has given me to create beautiful design work.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
What brings you joy? Let us know down in the comments, we really want to open up conversation and see what the hot thoughts and viewpoints are on joy. We really want to know! You can also shout us out on both Instagram and Twitter, or head over to the YouTube Channel to join in the discussion there!
Our perspective on joy:
We’ve watched a lot of videos and conversations on joy over the last week, and there are two common threads throughout all of them. First, generally positive things (colors, activities, encouragement) are a source of joy; and secondly, being nice to people or doing what is right gives you a sense of joy (or some combination of these two. We think this definition needs some adjusting. While it is true that certain items and actions (like doing the good things) can make us feel a certain emotion, like happiness, real joy is not going to be found in an item or an activity. We think it's safe to say those things can “bring" you joy, but they are not the “source" of joy. So, per our heads-up at the beginning of this blog, we would like to take just a little more time to give our perspective on joy. And this is just us. Remember, we literally want to hear your thoughts on this too.
We do believe joy is a feeling, or a state of being rather, that might best be explained as a constant state of thankfulness for what God has blessed us with. If we go back to () definition of finding joy above, we see she says that it can be found almost anywhere during any circumstance. How in the world is that possible? How can you feel joy while going through a hard time? The only way that works is if you have a clear perspective on where joy originates from. As believers and followers of Christ, we believe that true Joy comes from God, and we experience joy (that state of being) when we grow in our relationship with him.
Now, we know that sounds like a lot, and we just got real existential there for the moment, as people tend to do. But we’re not trying to say joy isn’t a feeling, and we aren’t saying you can’t find joy in the things you like to do (our whole blog was about doing just that). But, there is a danger in trying to pinpoint the source of joy to a certain item or action (or lots of items and activities). Why? Because it will never be enough! Interests fade, and new interests enter the picture. Joy is not something that drifts about and lands in your lap.
We are saying that entering a state of constant thankfulness can allow you to be joyful almost all of the time. You probably won’t feel that every second of ever minute of the day, but definitely more often than you feel joy right now. So, we just want you to consider where you are sourcing your joy from. It might lead you to a different definition of joy.
Let us know what you think below, or let’s get the convo started on Social or YouTube! We can’t wait to hear from you.
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