Why do you do what you do?
That’s a loaded question with different answers, dependent on the “what.” For certain obligations and expectations, the answer is responsibility, to earn money, contribute to society, etc.
But what about goals? Big or small, why do you do what you do to reach an intended goal? The answer, I am guessing, is satisfaction. You seek that sense of achievement, of accomplishment, that feels good and empowers you.
It’s less about happiness and more about that indescribable feeling that comes from completion. You faced the challenge, you beat it, and you succeeded. It makes you feel like you can do anything at all. You feel fulfilled.
When you are working on any given goal you take a path to get there. While there will be obstacles, twists and turns, and challenges on your way — overall, the path itself can provide quite the experience. You can find numerous unexpected stuff along the way.
One of the often-neglected elements of any given path is the journey itself. We get so focused on the goal that the path is a blur. But it doesn’t need to be that way. It can be an awesome experience. It can bring you a lot of joy.
This is a much simpler notion than you may realize.
The simplicity of joy
The word joy tends to evoke a notion of grandiosity. A big, overarching ideal that is out there and hard to reach.
But the reality of joy is far, far simpler. It is found in the everyday. Things that make you feel joyful tend to be readily available.
Remember, joy is a thought. Joyful is the feeling. They can be combined (check out Joyely for more insight into this idea) and used to help you achieve anything.
It’s difficult to get anywhere when you feel down. Hell, some days, depression makes it hard just to get out of bed. But finding things to bring joy into your life are easy.
The primary way to do this is by invoking the senses.
- Smell. A cup of coffee, fresh-baked goods, flowers, and so on.
- Sight. Funny videos online, pictures of loved ones and treasured memories, sunrise, etc.
- Sound. Laughter, the purr of a cat, inspiring music, a motorcycle’s roar, and similar.
- Taste. Candy, your favorite food, tea, salt, sugar, etc.
- Touch. A breeze on your face, the feeling of soft fabric on your skin, hugs, and so on.
- Extra Sensory. Sitting in meditation, deep breathing, holding a loved one’s hand in silence, etc.
All of these are simple joys. They can be found and felt anywhere at any time. Yet the uncertainty and fear enveloping us via the collective consciousness cause us to forget.
Recognizing how simple finding joy is, it opens you to employ it more often to combat the negativity and bad feelings.
You cannot negate the negatives
This is important because it speaks to the toxic nature of self-help, positivity, empowerment, and likewise.
Negativity will always be. But that’s not a bad thing. Why? Because the Universe is all about balance. Ying and yang, black and white, various other extremes and opposites.
To know the good, you need to know the bad. If you never feel bad how can you feel good?
Too simple? Maybe. Nonetheless, it’s the truth.
Of course, we can rebalance matters to have more positives than negatives. But you can’t neglect, ignore, or disregard them. They’ll be there.
In the words of Thích Nhất Hạnh:
“There is no compassion without suffering.”
A lot of notions of positivity look to eliminate negativity. But you can’t. You can lessen it, turn your focus away from it, and you can work with it. But you cannot eliminate it completely.
Even if Trump loses the upcoming election by an enormous margin — all won’t be instantly well. His cult will cry foul and work in various ways to obstruct and disrupt. It will be an interesting challenge to find a way to break his sway and convince them they can do better. But some will never relent. Their negativity cannot be eliminated.
But there are ways to build alternatives and better. But that cannot be done for anyone else. You can only work for yourself. Yes, that may better others along the way. But you cannot change how anyone else thinks or feels. The only person you have that sort of control over is you.
Hence why realizing you cannot just ignore and negate negatives is so important. You will have bad days. There will be times you are just done. Hopelessness will overtake you. But when you acknowledge this — you can work to change it.
You choose a path to achieve feeling joy
The things that you choose for yourself — intentions, goals, etc. — tend to be meant to bring you joy.
Why else would you decide to take a given path in life?
Writing is my passion. Whatever format I can work in — writing feels incredible. I love to form the words and phrases and share the work I do.
When I get going, I lose track of time. It is an incredible sensation, and, ultimately, feels joyful.
When you are working on your goals or doing things you love to do, the reality is that you’re working in joy. Because it feels good, it empowers you. When you are empowered you become capable of doing almost anything at all you set your mind to.
What you feel is valid
Allow me a moment to address the elephant in the room. Presently, we are living in one of the most chaotic times in history. So many people are in pain because they are uncertain and fearful.
The collective consciousness is being bombarded with this. Between the election, the ongoing pandemic, and other surreal political matters (in the United States at least) fear has become almost tangible.
Recently, I wrote that among your valid feelings, it is okay to not be okay. However, it is also okay to BE okay. You can create good things and experience joy.
It may feel wrong to seek good for yourself. It might feel selfish. But it’s not. If there are not people out there resisting the fear and working to create things in the uncertainty — we all crash down. Just like the fact that you cannot be utterly positive to the exclusion of negativity — neither can you be utterly negative to the exclusion of positivity.
Choosing a path and walking it joyfully — even in the middle of these crazy times — is okay. In fact, it opens you to be a beacon of hope in the middle of the storm. An island in the rough seas.
You do not need to be someone “special” or particularly gifted or whatever. You just need to be the best you that you can be. Recognize that you are empowered to be anything — and that it is okay to pursue what you desire.
Joy is powerful. When you find it you can share it. That, in turn, can assist other people to move out of the bad places they might be — literally and/or figuratively. You don’t need permission to take joy in your path.
Why would you choose a path if it wouldn’t bring you joy?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, the philosophy of choosing and walking your path, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on October 28, 2020.