The Joy Project: How to Find Joy In Your Life

Are you unhappy with how things are going in your life?  Do you have dreams you want to accomplish, but can’t seem to figure out where to start?  Is everything not turning out the way you want it to?

What if I told you that there is a way you can turn that life you do not want completely off?  You can go to the next chapter of your life or start an entirely new book.  What if there is a way you can make your dreams come true by changing how you are doing things right now?

The Secret

In my quest into learning how to live and have a better life, I watched “The Secret” on Netflix.  I read the book ten years ago and decided to refresh my memory on the importance of thinking positive all of the time.  After watching the film, I felt refreshed and happier.  I realized what I could do to change my narrative and become the person I dreamed of being.

I decided to take what I learned from this refresher course and do life differently.  I created a new mission and called it The Joy Project.

This project is designed to reshape how we view everything in life.  Rather than seeing a pile of dishes in the sink, I ask myself now, “What will bring me joy?”  As I wash each dish, I think of how a clean spotless kitchen will bring me joy, which in turn creates a better atmosphere while I do a mundane task.

As I continue to think of joy and create affirmations on the importance of living a joyful life, I find that I don’t remember washing that last dish.  I just feel happy and filled with joy before I even realize the kitchen is now spotless.  I went through and cleaned every single surface without even thinking about it, because I was so focused on what would bring me joy: a spotless kitchen.

Procrastinate No More

Each time I walk into the kitchen now, I feel joy at seeing clean, clutter-free counters, a shiny microwave, and everything in its place.  My kitchen is now impeccably spotless (for the first time ever).  If something strikes me as not being joyful (like a dirty floor), it bothers me.  It will continue to bother me until it is spotless.

Trust me, I am a procrastinator just like most people.  It is a little trait I have been trying to fix since I was in college.  I will walk by that same spot for weeks thinking I really should get to that before I actually do.  With The Joy Project, I started to look at procrastination differently.  I started to see how I was hurting myself and that was not something I wanted to do anymore.  I cannot have what I want (a spotless home) if I keep putting things off.

Procrastination, in a large way, brings us sorrow.  Putting things off as if we will have forever to do them is a fallacy that we must fix in our minds.  We are only promised the present, not the future.  If we want joy, we must focus on bringing joy into our lives now, not tomorrow.

One book that really helped me redefine how I do things is The 5 Second Rule.  If you find yourself putting things off all of the time, you must read Mel Robbins’s book.  She teaches you how to turn your life around.  Instead of putting things off, countdown from 5 to 1 and then get moving.

This book really helps in the morning.  For me, as a writer, I try to wake up early so I can write.  In the past, when that alarm went off, I immediately turned it off and went back to sleep, waiting for the real alarm at 7 a.m.  Now, I lament for one second that it is time to get up before I start the countdown: 5-4-3-2-1 and go.

When you stop procrastinating, you stop creating sorrow for yourself.  There is a sense of joy when you get things done and not wait until later to do them.

Testing Out the Theory

When I first started this project, I wrote out a list of affirmations.  I focused on the things I wanted out of life, thinking over how to say those affirmations in the most positive way.  Like most people, my first affirmation was about wealth and increasing it.  The only way I could do that was to create positive vibes all around me as I repeated the mantras.

On the first day, I focused on creating joy in my life, because the way the law of the universe works is that the things you want most out of life comes to you quicker when you are happy, joyful, and positive.  I went through that pile of dishes thinking of the word ‘joy’ and what it meant to me.  What is joy?  I repeated to myself: “I welcome joy into my life.”

I wanted to create joy and surround myself in it, repeating the word ‘joy’ over and over again.  Before I knew it, the kitchen was spotless.

I didn’t even stress over how much of a disarray it was in before I started.  I actually felt like I upped my cleaning game without even noticing.  Everything was exactly the way I hoped it would be.  I could feel happiness brimming over with so much joy every single time I looked at my spectacularly clean counters.  I never thought they would ever look so clean and uncluttered.

The funny thing about this is that I focused on joy, not cleanliness.  I took the concept of joy and told myself I will be happy if my home is spectacularly clean and beautiful like we see in magazines and Instagram photos.  By focusing on joy, I lost sight of the labor and what I was doing.  When I stopped, I realized what I did, how focusing on joy actually helped me bring actual joy into my life.

It Takes a Lot of Work, Baby!

Creating joy in your life takes a lot of work.  A LOT OF WORK.  The reason why it is so difficult is because our minds are trained to think and absorb the negative easily.  Every day, our thoughts tend to lean towards anger, dissatisfaction, and annoyance.  We pass judgment and are demeaning to ourselves many times before we even walk out the front door.

Joy does not come easily.  You have to work for that joy you ultimately want. By constantly keeping your thoughts in check, you will be able to change the negative narrative into a positive one.  You have to reteach yourself how to think better thoughts.

It is easier to think negatively, but with lots of practice, you will be able to switch that thought process.  Thinking positively all of the time will become easier than thinking negative.  That is and always should be your goal in life…to think, be and feel positive all of the time.

With “The Secret,” you create positive affirmations to ask for what you want.  So while you are asking the universe for X, you will get an answer on how to accomplish X.  It always requires you to take advantage of the answers that come your way, but it still requires you to do the work to get what you’re asking for.

For instance, after two weeks of doing the affirmations and constantly thinking about joy, the answer came to me on how I would generate more wealth.  The blog!

I instantly netted three new sponsors, one of them a major sponsor.  I surpassed my monthly hustle financial goal, doubling it.  Google sent me a letter asking me where to send the check to (i.e. the site made money).  The answer to creating the wealth I wanted was presented to me and I ran with it.  I know that in order to really get what I want in the end, I have to work extremely hard for it.  The universe presented me with the solution on how I was going to accomplish my dream.  I put a lot of work into it and the universe rewarded me accordingly.

Creating Joy Begins Inside

I firmly believe that the first place you need to create joy is inside of your home.  Begin by repeating the word joy in your mind.  I repeat to myself, “I am creating joy.”  I branch off to say where I am creating joy, how I am sharing it within my home and with the world (because the universe looks favorably on sharing good things with the world).

I express gratitude around me for the things I am fortunate to have, the wealth I already have, and the dreams I already accomplished.  Being thankful increases my wealth of joy.

Every morning, I practice meditation and mindfulness by repeating my positive affirmations of what I want in life.  I say them out loud in the shower and repeat them over and over in my head as I commute to work.  While I do each task, I remind myself that I do this with joy.

When I sit down at my desk, I write down in a notebook: “What will bring me joy today?”  I create my joy to do list (which essentially is my to do list), and how completing those tasks will bring me joy.  For instance, finishing X project means I will not worry later, wondering if I did it or not.  It means finishing this now will be one less thing I have to do later.

In everything you do, tell yourself how doing each task will bring you joy.  You will find the task much easier to do, and the feeling of happiness that you will feel after you complete it will help you increase your joy.  In the long run, it will help push you further to making your affirmations become reality.

How Does This Equate to Accomplishing Your Dream?

Think about it.  Living your dream means you will be happy, right?  It will bring you immense joy, correct?

If you are putting in the work to help make your dreams come true, you need to focus on the joy and happiness that will come by making that emotion happen now and throughout the process.  That is part of the journey.  Start with the world around you by inserting joy into your thoughts and how you approach every single thing you do.

Most of all, you will begin to see your world change.  The way you view life will be anew.  You will begin to see those positive affirmations coming true sooner, rather than later.  As a result, those wealth affirmations you keep repeating may start seeing some actual zeros in your bank account.

The universe rewards those putting out positive energy and doing good things for the world.  Creating joy in your own life spills over into the world around you.  It helps other people find their own moment of happiness.  It is like you are bestowing a gift of joy onto other people, and that actually makes the world into a better place.

Action Item: Start Small

Through God all things are possible.  You’ve heard that, right?  If you really want to create the most powerful affirmations, you create them with God.  If you don’t believe in God, stick to “The Secret” version of things.  If you believe in God (not talking about Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc.), then you must start your affirmations with Him.

In Brahma Kumari’s murlis (i.e. God’s words), we know that if you remember God in everything that you do (because He is the embodiment of love, peace and joy), then you will be entitled to your own fortune.  He will take great care of you by rewarding you for your service to him and to the world.

This knowledge can be applied to every religion.  If you approach everything you do by remembering God, then you will create joy at a much higher level.

For instance, the way I approach how things are done in my home is by thinking of God while I clean.  Is this home worthy of God?  If I were to invite God to live with me in my home, would I be proud of the way things look?  Is my home worthy of God?

It’s not just about making things clean.  It’s about creating an atmosphere, or a sort of energy, that embodies the same virtues God has.

In creating joy, start with these action items.

  1.  Meditate when you first wake up in the morning.  This is not prayer.  Meditation is the act of silencing your mind and going within.  If this is your first time, close your eyes.  Think of the word joy and what it means to you.  Sit there and contemplate that word for one minute, gradually working your way up to ten minute meditations.  This is about learning how to make your mind powerful.
  2. Start creating joy in everything you do by starting in your home.  A happy home is a healthy home.  With everything you do, practice mindfulness.  Concentrate on what you are doing and incorporating the thoughts of joy and what it means to you.
  3. As you shower, say your affirmations out loud.  For instance, “I attract a positive flow of wealth to me every single day.”  Whatever it is that you are dreaming of.  Start saying your affirmations over and over again in the most positive way that you can.  Make sure there are no negative words in your affirmations or it will conflict with what you are trying to accomplish.
  4. On your commute, repeat the affirmations over and over again in your mind.
  5. When you sit down to work, write in a notebook: “What will bring me joy today?”  Write down your to do list and think of how tackling each item will bring you joy.  How can you reward yourself for a job well done?
  6. As you go throughout the day, try eliminating negative thoughts from your mind and replacing them with positive thoughts.  Your mind must be constantly positive.  If you notice you are starting to think negatively, take a step back, acknowledge this is happening and immediately focus on something positive.  This is about training yourself to stop thinking negatively and to start focusing on being positive.
  7. Don’t forget to share your gratitude with the universe.  Say it in your mind.  Write it down.  However you like to do it, share with the universe everything you are already grateful for.
  8. But most of all, smile.  Be happy.  Let that joy be your mission.  What’s the point of having a dream if it does not bring you joy?  Focus on the joy first, then go after your dream.  Having your mind in the right place from the beginning will help you make the correct decisions in the long term to making your dream come true in such a way that it will be way better than you could ever imagine it to be.  That’s the dream you want to live.