“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

—Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Clemens

Image from Unsplash by Fikri Rasyid

Consider your life as a roll of bathroom tissue.

When you are born you have 1,000 sheets to use. As the days, weeks, months and years pass, you begin to notice the roll is spinning faster. Perhaps you are now closer to the end of the roll than the beginning.

Consider the idea that rather than fretting that some or even many of those sheets have been wasted or lost, you still have the opportunity to make each moment of every day something to joyfully enjoy and celebrate.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you be far more intentional about making the most of each precious and beautiful day ahead?

“The rising sun blesses my mind with joy. The setting sun blesses my heart with peace.”

“The rising sun blesses my mind with joy. The setting sun blesses my heart with peace.”

—Sri Chinmoy, 20th Century Indian Spiritual Leader

Image from Unsplash by John Towner

Before electricity and the light bulb, our sun and perhaps the occasional fire influenced every aspect of life.

Sunlight was man’s alarm clock to rise and go about the day, to survive and be productive.

When the sun went down, it was time to relinquish our efforts and find safety in our homes with our family. It was time, hopefully, to settle into a peaceful and safe slumber until the sun woke us again.

How has the world — and particularly your life — changed from this simpler time? Consider the fact that we live in a world where the lights never seem to go out, even if its the dim light of your smart phone or the numbers on your alarm clock.

EXERCISE:

How much additional joy and peace might you experience if you more fully embraced a life guided further by the rising and setting of the sun?

Consider reading Waking up to the Dark – Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, by Clark Strand.

“I am more distress-avoidant than I am joy-seeking.”

“I am more distress-avoidant than I am joy-seeking.”

—Malcolm Gladwell, Canadian journalist, Author, and public speaker

“Creative Tension” is a term coined by Robert Fritz in his book The Path of Least Resistance from the late 1980s.

Essentially, it describes the tension that exists between our perception of our current reality and our vision for the future. Fritz points to the desirable and attractive nature of a committed vision, which draw or pulls our reality closer to it.

A common example of this phenomenon is the TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday) approach many people experience as they look toward the weekend. Unfortunately, this concept also applies to the less desirable future which many people experience Sunday night if the prospects of Monday morning are experienced with apathy or dread.

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you more joy-seeking than distress-avoidant in your personal and professional lives? What actions can and will you take to intentionally design more positive experiences in the days, weeks, and years ahead?

All the Joy I Can Wish

“I wish you all the joy I can wish.”

—William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene 2

Boys jumping in a field

Image by Robert Collins on Unsplash

With the holiday season upon us, and the new year just ahead, Shakespeare’s wish feels quite appropriate.

Take some real time to reflect on the people, things, and experiences that bring you joy and reach out to those you love with extra hugs and the kind words we often neglect.

EXERCISE:

How and where can you share Shakespeare’s wish of joy throughout your communities this holiday season, and all year long?

“One of the sanest, surest and…”

“One of the sanest, surest and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.”

—Robert A. Heinlein, American Science Fiction Author

Photo from Flickr by Barbara Mazz

Photo from Flickr by Barbara Mazz

Do you like Chinese food? I do.

I must admit that in addition to enjoying the wide variety of tastes, textures, and aromas of Chinese food, I also enjoy the little ritual at the end of the meal. Yes, I very much look forward to opening my fortune cookie.

Imagine, for a moment, that all your future fortune cookies are “good fortune” cookies, and that not only do you get benefit from the one intended specifically for you, but you also get a boost of happiness from those of your dining companions.

EXERCISE:

How can you bolster your own life satisfaction by experiencing the added joy and fulfillment through the good fortune of others?

#99: “Friendships multiply joys and divide grief.”

– Henry George Bohn, British publisher

There is a good reason why we are social creatures. We simply live and survive better when we are part of a community. Our friendships tend to be very intentional in their ability to move us forward in life.

Have you ever noticed that successes are far sweeter when celebrated with friends and family? How much better do you feel when you experience sadness, disappointment and grief in the company of others, versus going it alone?

Exercise:

Which friends multiple your joy and divide your grief? How can you show them your gratitude?

Who in your life today would benefit from your special friendship?

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