What's Stealing Your Joy?

Photo Credit: Romeo Conilas

 

Imagine this:  You wake up to a beautiful Saturday morning, eager to start your day with a perfectly planned home-cooked breakfast.  After a few stretches, you get on your feet and head to the kitchen. Egg, sausage, pancakes, a bowl of fruit, and a  cup of freshly brewed coffee, one by one perfectly laid on the breakfast table. You grab a bottle of ketchup from the cupboard, and remembered- – Bistro! Oh no! You look over your shoulder and see your fear actually happening! Big Bistro gobbling down a big breakfast!

Joy stealers are like that. They’re cunning. While you get so self-absorbed and unaware, they come out and take something you really value. There’s an army of them, but let’s talk about two that may seem non-threatening, but prove to be strong enemies of your time.

Laziness

– you say you want to get fit, but you don’t get up early in the morning to exercise.

– you say you want more sunshine, but don’t make an effort to go to the beach or just outside your home

– you say you want to be more productive, but you linger for hours on social media

– you say you want more income but don’t find ways to get one

– you say you want stronger, healthier relationships but you end up with just intentions, no effort, no actions.

Indecision

– you want to accomplish a lot of goals but you don’t start working on a single thing

– you want to explore opportunities, but actually, don’t pick one of several choices that come along

– you want to change something in your circumstances, but you get stuck at wishing and not doing

My brother once told me that completing a marathon is more of a mental thing, not a physical one. The strength lies in the mind, not in the body.  I believe this applies to almost everything.  We are stronger, more able and better than we think we are.

When I see old people dancing, running, biking or doing yoga it inspires me and makes me happy.  When I see them accomplish their greatest feat ever in their old age, it drives me crazy!

Philippe Dumas, a 60-year-old man who took the fashion world by storm in 2016 after growing a beard.

80-year-old Deshun Wang, who killed it on the catwalk during the 2015 China fashion week.

Greta Pontarelli who started pole dancing at the age of 59 and at 61 won first place in 2014 pole sports world championship.

And who can ever forget Paddy Jones who wowed the world and the audience of  Britain’s Got Talent in 2014  with a salsa dance when at that time she was turning 80!

If older people can do it, surely the young can do better!

Laziness. Indecision.  Nip the problem in the bud. Both can kill your dreams. Both can waste your time. Both can stop you from discovering an ocean of possibilities laid down your path.  Both will hinder you in accomplishing something more than what you’ve hoped for in this life.

Why did we call them joy stealers?  Because they stop you from becoming the best version of yourself.  Embrace them and you end up being unable to give your best gift to the world. You retire with a wealth of regrets. You’d fail to finish strong.  You take your dreams to your grave.

Let me leave you with this quote:

The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”-  Les Brown

You don’t want your dreams to end up there, do you? So move and win this life.

Question:

Have you identified your own joy-stealers? How is your battle against them? Are you winning or are you losing? What steps are you taking from here today to move you closer to your dreams?

Comment here.

That Was Faith

It was 2011 when I made the decision to leave the work that I love, with all the people in it.
I don’t have any job offer from another company, and I wasn’t ready to go back home and settle. While everyone thought of it as a careless move, I actually believed it was bold. I was following my heart, and I was aiming to realize my vision.

The old job wasn’t all rosy. It had some challenges but nothing that I couldn’t handle. It wasn’t perfect but was way better than prior ones.

I had six weeks to find myself a new company to join, else I’d have to start something back home. Ads were applied for, contacts have been tapped, the search expanded. And then, there’s one. An interview invitation with the owner of a big group of companies.

I turned out overqualified in a way, but here’s the catch. The offer was almost half of what I was earning at that time. Knowing the extent of the expected workload made it obvious that I’m being dealt with a bad hand, so I knew I had to decline. Quite upset, the owner asked me, what do I want and heartily, I shared my top 3.

I want to do a job that I love.
I want to work in a team.
I want to get a salary equal to or more than I currently do.

The owner believed he could offer me the 1st two, but not the third. His words, “You’re not going to find a job that could offer you that pay. Not during these times”. I confidently quipped, “ I believe, I can”. We parted with him giving me a challenge. “If you do find that job, let me know, I’d gladly apply for it too”.

To cut the long story short, I did get that job. I got what I desired for, and more. My last day with the old company fell on the 31st, and my 1st day with the new one starts the day after. Amazing, right?

Aside from being told careless, most people around me thought that I was too confident or proud. I wasn’t. For some reason, I just knew it in my heart that I can find that job. I didn’t know how, but I knew.

Some call it gut-feel, but I’d like to call it, Faith.

I’ve got no words to explain it but the intensity and power of that faith were undeniable and it drove off all fears and doubts, insecurities and second-guesses. I knew the opportunity was out there, and I knew it was waiting for me. Outside noise couldn’t drown it. Others couldn’t see it. But I could. To me it was real.

I don’t know how the power of Faith has worked in your life, but I believe that when it did, the confidence you had, has been unshakeable. You know you’re treading on the right path. You never looked back. You didn’t even pause. You just went out there and got hold of that promise, that prize, that precious piece glowing in the distant. To the world, it was hard to notice, but to you, that glow shined the brightest.


Question:
Have you experienced this much faith? What gift did it reward you? Share your faith experience here and bless someone.

When You Need To Strip Away The Unimportant

With a cup of coffee in hand, I reviewed how my days have been. What have I invested my time for? My energy? And like a subtle cold wind touching my skin, I heard this gentle voice bringing me up to my senses,  a question I haven’t pondered on for quite some time. #sundaewrites

Be present. It doesn’t matter what you do or what you’re feeling.  Reward yourself with the very gift of this moment. Feel every breath, wake up your senses and savor every minute.

It’s easy to go through our days distracted by seemingly urgent matters. We react to things and fail to exercise our ability to initiate, to begin, to design our lives that way we want it to. Now more than ever is the best time we take responsibility. It’s time to get a grip, to make a stand and resolve how our day will be before it even starts, regardless of what’s going to transpire. 

I realized I have unconsciously allowed the victim mentality to rule my mind these past few weeks.  I don’t know how it even managed to creep in.  I found a lot of reasons to blame something or someone for what I’m feeling, so days have been long, hours have been a drag.  I pushed and pushed harder that I forgot how it feels to walk and just enjoy the sunshine.  My head is flooded with unimportant thoughts.  I miss home, I miss my family, I miss the beauty and simplicity of the olden days, of my childhood, all those years before adulthood.

Is growing up a bad thing? Not at all. It’s just that we tend to forget how it is to be a kid- to laugh often, to play, to not hold grudges, to desire big dreams, to dare, to be fearless, to stand up for what’s right, to be honest about our feelings and our thoughts and not be ashamed of it. 

When we were kids, we were bolder, we were free-spirited. Why? Because we knew we are loved. We knew that we matter. We believed that we have nothing to lose. We stumble and fall, yes, but we knew that we can stand up again and run-  such courage, such faith, such willpower.

I woke up to a quiet morning today, to the sound of the birds chirping away and enjoying the warmth of the sun. With a cup of coffee in hand, I reviewed how my days have been. What have I invested my time for? My energy? And like a subtle cold wind touching my skin, I heard this gentle voice bringing me up to my senses,  a question I haven’t pondered on for quite some time. What is this all about?”

More than just fulfilling my life’s purpose, I want to leave a legacy. The day’s reflection delivered these words, “Great sermons aren’t preached, they’re lived.”  So if I am to teach someone, I may do so with fewer words.  

You and I both know it’s never easy. We all start with good intentions but some days some things get the better of us.  When life pulls you in different directions, when you feel overwhelmed, and can’t seem to take one more step, it’s good to remind ourselves of this question, “What is this all about?”  And I hope your answer would give you:

  • comfort when there’s pain,
  • joy when there’s a lot to complain,
  • peace when everything around is in chaos,
  • hope in despair,
  • gentleness in the midst of noise,
  • forgiveness when there’s lack of it.

Then maybe you can strip away all that is not important, simplify things again, and start from there.  That way you narrow down your focus to just a few, the ones that really matter.

Question:

Have you pondered about this question-  “What is this all about”? What answers did you get? Did it change the next days of your life? Share your thoughts here. There’s always a lot we can learn from each other.