Today we are going to talk about joy. Sometimes joy and happiness get mixed up in definitions. I think joy is more important as it is solid, while happiness waxes and wanes over time.  

A couple months ago I was realizing that I was not joyful, in a constant state. I was looking for the “big joys” or the big moments in life that produce the “high-highs” of emotions. Those big joys are rare and usually far between. I was chasing the big joys and feeling the lows when they passed. This produced frustration. 

We have little kids in our family, and bedtime can be a challenge. It may only be 3% of the day, but sometimes that 3% of struggle wipes out all the joy of the day. Sometimes it seemed like the whole day as frustrating, just experiencing that struggle.  

This is the trick that I started focusing on a couple months ago. I started noticing the “little joys” before going to sleep. At night, I would replay the mental movie of the day to re-see and re-feel the simple joys that took place in the day. Looking through those wonderful moments of the day turned my perception of the day.  

One example of what I would focus on is my son. He often comes downstairs with his giant personality, big smile, and big hugs. He will say, “Daddy, I love you.” Something as simple as that is a joy. Another example is a moment where I get to go on a walk with my wife. It could be a day where I can feel the sunshine. I take that little joy moment, and bring myself back to the emotion, back to the joy. I re-feel the joy. It doesn’t have to take very long.  

Going through the day again, and thinking about those simple joys, help to keep joy consistent in my life.