People who live joyful lives do certain things differently.
We can all learn a lot from them by taking a closer look.
Here are the most important things that joyful folks do differently in their lives.
1) Focus their locus
Joyful people know how to focus their locus. This is their locus of control:
Those aspects of their life that are potentially within their influence and control.
Many things outside our control matter a lot and change everything.
But we can only control our reaction to them, not those unforeseen events and aspects themselves.
For that reason, the joyful person focuses on what is within his or her control.
For example, we can’t control when we will die:
But we can control what we eat, our exercise habits, and how many substances, drinks, and unhealthy behaviors we engage in.
Joyful people aren’t prudes by any means, and they like to have fun. But they do try to focus on living a healthy, energized life.
2) Find guidance
The next thing that joyful people do differently is they find guidance.
They don’t try to figure it all out from scratch but instead, look to the wisdom of the past and the present for insights.
This search for a religious, spiritual, or philosophical path is different for everyone.
But it takes place at the soul level.
It’s about finding a why for life, or at least for yourself.
When you have a really strong why you can tolerate just about any how.
Joyful people always have a strong why, even if it’s just to spread joy to others or a larger mission like saving the innocent from harm.
They love to find guidance and help give the inspiration and guidance they have found, searching out warm currents to swim in where meaning and love can be found and shared.
This brings me to the next point…
3) Love fully
People who live joyfully aren’t afraid of love.
Many of us have been hurt by love in our families, friendships, and romantic connections.
We may also feel fear about fully loving and showing love because of the day that we are no longer around or we lose this person from our lives.
But joyful people don’t count the cost.
They love unconditionally and let people in their lives know how special they are to them.
They keep some love in their hearts even when they’ve been hurt, and they don’t give up on the dream of love.
Even more importantly, they love themselves, too.
4) Live well
People who live the most joyful lives practice something the French call joie de vivre.
This can be literally translated as “the joy of living.”
It means exactly what it sounds like:
Enjoying fine food, good company, beautiful music, and people.
It means finding something that makes your heart beat a little bit faster and getting lost in the moment.
Living well is also about building long-term habits that lead to health, happiness, and fulfillment.
5) Work smart
People who live joyfully also know how to work smart.
Hard work has its place, but working smart isn’t quite the same thing.
It means being effective and seeing tasks from new perspectives that make them easier to do and make the final product better.
This habit of continually improving in the work you do while also making it less stressful is a definite key of being joyful.
Hard work leads to joy, there is no doubt.
But it should be hard work for a reason that’s aligned with their purpose and that uses the necessary amount of energy rather than wasting a lot.
6) Share widely
Joyful people also share.
This can be a bit counterintuitive, especially if you grew up poor or are in a difficult situation with finances may feel like sharing doesn’t make sense.
It’s true that you’re not always in a position to share money.
But what about your time, your love, your attention, your support?
Joyful people always have something to share, even if it’s just a kind word or a heartfelt hug.
The more you share the more you get.
As the spiritual master George Gurdjieff taught:
“All that I have hoarded is lost.
All that I have given is mine.”
There is deep truth in this statement with those for ears to hear.
Joyful people understand it well and that’s why they are always more likely to give and share than to take and hoard.
Life is short: be generous!
7) Eat right
Part of the living well that I mentioned earlier includes very basic things such as eating well.
This doesn’t have to mean consuming expensive Brie and fine wines.
It may be that you have a very simple and affordable diet.
But to the best of your ability, you eat well and eat food that leads to your long-term well-being, rather than just satisfying momentary impulses.
There is always a time for a junk food night, to be sure, and joyful people know how to indulge.
But overall these tend to be the folks eating very simple foods and practicing discipline with their eating habits.
8) Dress up
The next thing that joyful people do differently is dress up.
Around high school, I began noticing that when I wore more dressy clothes I felt more confident and did better in exams.
I started dressing up on exam days and some other days just because I could, and it felt great!
Sure I probably looked a bit pompous, but I felt good in my own skin, something that was often lacking in high school.
Joyful people like their comfy clothes and pajama bottoms, we all do from time to time.
But they also like to class it up sometimes and dress in clothing that fits well, looks snazzy, and makes them feel in tip-top shape.
9) Laugh often
Laughter is the best medicine.
Let’s face it:
Life can be very dark, confusing, and f*cked up.
When you find yourself in a foxhole with artillery incoming, sometimes all that’s left to do is laugh your ass off.
Here we are on this planet going through all these ups and downs with no real road map and scrambling to figure it out.
What if instead of intellectually trying to grasp it you were to just laugh in the face of chaos?
Joyful people understand this. They laugh because it’s become their second nature.
Today is going to be a great day
Take the tips above and apply them in your life.
Today has the potential to be the first day of a new life.