I was recently reading a really great blog post by Tom Bilyeu from Impact Theory. It was titled “How to Manufacture Joy”. Great article. I will copy and paste it to the end of this blog for your reading pleasure.
It really made me think about the warm fuzzies me and so many others feel during this time of year. Then that evolved to the thought “why can’t we feel like this all year round?” Which then evolved into “Duh, we can do whatever the hell we want to”. The fact of the matter is that warm fuzzy feeling we have during the holiday season is nothing more than a conscious decision. Imagine the happiness that would radiate from us and then eventually radiate onto those around us if we all created that feeling of love, happiness, and joy we have during the holiday season all year-long.
How do you do that you ask? Well allow me to share!
- Identify when you are experiencing those warm fuzzy feelings.
While shopping for my loved ones the other day I realized that it is when I see something that makes me think of that loved one that I feel a great sense of joy. It isn’t the item itself, it isn’t the purchase of the item, but the thinking of the person that gives me that feeling. It made me realize that when you are doing your day-to-day routine….if you find yourself thinking about someone out of the blue simply texting that person and letting them know is so powerful. That, in my opinion, is the ultimate gift.
2. Act on it
After you have identified what gives you those feelings you have to act on creating those situations more frequently. The holiday season most certainly does not have to be the only time in which you give gifts. Also, gifts do not always have to be a tangible item. There is no greater gift in the world than telling someone how amazing they are. The gift of love and confidence…that’s where it’s at. That moment that I decided I didn’t care if people thought I was crazy or weird for verbally expressing my thoughts of love, empathy, and compassion was the most freeing moment of my life. Although I recognize that “words of affirmation” is not everyone’s love language…I know for certain it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone! Not to mention we are talking about cultivating joy for yourself. It makes ME feel good to tell others how awesome they are!
3. Make a mental note of how you are feeling
It is so important to take note of those warm fuzzy feelings. When you recognize the actions that give you that feeling you are more likely to continue with those actions. The more you give the more you get….it’s a never-ending cycle of warm fuzziness! It is the epitome of having a jar in your brain that you can dip into whenever you need a dose of the warm fuzzies.
What it boils down to is being present….being on purpose….being INTENTIONAL. Who are the most important people in your life. Is it family, friends, co-workers, leaders, service providers??? Who makes you the person you are? Those are the people you will start with. Then let it spread like wildflowers!!
Here is the blog post I mentioned earlier. I was titled how to manufacture joy
Let’s talk about holiday cheer for a second because I think it gets at one of my major life strategies.
I rarely think about this because it’s become so automatic for me, but it’s incredibly powerful.
What I’m about to break down for you in the guise of holiday cheer is actually what I also credit with keeping my marriage awesome nearly 20 years in.
Before we dive in, here’s the punchline: You can manufacture authentic emotions.
I’m not religious at all, but Christmas is by far my favorite time of year. Why? Because it’s a time of year where the whole world has decided they’re going to allow themselves to feel joyful even though it’s literally the coldest, darkest time of year.
If I had to guess, that’s exactly why so many cultures have massive mid-winter celebrations. They needed something to combat the emotional doldrums that come with the winter weather.
What I want you all to take away from that though is that simply saying “It’s time to party” can shift your emotional state. Once you buy into the fact that you can simply shift your emotional state with the addition of an external thing like a party, then it’s one more small step to buy into the fact that you can shift your emotional state, well, just because.
Once you realize that you can shift your mental state simply by deciding to, that’s when the world of emotional control will open up before you.
Here’s how it goes:
Step 1: Decide to Change
First, you need to decide that you’re going to shift your emotional state. This can be born from the realization that you’re not in a good emotional state, or it can be for something like increasing your level of excitement around achieving your goals.
Step 2: Choose Your Target
Once you know you want to change you need to decide what it is EXACTLY that you want to feel.
What’s the goal here? Are you trying to get amped about what you’re creating? Trying to really embody gratitude? Remember how much you love your significant other?
Whatever it is, get clarity around it. Set your intention.
Step 3: Focus Your Attention
Remember: you get what you focus on. If you’re focusing on negative stuff, you’re going to fill with negative emotions. Conversely, if you focus on positive stuff, you’re going to fill with positive emotions.
It really is that simple.
So if you’re trying to fill yourself with love for your significant other or excitement for your goal, then focus your attention INTENSELY on what it is about that thing that excites you.
I’ll give you an example from my own life. I hate the gym, but honestly most times I don’t even think about it. On days when it’s getting to me, I think about how awesome it is to look good naked, or how dope it is to be strong – or my personal favorite – the thought of living forever.
Once I’m refilled with excitement for that outcome, I find it very easy to start pushing hard again.
Step 4: Self-Signal
Alright, this is the advanced class portion. If you really want to supercharge your emotional state, surround yourself with things that continually reinforce that feeling.
Christmas is the perfect example. My house looks like we should be selling tickets. There are lights, trees, and Christmas music everywhere. Everywhere you turn, you’re greeted with things that reinforce the joyfulness of the season.
For Lisa and I it really is a magical wonderland. We watch Christmas movies, wear Christmas clothing, and dance every chance we get. All of that continually reinforces the feelings that we want to have.
And there you have it, my systematic way of manufacturing joy. Even I have to laugh at the way that sounds. I don’t leave anything to chance – least of all my emotional state. I just hope that this breakdown helps you not only have a more jolly holiday season, but a more jolly life in general.
Mad love to all of you at this wonderful time of year! Until next time, my friends, be legendary.