7 Secrets to Finding Joy

By Keith Varnum

To pursue happiness is an inalienable right. To experience happiness is not. No one owes you happiness. No one can ensure your happiness. Happiness is a choice—your choice.

The key to experiencing happiness is to put joy on your life agenda along with completing tasks and goals. Joy is a direct result of intention. Your intention determines how you experience each moment of your day, each aspect of your world. As you go through your daily activities, ask yourself, “What’s my intention?” A clear, strong intention for happiness helps you stay focused on fun and joy.

Here are a few actions you can take to make joy part of your Earth journey:

1.   Get outside yourself

Take the focus off yourself and commit to being a Contributor rather than a Survivor. This may seem like odd advice, but consider how attractive “needy” feels. Ask others how you can support them and they will naturally want to support you. Life is a cosmic boomerang—you get back what you send out.

Conduct a regular inner dialogue with your higher self. Say to your higher self, “I know you are here. I want to get to know you and pay attention to you. Please speak to me and guide my life.”

Don’t worry if this dialogue is entirely one-way at first. You may have been out of touch for a while. It takes time to clear the cobwebs. Persist with this inner dialogue as if you are talking to a friend—chatting, asking questions, sharing your hopes and dreams. Sweep away mental chatter of the dead past and the uncertain future. Listen for answers. They will come.

As you begin to view life as a cosmic drama in which you are playing a very public starring role, the role of the higher self will become increasingly evident in your life.

2.   Be a beacon of light

Get out of your comfort zone. Become a beacon of lightheartedness. You’ll be closer to your soul’s perspective. Become a bright sparkling source of energy and let it reflect in all that you do. Let your spirit define who you are rather than the outside world. Turn up the volume on what you do best.

Set an upbeat pace at home and at work. Do a little more than you have to. Give a little more than is expected. Consider it an experiment and watch how others respond to you. Then see how you feel at the end of the week. If you find joy unbearable, you can always go back to being grumpy.

3. Create space for yourself

Spend some quiet time with yourself every day.  It’s very important to have a place or time just for yourself. Give everything in your environment a personal touch. Create a room or private corner that fills you with joy and feels like home.

If noise and activity constantly bombard your life, you are drowning out your inner guidance. Just sit quietly with no expectations. Do nothing. This may feel very uncomfortable and strange in the beginning. Persist. Give time and space for the inner voice to make itself heard. It will do so either during that quiet time, or through signs and messages during the events of your life. A synchronistic happening will occur. Someone will tell you exactly what you need to hear. You will get a sudden flash of insight.

Meditate. Breathe. Become a quiet, clear, pure vessel for the higher self to fill. Listen to yourself and trust what you hear. Let go of other people’s voices in your head.

4.  Learn from your lows

Discover lessons to make your life better. Find value in trauma. Develop your resilience—your ability to bounce back from mishaps. Taking a closer, more intuitive look at your tumbles can help you find a gift even in a hardship. Contented people transform problems into opportunities and trauma into something meaningful and constructive.

Ask, “What good might result from this? How did I contribute to creating this? Is it making me stronger, wiser, more compassionate? What can I learn from this so that I can do better next time?”

Understand that failure is often a precursor to success—often in ways we can’t predict. Let your life adventures teach you. Many people get caught in what—or who—is right or wrong instead of looking at the deeper understanding that can be gleaned from the incident. Use life’s roller coaster to change and thrive.

5.  Celebrate the success of others

Celebrating the success of others takes you one step closer to being able to appreciate your own successes— rather than hiding from achievement or fearing failure. Invest attention and energy in the people you love and care about. Meaningful relationships are developed and sustained by positive attitude and action.

Make people a priority. Prioritizing relationships is a more certain path to bliss than chasing after wealth, status or power—even if you’ve got a good chance of acquiring them.

6.  Cultivate beauty

Find a place where you can experience all of the sacred Four Elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire (sun). Reset your energetic rhythms by tuning into Nature. Allow all Four Elements to create a symphony of sensation around you, replenish your vitality, and help you return to the flow. Visit the ocean, a forest stream, or a park with a lake or a manmade fountain.

Take in some art. Art has an energy all its own. And don’t just observe the beauty, but rather immerse yourself in a work of art. The colors and shapes will awaken your senses and inner spirit.

7. Take your dream up a notch every day

Widen your worldview. Stretch your horizons. We’re brought up with a largely materialistic worldview that neglects the role of Spirit in our lives. To establish close contact with spiritual realms, we need to have our entire being—conscious and unconscious—congruent with our soul blueprint. Seek out writings and teachers that expand your understanding of the universe as being fundamentally the playground of consciousness and Spirit.