Read This If You’re Feeling Down
You may not be feeling so good right now. You may feel like you don’t have a purpose, and you’re worrying a lot about your future.
So I want to share a simple habit to help you live a much more joyful life.
This isn’t a quick fix. I’m talking about long-term change. A COMPLETELY different mindset and way of life.
By the way, if you prefer to watch the video version of this blog post, here it is 😀
Here is the tip. We can access joy by choosing to be grateful. But it’s not as simple as that, is it?
Some people say, “just think positive”. Focus on the positives in life, just don’t focus on the negative. Then you’ll be happier. You’ll be more fulfilled, more joyful. But it’s not as simple as that.
We have to be intentional and disciplined about this.
Gratitude (choosing to focus on the positive) is not an easy task, as you may know. It’s hard to focus on the things that are good in your life when the negatives overwhelm you.
So, how do you do it?
I’m gonna propose a challenge. It’s a 7-day gratitude challenge. Every day, you have to think only positive thoughts. If a single negative thought comes into your mind, banish it immediately! I’m mean IMMEDIATELY! Your happiness depends on it. Then replace with the positive aspects of the situation.
This is hard, very hard. You have to be deadly serious about it. Don’t start this challenge if you don’t think you’re going to follow through. But if you do follow through, the rewards are big. As well as being mentally stronger, and happy most of the time.
If a positive thought enters your mind, feed on it. Really enjoy it. Feast on it. As if it’s your favourite food.
Let it completely fill you up. If a negative thought comes in, replace that with the reality of the situation.
What does ‘the reality of the situation’ mean?
Well, imagine this.
A negative thought comes into your mind. For example, “I hate my job, I’m not getting paid that much.”
If something like that comes into your mind, replace it with the reality of the situation.
In this situation, remind yourself that 2 billion people on the planet are living on less than 1 dollar a day! But you have a job that is probably paying much more than that.
If we think about it in those terms, then DAMM! We realise how much we really have. Think, ‘so many people don’t have a job, but God has really blessed ME with a job. So now I can use it to live a happy, healthy, comfortable life.
The reality of the situation is usually positive.
Even if you don’t think your life is very comfortable, it probably is comfortable compared to some people’s lives. Replace the negative thought with the reality of the situation!
I worked in a café for 4 months, and I did not like working there. It was pretty stressful, and I didn’t get paid much. But I chose to be joyful! Every day I made the decision to spend at least 5 minutes in gratitude. I cannot tell you the DIFFERENCE that that made.
I walked into a busy kitchen, smiling. I served drinks all day, and almost all the time, I was rejoicing and smiling.
I chose actively to be joyful. It’s hard to choose to be joyful. I have a lot of respect for all of those people in the world who can be joyful consistently.
But God wants us to have joy! What (good) parent wouldn’t want their children to have joy? A lousy parent would, but God is the best parent there is!
We are all children of God, and he wants us all to have joy.
Here is another reason to have joy.
When we run into problems and trials. We know they help us to develop endurance. We can REJOICE in those trials because we know that God is using them to build our character and endurance.
James 1:2-4 says:
‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.’
If we stay close to him, we can use those trials. Learn from them. Then we can develop even STRONGER joy.
If we survive something hard, it’s much easier to be joyful when more comfortable circumstances come along.
Of course, circumstances do have an effect on us, but they don’t have to affect our joy!
Engage in this mental workout with me where we CHOOSE to be joyful. It’s hard, like building a muscle. If you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s hard to start again. But once you’ve started, it becomes easier and easier.
When positive thoughts build momentum, they can become an upward spiral. Soon our joy could be off the charts. But every journey like this starts with a single step.
Here are some benefits of joy:
We’re more likely to be successful.
We are so much closer to god.
We are basically not depressed.
Think about this.
The goal of every human being is to be happy, right?
If we chose to be miserable and chose negative thoughts, it’s because it’s easy to be negative. It’s harder to be joyful. But if we were to choose the hard route, then we would have much more happiness, and in the long run, it would be much easier anyway.
Jeremiah 29:11 says:
‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
God’s plans for us are for good and not for disaster. His will for us is so much better than any plans we have for the future. God’s plan is better. It may be hard to believe that, but it’s true.
If we BELIEVE, we will see those plans come into fulfilment. This is another thing to be joyful about. If we are joyful even in the off-season, then we are aligning ourselves with God’s best plan for our lives.
No one has ever fulfilled God’s best plan for their life (apart from Jesus). But the more joyful we can choose to be, the closer we get to that plan.
Joy is a habit. If you practice it every day, you will master it.
Author: Joshua Moore
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