The Eureka to End All Eureka’s — and JOY!!!

Have you ever spent time with someone who INSISTS at looking at the dark side of things? Aren’t they exhausting?

(Confession before we go any further – I have, on occasion, been that person.)

I had good reason to be unhappy. If you had had my life back then, you’d have been unhappy too.

Unless, of course, you weren’t. Because you had already figured out what I didn’t know.

But then, I discovered it too. It’s a secret that’s so incredibly magical, I absolutely MUST share with you.

Happiness is a CHOICE!!!

Oh my goodness, I want to scream it from the rooftops, because I think there are still a lot of people who don’t know that.

But it gets better . . . As soon as I discovered that happiness is a choice, a whole other host of truths revealed themselves to me.

Did you know, for example, you don’t have to dwell on stuff that upsets you? Yes, you do need to think about stuff long enough to respond with right action, but you don’t have to ruminate on your fears, your injuries, your sorrows, the injustices that have been done to you.

No, love, you really, really don’t.

Here’s another one — Did you know that you don’t need anyone else’s permission to make choices about how you want to live your One Beautiful Life?

Nope. You really, really don’t.

If you are unhappy right now, YOU need to change. Stop looking at the other person. They aren’t gonna change. Nope. Not one whit.

Unhappiness can only manifest with your permission.  Misery needs a co-conspirator in order to thrive – you! (click to tweet)

Once I made that discovery, once I found out that I wasn’t a victim, I was a volunteer, I resolved to never ever allow myself to marinate in my own self-pity again. And, one day at a time, I’ve been able to keep that promise to myself.

I know a way up and out, and, I want to share that with you. So, I’m creating a manuscript for you about joy. It’s gonna be free. Because you’re priceless. But I could use your help.

I could use a few Beautiful You’s to bounce ideas off of during the next couple of weeks. I’m calling this group my Joy Manifesto Advisory Board.  On occasion, I would email you with a thought or two and get your feedback. I want to pull the whole thing together within the next few weeks, so it’s a short term gig.

If you’re game, please enter your contact info below. (Don’t worry. I never spam. It’s not kind. And it’s not good business, either.)

I look forward to sharing the piece with you in a few weeks. In the interim, much love and joy.


P.S. It’s not your job, but you make me happy.

P.P.S. If you aren’t available to be part of my mini-tribe of joyful advisors, I’d still love to hear your thoughts on joy in the comments below.  Or, sign up here to be part of the Joy Manifesto Advisory Board.

Photo: Flickr, Pink Sherbet Photography

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27 Responses to The Eureka to End All Eureka’s — and JOY!!!

  1. Beth says:

    What a wonderful posting to start my day with! I LOVE how you emphasized the main 2 points in red. I’m printing those out and putting them on my bathroom mirror. Thanks Jen!

  2. Connie Foss says:

    Very true! thanks for the uplifting and humorous reality checks!

  3. I understand and agree with you that happiness is a choice, but it can be a process when others around you bring you down. It’s a process to learn how to shrug those negative thoughts and actions away and proceed with your own happiness.

  4. Jeannie-JB says:

    Using some of your thoughts as my mantra – starting now. Thanks.

  5. Nicole says:

    It’s as if you are INSIDE my brain sometimes!! I was just talking last night about how I have to CHOOSE to focus on the many many good things in my life – and stop allowing the few not-so-good things to cloud everything else. Love this post!

    • Jennifer says:

      I AM inside your brain, Nicole. I see a big sign up here that says, “GO live your one beautiful life today. Don’t forget. And, please pass it on.”

  6. Pam says:

    I’ve been struggling with staying positive and happy lately. I have grandkids whose situation is less than ideal, perhap it’s less than MY ideal. Short explanation: their mom is semi-neglectful. The house is dirty, and they go to school disheveled. My husband sort’ve put it in persepective when he said, “just call child services and tell them your granddaughter wasn’t dressed cute on Grandparents’ Day. They’ll laugh at you, because they have kids with REAL problems, kids whose parents are cooking meth in filthy trailer houses.” I decided I might as well get happy, since there’s not much I can do about it. Ironically, I got through the period after my mom’s murder with less angst than I have had since becoming a grandma. Maybe because I am a busy, type-A person, and there were things to do–an estranged husband to keep in jail, an estate to manage. With the grands, there’s nothing I can do except remain a positive role model. In order to do that, I have to stay happy and upbeat. It’s a choice for sure, but sometimes it’s a mighty challenge.

  7. Wendie says:

    I absolutely know some hard-wired, look-on-the-dark-side pessimists, but I also know that their eternal state of discontent is a symptom of something greater than I know. The good news? I can hold compassion simultaneously with the knowledge that it’s not my job to crack the code to anyone’s joy.

    Also, you become dandelion fluff in the wind when you allow another’s disposition to be the barometer of your state of mind. Depleting one’s energy and time in the often fruitless attempts to “bring someone up” or “make them see the light” falls squarely under “Non-Self Care” and that’s a movie that has no role for this gal.

  8. Michelle says:

    I guess I am a Debbie downer. I anticipate the worst, and in my head (not out loud) I take my worries, disappointments and failures out and play with them regularly. I know it’s bad, but geez, it was easier to quit smoking, lose 30 pounds and send three kids to college that it is to change this habit. I love your post, and later tonight, when things are quiet, I’ll read it again. It bears extra consideration!

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi, Michelle. Just claim joy-ful progress, rather than joy-ful perfection. Make your 15 minute appointments, and during those times, sit down and write gratitude lists, make art, something fun.

      Slowly add more 15-minute joy appointments to your day.

      You got this, love!


  9. Deborah says:

    Along the lines of Wendie’s comment – When my children (all young adults) were dragging me into their misery and unhappiness, and I was feeling miserable right along with them, my mother said the MOST profound thing to me. She said “Honey, you can’t sacrifice your joy on the alter of someone else’s misery”. It gives me chills just to type that now, it’s become so powerful to me. I have lived by that ever since and it has been life-changing!

  10. That’s a discovery that’s better than gold! Eureka!

    Too bad that even after we discover this, we forget, and remember again, then forget again…Geez! So glad you helped me remember today!

    I’ve discovered that this simple attitude adjustment – choosing to see the good rather than the frustrating and saddening parts of reality – has an additional benefit. It keeps me healthier! Yes, I believe there are even quite a few studies to bear this one out. So, yes! Here’s to happy, healthy, joyful living!

  11. Barbara Womack says:

    Thanks for the validation! I love the comments, too.
    I have been struggling with the whole “happiness deal” for a long, long, long time.
    The long and winding road finally led me to the same conclusion you stated. It is a choice! I CAN take control of my thoughts! (that means my husband was/is right again…)
    Case in point, yesterday was a glorious, beautiful day. I was so happy to be alive and doing what I do for a living. However, by bedtime, something..somewhere had put a wrench in the works and I could feel myself slipping down, down. But, you know what happened? (for, like, the first time ever?) I thought: WAIT A MINUTE! I am NOT going down this road again. …and I didn’t!
    Golly, that seemed so easy! I think I finally learned something. But, it certainly took long enough. 🙂
    Again, thanks for the validation.

  12. Diane Standish says:

    Happiness is right in front of us every day! I found this out finally after a lot of days that were Unhappiness. And even when the little things of daily life make you want to be unhappy it isn’t permanent! My daily morning prayer is ” thank you God for this wonderful life and this beautiful day” (I stole this from my hubby!) and my evening prayer includes the same line. Attitude is EVERYTHING when it comes to happiness!! (took me 56 years to figure this out!) thanks so much for another amazing post-it made me stop and realize that I have finally come to a place of happiness in my life. would love to be part of your advisory board too.

  13. Zénaide says:

    Years ago, I read something that changed my Gloomy Gert outlook. It was about life being 1% what happens to one and 99% what one does with it. Hmmm…. personal responsibility. I love personal responsibility because it’s full of possibility. 🙂

    I still struggle from time to time, but for the most part, I think I’m a positive person.

    If you still need help with your Joy Manifesto Advisory Board, Jen, I’d be delighted to be a participant.

  14. Sharon says:

    Your posts always seem to find me at the exact moment I need them. Thank you for the boost I needed today to remind me the other person is not going to change – but I will!!!

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