OUR “AUTOMATIC PILOT”
Plants are on automatic pilot to grow toward the sun.
Animals are on automatic pilot to grow toward food and procreation.
Everything in nature is on automatic pilot
– constantly seeking what will meet its needs.
Humans are on automatic pilot toward joy.
HOW IT WORKS
We have feelings about our needs
(like for food, air, water, etc.).
When needs are satisfied we feel joy.
We have feelings about our wants
(for love and affection, even for things like a new car).
When wants are satisfied we feel joy.
Our emotions constantly push us toward joy.
When we use our anger well
we increase our odds of getting what we want
and feeling joy.
When we use our sadness well
we replace what we’ve lost
and feel joy again.
When we use our scare well
we protect ourselves
and feel joy.
There’s even a built in inducement toward joy called excitement.
We feel excited whenever we are “on our way” toward what we want!
Excitement mobilizes our energy to keep us on track toward joy.
HOW TO GET MORE JOY IN YOUR LIFE
The easiest way to get more joy in your life is to
simply IMAGINE that you’ve got something you want.
Using your imagination in this way produces an immediate dose of joy.
The problem, of course, is that since you know you are only imagining,
this dose only lasts for the very short time you can maintain the fantasy.
Still, it’s a great idea to give yourself these small doses regularly
as long as you don’t confuse these fantasies with reality.
Being More Aware Of Regularly Occurring Joys:
Every single time we take care of a bodily need
we feel a considerable amount of joy.
When we eat a great meal or even when we grab a bite of fast food
we feel quite a bit of joy!
Go on a campaign for a few weeks.
Take the time to actually feel the recurring joys of every day life.
(Most of us take these moments for granted and rush right past them….)
Zero In On Affection and Attention:
We all love to be noticed and liked or loved by others.
Most of us are noticed by others many times every day.
Most of us spend some time each day
with people who simply enjoy being with us.
These are moments of affection and attention.
The key, again, is to
take the time to notice
how good these things feel!
About The Joy Of Getting “Stuff”:
There is real joy to be had from getting stuff
(everything from new clothes to a new house).
But don’t expect much from this.
Advertisers tell us that if we had all the stuff we wanted
we would be very, very happy!
They are lying!
Getting stuff feels good only for a relatively short while.
The thrill of a new car usually lasts only a few days or weeks
and it then just becomes background.
The excitement about moving into a new house probably lasts a month or two
before it too becomes background.
And when we get down to the smaller stuff of daily life
– like new shoes, or a meal at a fancy restaurant –
most of these “thrills” last only minutes or hours.
Take the time to enjoy these things,
but don’t be surprised when you notice the abrupt end to such joys.
THE BIG JOYS
The big joys of life come from getting our needs met regularly
and from getting big doses of attention and affection.
You can supplement these big joys
with the joy that comes from fantasy
and with the joy that comes from getting stuff.
But nothing will ever compare to the bigger joys
that come from taking care of your own needs
and absorbing the love and caring of others.
ABOUT “TAKING THE TIME TO FEEL THE JOY”
We have much more joy in our lives now than in the past,
but we hurry so much more too.
Overcoming our culture’s insistence that we hurry our lives away
might be the most important thing we can do
to actually feel more of the joy in our lives!
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS:
After each bite of food,
after each trip to the bathroom(!),
after each “stroke” you get from the people who like you,
after every opportunity for joy,
stop everything for a moment
that good feeling of joy!