What is it that you want? Close your eyes and think about it for a moment. Now, how do you know you’ve taken the right path? In this peculiar treasure hunt called life, are you reading the clues correctly? The thing is, a lot of us don’t even know what we are chasing after and there is a good reason for that: life doesn’t come with an inbuilt GPS; but what if we make joy our GPS to help us navigate through life’s challenges more easily?
Think for a moment how nice it would have been to have a GPS that guides you through life. Something that would tell you what to get yourself into and how to get out of sticky situations. Maybe even show you a way to all the riches in life?
People like telling you that you have this huge potential within you but nobody will ever give you a map on how to go about expensing that potential! Far from it, the same people — your friends, your parents, your family members — try to stop you when you take even the smallest step towards achieving your potential.
What if I told you there is a way? There is this guiding light, which if you decide to follow, will help you lead a successful and more fulfilling life?
It’s Time to Make Joy Your GPS
I come from a middle-class family and growing up, I have witnessed my parents struggle for money, so the moment I started making money, my goal was to become a millionaire. I would constantly be on the lookout for opportunities that would enable me to make more money. It became my measuring stick and as a result, I was never satisfied.
What I failed to realize is that a lot of millionaires have just that — millions of dollars.
All millionaires who took their own lives. They all found success, sure, but at what price?
I don’t know what they were after but I know they did not live a happy life, despite having all the success and millions of dollars.
That is why joy should take the spotlight.
When you make joy your GPS, you might not have millions of dollars in your bank account but you will definitely have a happy life!
With joy as your guiding light, you will prioritize the right things. Your relationships will be more satisfying, your work more fulfilling and your life content.
What Happens When you Choose Joy as Your GPS?
One obvious way to make joy your GPS is before taking something on, always ask yourself — will this make me happy? Is it more trouble at the end of the day? There are projects and people might pay you but are more trouble than the money is worth.
Here are some other ways of incorporating joy in your daily life. These activities will help you internalize what it feels like to have joy as your guiding light.
Dedicate time to mastery — When we set out to master something because we love it, not only is our attention and focus sharpened but our stress level decreases and the usual fears of failure or success diminish.
Play/create — I am the happiest when I am either playing or creating! Those few hours pass by so quickly that I am always left wishing for more. The best part about those hours is that it is pure joy! I forget about everything else going on in my world for those few hours.
All of us grew up playing games and most of us loved playtime because it gave us a chance to experience joy!
Listen to joyful music — This is an easy one. Any song which makes you feel happy when you listen to it should be in your playlist for days when you are feeling down and out. They will help you get out of the rut quickly and salvage what might have been left of the day.
Gratitude — There is research proving gratitude leads to a happier life! I myself have experienced this. The more I am thankful, the more there is for me to be thankful for. Gratitude, in fact, has many more benefits, all of which ultimately lead to a happier, more joyous life.
Joy Equals Satisfaction
I have had so many days of self-doubt that I have lost count. The imposter inside keeps coming out more often than I like and it also does so, just when I think I have gotten rid of it for good. I have sat at this very table feeling bad about myself. Feeling like I am wasting my life. When a friend ends up playing cricket for India and a couple of other friends are opening companies, what else can you do?
But at the same time, I am also in a very happy place. I work for a great company alongside some of the smartest people I know. The income and benefits from the job allow me to live comfortably (for now!). By making joy my prime driver, I realized there is not a lot you need to sustain yourself.
Very few people I have met are satisfied in life with what they have or where they are. The internet has made it very easy to compare our lives with everyone around us. Not a day goes by without me reading about 14-year-olds making millions or about an entrepreneur who went from zero to millions in only two years. But there occasionally comes a day when I read about someone who is satisfied and happy with the direction in which their life is headed.
And these people have one thing in common — They have made joy their GPS.
They refuse to do things because of the money but only do something because it gives them a great amount of joy and satisfaction.
I am not asking you to be happy with what you have. Don’t be. Go after whatever it is you are chasing but make joy the driver.
Go to places that make you happy
Work on things that matter to you
Spend time with people who make you happy
Go after things that make you happy
Do what makes you happy and the rest will take care of itself.