Amber Alert

Where's the Joy?

I have so many clients, friends, and family members that from outside appearances seem to have it all. They may have successful careers, good friends, a good marriage, healthy and happy children, things that many others strive for. But the "happy" piece of the puzzle is missing. They don't experience joy, and they have difficulty pinpointing exactly why this is. After asking many questions, I find it fairly obvious why they are not ultimately happy.

Many individuals get caught up in the trap of creating and living a life that they feel they are supposed to live. Maybe they strictly followed the advice of others, or possibly they wanted to make others happy first, or they wanted to do what they thought they should be doing. But in the process, they put their own desires and passions aside. They neglected their own inner voice and guidance system. I believe we all ultimately know what makes us happy. We know what brings joy and peace to our lives. We also know deep down what our purpose is, the one thing that brings meaning to everything else. You may be sitting there reading this going, "I have absolutely no idea what my purpose is", but I have to disagree. Knowing and doing are two separate entities.

You may know deep down what brings you joy, but fear and ambivalence hold you back from creating it. By giving themselves permission to finally live the life of their choosing, they found their purpose, they found a reason to get up every morning excited about what the day has in store for them. Here are some basic tools to get you started as well:

1. What are you afraid to admit?

Typically it is our fear that holds us back from pursuing our purpose. Maybe you feel your purpose is unrealistic. Possibly you do not have a good support system intact to help you take the steps needed. What feelings do you contain deep down that you haven't felt comfortable sharing with anyone else? The first step in moving forward and getting some answers, is listening to that inner voice and giving it an opportunity to talk to you. List any desires and dreams you have that you haven't admitted to anyone.

2. Doing vs Being

Do you feel as though your life is on autopilot? Are you spending the majority of your time doing things that do not have much value to you? Remember, there is absolutely no right or wrong answer here. If you are doing something that does not resonate with you, then you might want to let it go. Doing everything for everyone will deplete you over time. It is important to fill your time with activities that bring you joy. Stop the rat race if it is not taking you where you want to go.

3. It is never too late

Know that it is never too late to make changes in your life. Living a life without purpose or passion is draining and unfulfilling. You can absolutely begin to make necessary changes, a little at a time. It is a matter of commitment and vision. You need to be willing to take some risks and open yourself up to unknown possibilities.

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