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Joy is defined as:

1 a :  the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires :  delight
b :  the expression or exhibition of such emotion :  gaiety
2 :  a state of happiness or felicity :  bliss
3 :  a source or cause of delight

Alright, that sounds about right — but how do we achieve that? How do we gain true joy? Honestly, most people only know true joy occasionally. But what if we could cultivate an attitude of joy? What if it is actually a gift we can intentionally give ourselves — that no one can ever take away?

How would this affect our work, relationships — and our life overall?

This week I challenge you to cultivate joy. How? By intentionally building the joy muscle in your brain! Just like working out a physical muscle, you can develop and refine your aptitude for joy. Start by using these simple steps:

  1. Delight in someone every day. When we choose to be delighted, it shifts our brain from the half empty to half full emotional state.

  2. Believe that everyone is doing their best — even you! When we believe this about people, we are more likely to cut them some slack and not be as frustrated with them (or ourselves) when they frustrate or disappoint us.

  3. Laugh. Just do it! You know it’s good for you!

  4. Smile, even when you don’t feel like it!

  5. Be grateful. Gratitude builds the joy muscle in your brain. Start sending simple words of gratitude daily to those you love.

Start with those five steps. Even if it feels forced, or silly, try and do these things every day — and watch as your joy muscle grows healthy and strong.