This I Believe

Kim - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on April 18, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: pleasure
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This I Believe

Life is Supposed to Be Joyful

I believe life is supposed to be joyful. But joy seems to elude most people. Maybe joy, when you’re grinding through life, seems too indulgent. Struggle is worn like a badge of honor.

Our grandparents taught us that nothing good comes easy. They believed that blood, sweat and tears are the ingredients for accomplishment – that elbow grease and sacrifice pave the way to success.

Can success come through gentle alignment with success? Is it okay for a keynote speaker to stand before an audience of hopefuls and speak of doors opening and seas parting as she followed her own intuition toward abundance? Maybe they’d be more satiated to hear stories of hardship and woe.

Joseph Campbell offered some of the finest words ever uttered. “Follow your bliss,” he told us. He believed we should always do what feels good – or feels right to us – in every moment. We should do what we love. We should love what we do. This is the path of least resistance. Why do we resist this path?

I think we’ve bought into the notion that we must endure heartache and pain, or at the very least discomfort, in order to feel okay about accomplishment. Can I submit this essay without angst and self-doubt? If I admit that the words came easily, will you still be interested? An admission of non-struggle might exclude me from the society of elite writers. But honestly, if the process of writing was miserable for me, I simply would not write.

Somewhere along the way, the concept of good things feeling good has gone screwy. I believe that we were given the gift of feeling to help guide us. Some call it intuition, or a gut feeling. Bad feelings, like dread and fear, offer a warning: you’re off track, proceed carefully or go in a different direction. And good feelings, like hopeful anticipation and eagerness, call us toward success.

So when you feel excited about something, pursue it. When an idea feels fresh and stimulating, continue to focus upon it. And when you make a decision that’s right for you, don’t look around for approval.

Try imagining that good feelings are an indication that you are headed in the right direction. Allow for the possibility that bad feelings might be guiding you away from things unwanted. And begin to notice that when you consciously choose good feelings, incrementally, moment by moment, you are choosing joy.

I believe this is the way life is supposed to work. I believe life is supposed to be joyful.