Once upon a time, our country’s most popular fiction writer suggested that people were hungry for a sight of joy, for a moment’s relief from that gray load of suffering which seems so inexplicable and unnecessary.
More than a half a century later, the insight still holds up.
People still crave the elixir of watching someone genuinely enjoying themselves. People still admire those who wear their joy as the brand on their forehead for all to see. And people still flock to and get inspired by those individuals who brave enough to allow themselves the weakness of being happy.
Which is excellent news. Because it means we don’t have to be afraid of joy.
It brings to mind the term guilty pleasure, which I recently learned has an official definition. Multiple dictionaries tell me that a guilty pleasure is something, such as a movie, a television program or a piece of music, that a person enjoys, despite morally believing or being informed that the substance or activity is abnormal, improper or incorrect.
French speakers actually have a similar idiom within the culinary world called péché mignon, a phrase that translates to mean, tiny sin.
But the reality is, joy is not a sin. Or an indulgence. Or something about which to feel shame.
Quite the opposite. Joy is a moral imperative. It’s the only elixir guaranteed to keep our species from extinction.
And the good news, there’s no pleasure police that’s going to arrest for belting out cheesy pop songs at the top of our lungs, waiting for traffic light to change. No matter how off key we sing.
It’s all a matter of mindset. Having some agency over joy.
Replacing guilty pleasure with shameless enthusiasm.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you allowing yourself the weakness of being happy?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
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