Choose the path of temperate endurance

Joy isn’t always glitter and belly laughs and jumping up and down with overwhelming delight. 

Just because we don’t emanate a spontaneous outward response, doesn’t mean we’re not happy. Often times joy comes from simply being content, feeling safe and discovering the beauty of the world. 

It’s exquisitely ordinary. Uncomplicated. Gentle. Inexpensive. Maybe even mundane. Whatever it takes to light up our circuits. 

That’s the big misconception about joy. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. And there is no joy police waiting to jump out from behind the bushes and take us down for not acting with euphoric and overpowering cheerfulness. 

Each of us creates a personal relationship to joy that is in harmony with our reality. Each of us grounds our daily lives in the small joys that are available to us, in that moment. 

I approach it like a subroutine, to steal a computer programming term. Because treating joy as a program with instructions to perform a specific task makes it easier for me to access. It allows me to take agency over joy at a moment’s notice. And it helps me to choose the path of temperate endurance, despite whatever resistance life decides to throw at me. 

This subroutine may sound a bit cold and mechanical, but sometimes it’s the only way to avoid keeping myself hostage from my own kindness. 

I have zero shame about keeping a list on my phone of all the activities, big and small, that bring me joy, and consulting that list anytime I want to elevate my mood. 

Life is hard. You take your happiness wherever you can get it. 

Here’s the question you have to get good at asking is. 

What can you do, in this moment, that would be a gift to yourself? 

What one thing might you do today, no matter how small, that would increase your joy? 

After all, joy is more than just another emotion on our emotional palette. 

It’s also choice, a skill, a muscle, a mindset, a daily practice, a spiritual bearing and a natural inheritance. 


Do you have a subroutine for making more space in your heart for joy to enter?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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