“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love. And then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
There are people in our lives who never seem to be happy. There’s always some outer circumstance to blame for keeping them from getting what they want. Then there are people who always seem to be fine! Their life is seemingly perfect, and they just don’t seem to have any problems. What did they do to deserve such a peaceful, perfect, happy life? I investigated. I wanted answers.
Years of undercover research and investigation finally lead me to a life-changing discovery: There was no difference between the lives of the angry person and the happy person. They were both broke. They both had a million responsibilities. They both had complicated love lives! The only difference between the angry person and the happy person was: their choice.
It’s true, we all get happy when things are wonderful. But things aren’t always wonderful, are they? You’ve all heard the phrase “fight or flight”. Basically, when we’re faced with conflict, we naturally respond with either fighting against the conflict or assuming defeat and running away. Come to find out, the happy people were choosing fight, and the angry people were choosing defeat.
I did a little soul searching in my early 20’s, and I realized I’d been choosing defeat. I was WALKING in defeat. Everything sucked, and there was nothing I could do about it but stomp around angrily like everybody else. Well no more! I divorced defeat. FOREVER! I am greatness. Always have been, and always will be….so now what?
As it turned out, choosing joy was NOT the same as “acting” joyful. Pretending to be happy and masking my actual disappointment or despair only put me in a downward spiral of bitterness and resentment. Choosing joy meant genuinely smiling back at my conflicts and adversaries while they tried to beat me down. Why would I want to smile at this? How on Earth would I want to find joy during the crummiest of times? I’ll tell you why! To let the world know that I am greatness, and I cannot and will not be defeated.
That’s not an easy thing to do, though. It takes practice. It’s a muscle that needs to be built up. But in the same way, you need to exercise and discipline your diet to achieve your strongest physical self, you need to exercise and discipline your positive outlook in order to achieve your strongest mental and emotional health. What happens when you combine optimal physical health with optimal mental and emotional health? Greatness.
There are three truths I’ve come to learn over the past decade:
- Everything’s fine.
- Nice people get stuff.
- Happy people can’t be defeated.
Now, the phrase that may come to your mind may be “Nice guys finish last”. You should know that there are two different kinds of “Nice”. One kind comes from a place of fear and submission. The “nice guys” that finish last are coming from that place. They’re nice because they’re scared of what might happen if they’re not. Just keep the peace, don’t rock the boat, lay low. They finish last because they timidly step out of the way of people and opportunities that are passing them by, and they call it “just being nice”.
I’m here to teach you about the other kind of “Nice”. The type of “Nice” that comes from a place of confidence and fearlessness. We all already have it in us, but we tend to only use it when we feel safe and secure in our surroundings. When we are this kind of “Nice”, we show up and shine without apology. We know exactly who we are, and we know exactly what we have to offer.
The art of JOYkwondo is a practice of tapping into and using that confident form of “Nice” for a purpose. When I practice JOYkwondo, I act with intention and I get results, wearing a smile the whole time. I want to teach you this art because I know it will change your life forever.
Can you imagine if we all chose to see this dreary world the same way my daughter chose to see the bank? Sometimes we feel hurt by past experiences, and we make decisions based on how those past experiences impacted our life. Many of us come from environments where being joyful is not a priority. When we lose touch with joy, though, we turn to quick fixes like alcohol, drugs, and junk food. We search for little moments of happiness from the TV or social media feed without truly experiencing it for ourselves. We can choose to let our past burden us and repeat the same mistake that leads us to unhappiness… or we can choose joy. We can choose to learn from the past and create the present and future that represents the kind of lives we really want to have.
Joy is light. It radiates. It starts in each of us and touches everyone we come in contact with. By expressing joy, you actually create an environment that allows yourself and everybody around you to learn and grow. When you feel joy in your own life, it’s easier to take that joy with you into the rest of the world. That joy extends to your home, family, the people you do business with, and even people you just pass by on the street. Joy is contagious. So the more joy you bring to the world, the more joy you’ll feel as a result, which will give you more joy to bring to the world!
Besides using joy as a way of standing out and choosing to be undefeated, there are a ton of other benefits to living in daily joy. Positive people develop about 50% more antibodies than average in response to flu vaccines. Hopefulness, optimism, and contentment are proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even the common cold! Happiness also boosts productivity. Your brain just works better when you’re feeling positive. When you’re walking in joy, you tend to be more creative and better at solving problems. You make better decisions, manage your time more creatively, and demonstrate crucial leadership skills.
I can’t think of a single reason to live a life without joy.
It’s a win-win for everybody. So if you’re struggling to find your own joy, or if you’re looking for a new weapon to battle against the things that bring you down and defeat you, you’ve come to the right place!