by imagining the way you would like it to go."
While serving in the military it became obvious to me that a happy man is an indication of a confident man: confident that all things are working together for good. Happiness is synonymous with optimism, courage, resilience, enthusiasm, and flexibility. Happiness is not just a pleasant attitude, it’s a magnetic force drawing to itself more things to be happy about. Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Dr. Albert Schweitzer puts it best as, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.”
For the past thirty years, I have been meeting one-on-one and facilitating group workshops with artists, actors, veterans, trauma survivors and people with substance use disorder in order to guide them in creating their best lives joyfully via journaling. And I have concluded that there are just two attributes necessary to have fun while achieving goals. They are:
- The ability to visualize with loving expectation.
- The confidence to act on joyful nudges and new, perhaps what you might deem silly, ideas: Your Intuition.
The development of these two attributes are just a few of the benefits you will receive from this method of journaling, that I’ve come to refer to as “joy-naling”. The following briefly describes how I personally put this into practice day by day.
The first thing I do in the morning is make myself a cup of coffee and sit down in my favorite spot to read the day’s passages from several inspirational books. I recommend getting yourself at least two or three books that contain short uplifting messages for each day of the year. These readings always get my thoughts flowing optimistically with the positive stream of life.
In this healthy state of mind, I then open my journal and begin by jotting down the inspired ideas that have begun to percolate. I usually include an affirmation or two from one of the readings or an inspired idea that came to mind. For example, “God is renewing my mind and improving my circumstances,” or, “Wherever I go the Power within me blesses all.”
Then I jot down my to-do list. I like to consider this as, my best attempt at what I think God’s will is for me for the day. I also like to title each day’s list, to kick it off with something like, “Fun stuff to do today…,” “I’m excited to…,” or “The magic begins with…”
I alphabetize rather than number the items on my list to prevent prioritizing. By considering my to-do list in this way I can remain flexible in my expectations. I’m better able to accept whatever happens, trusting that everything is in divine order. This light-hearted approach relieves me of concern and keeps me receptive to intuitive guidance.
Nothing is too small or insignificant to include in this list. Especially if you're developing a healthy habit like flossing your teeth. I’d include it. Floss. This applies to long-term goals as well. Accomplishing a small bite-size action each day toward your desire will keep you moving forward with enthusiasm and without burning out.
Before I get going, I take the time to visualize going throughout my day as my best self would. I imagine my way successful, joyful, meeting kind people and experiencing remarkable coincidences. Expect great things to happen and you’ll be less likely to act out of fear. In all actuality, this is living by faith: joyful expectancy. Fear is morbid expectancy.
As I go through my day, I’ll cross off what was completed. Crossing off each item gives me a sense of accomplishment, and nothing builds self-esteem like the feeling of accomplishment. This joyful feeling of accomplishment reinforces more healthy attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors. When you celebrate what feels good, you attract more good feelings which in turn attract more circumstances that make you feel good. It’s the law of attraction.
The key I have found to diminish any hurdles the day presents, anticipated or not, is to focus on the fact that my stability comes from the desire to give rather than trying to get. The desire to express love is the key to happiness and successfully navigating through the day. I often take the initiative to see myself as an ambassador of God’s love. This keeps me in a giving mindset rather than a getting mindset. That way each appointment becomes a divine one since I’m there to express love. For example, rather than seeing it as going in for an interview to get a job, I remind myself that I’m going there to do my job.
If by the day’s end something originally planned didn’t get accomplished, I still cross it off but with the letter “T” – to be carried over to tomorrow. By doing this I am affirming that I’ve done my best while maintaining the faith that all is in divine order. It reinforces trust: the happy attitude that whatever it is, it will get done with effortlessness, ease, and perfect timing. This way I can fall asleep without regret and look forward to the miraculous ways God’s wonders will be performed in my life.
If you would like to accomplish the things that you think are beyond your reach, why not try journaling as I have just described. You will be thrilled by the results.
Artist Darrell Fusaro is a decorated U.S. Coast Guard veteran, co-host of the internationally popular weekly podcast, “Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed” and author of the books, “What if Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug?” and “Break Out of Your Box: Be Your Heroic Self”. www.ThisWillMakeYouHappy.com