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The Quest for Joy

My friend, Cristine, and I had a quick catch-up last weekend. She’s back in Asia (and spending quality time with her family and friends in the Philippines) from the USA for the term-break. She’s currently talking her MA in Psychology; she’s passionate about helping people succeed in life without sacrificing mental health. And she is in the right direction of being a Personal Development Coach.

During our conversation over coffee, we exchanged stories and asked questions like how’s life in general. But this one surprised me – “What is your word for 2019?” I responded promptly without hesitation — “It’s JOY.” She smiled and asked her the same. Her word is “SELF-COMPASSION.”

I love meeting Cristine because, apart from her making time to see me when she’s in town, it’s that feeling I have that we always have a heartfelt conversation and learning from one another.

Yes, Joy is my word for 2019, thus I wanna start the year by also sharing why The Quest for Joy. Maybe it’s because I read the book “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” late last year. Or, maybe I watched the latest Netflix series, when it premiered last week, called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” with the famous catch-phrase — “Does this spark joy?”

Being happy is more than enough to feel good but there is this goodness in joy that is deep and profound which a lot of us still mix-up with being happy. Happiness, most of the time is triggered by external factors like being with people you love, traveling to new places, and eating your favorite food. Joy is appreciating oneself in different circumstances in life. Joy is a feeling that is deep within ourselves, our souls. It is beyond physical matters. And, I believe it is difficult to attain if you do not seek it seriously. Thus, that is my quest to start the year right.

I am slowly appreciating my limitations physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Although these can be further developed and improved (which I regularly do), being mindful of your limitations in “in-the-moment” situations can really keep you in peace with yourself, avoiding mental and physical stress. This took time for me to accept because I am an achiever when I was younger. But as I grow older, I learned that life is more than being an achiever, it is living a life with purpose that is within your capacity. I still dream big and I am working on to achieve it. Slowly.

So what are the things that I am doing to always find and embody “Joy”? Well, last year I started practicing the minimalist lifestyle, appreciating nature like the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, loving people more who keeps me motivated and inspired (especially family), doing reflection and meditation regularly, working mindfully and strategically on my goals, and advocating different ways to improve people’s lives like reading books and educating kids with the potential of science and technology. True Joy can be achieved, I believe, when you have strong values in life. And always remember that my joys will be different from your joys. It will take different timings in building and discovering our joys in life.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, once said, “Let your joy be in your journey—not in some distant goal.” Join me in this quest to discover joy. You might also discover yours. =)

P.S. I will keep you posted on this journey and hoping that I can come up with a model on how to achieve full joy.

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