Let Yourself Feel Joy

June 15, 2021

Wondering ‘What’s Next?’ Reduces Our Joy

We live in a “what’s next” society. Rarely do we get the chance to enjoy the fruits of our work, and experience joy.

From the time I was small, I remember my grandmother saying to me, “Jimmy, time goes by no matter what you do, so you might as well be doing something productive.”  

I took that to heart, but now, as an adult, I also realize the importance of pausing and enjoying life.

Take a moment to think about the greatest accomplishments you have had in your life.  What did you feel? If you are like me, you felt relief instead of joy, and then you thought to yourself, “What’s next? Time to get back to work.”  

It doesn’t have to be this way. It seems to me, drive can come from personal satisfaction instead of always seeking the next big thing.  

 Even when we succeed, the relief from this success tells us, “Yeah, but you could have succeeded better.” “What’s next?” thinking doesn’t let us experience the joy of what we accomplished.  

Suppressing joy is cancer to the soul. “What’s next?” keeps us in constant opposition with ourselves. There is no room for joy in it. 

To change this mindset, I consciously look to acknowledge my success and the success of the people I care about and make a purposeful decision to celebrate that success: when it happens and in the moment. 

We will all get to what’s next, and what we need to improve. What I can tell you from experience is that it is so much more satisfying to pause and experience the joy of what I did right and leave “what’s next,” for later. 

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