I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject this year.  A lot.  Here are some things I’ve discovered:

Joy is a choice. A choice that a person must deliberately and constantly make if joy is to be had.

Joy is a habit.  So are cynicism and negativity.  It’s easy to fall into our old thought habits.  Which ones do you fall into? Joyful thoughts or negative ones?

Joy really has very little to do with what is going on around me.  I can be in a pit, but how bad the situation feels is directly correlated to how much joy I allow into that pit with me.

Joy is the most attractive quality a person can possess.

It’s never too late to choose joy.  Try it.  Try it right now.

Do this: pay attention to your thoughts for as long as you can.  Look at them as they flit across your brain.  Are they joyful, negative, neither?  If you come across a negative thought, pay attention to it and try to reframe it as a positive thought.  For example: If a car cuts me off in traffic and I notice I’m thinking negative thoughts about that driver, try to change that anger or bitterness to something positive, such as, “I wonder if that driver realizes s/he cut me off?  I hope s/he arrives safely.” Or, “That person doesn’t seem to be having a very good day.  I hope his/her day turns around.”  Give others the same benefit of the doubt you would wish for yourself.  Send those positive vibes or prayers out.  You may be amazed at the transformation you feel when you start doing this.  I was. I continue to be amazed.