I went on a bike ride one morning and noticed a few things about joy. Generally, my bike ride is 45 minutes long consisting of three 15-minute loops around the neighborhood. The first two laps, I focus on cycling as fast as I can and then the last lap is my “joy ride” with the intention of being free-spirited.
I realized that the first two laps were a struggle. My thoughts became negative. “Ugh, here comes that big hill again.” “Why can’t the wind be coming from my back side as I’m going up the hill rather than giving me resistance?” “Boy, my butt sure does hurt!” “How much longer do I have to go???”
By the end of the second lap, I almost called it quits because I was tired and didn’t think I could make it another round. Then I thought, “Well, I will just go a few more minutes and experience my joy ride.” My thinking became focused on the joy of riding the bike and not the work of the workout. I weaved in and out down the road, a smile came to my face as I felt the wind against my skin and my butt even stopped hurting! I started remembering how much fun I had as a little kid riding my pink Huffy bike in the neighborhood – popping wheelies and showing off in front of the other kids. Before I knew it, I had completed the third lap.
The difference was a change of thinking. I changed my mindset from one of struggle to one of joy.
What if we lived our lives every day waking up with the mindset of joy? How much smoother would our ride be? How would that influence others around us to live with joy in their hearts? How would our worlds, both personally and professionally, be changed?
In what ways do you want to experience joy in your life? What is one small change you can make now to move you toward that joy? Sometimes it just takes a change in thinking. Think about what it is you want for yourself and how you want to add more joy in your life.
And remember to enjoy the ride!