Edith Lovejoy Pierce – the poet who coined the beautiful quote above – captured the essence of New Year’s Day beautifully.
Just as you’d expect a poet to do.
Have a beautiful, safe, and perfectly wonderful New Year’s Day and may 2016 bring you everything you ever hoped for – and even things you never even hoped to dream of!
~ Joi (“Joy”)
“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” ~ Les Brown
The Joy You Give Others…
Ever since I was a “spoiled rotten” little girl, showered with doll babies from scads of adoring family members, I’ve always loved Christmas with every ounce of my being. Granted, the six year old me had a few different reasons for this than the adult version of me, but make no mistake about it, my excitement for the season today is every bit as strong as it was then.
I no longer associate Christmas solely with dolls, candy, Santa Claus, and Barbie doll furniture. Well, actually candy remains, because I never outgrew my sweet tooth, but you get the idea.
Somewhere along the way, Christmas became more about Joy, Happiness, Good Will, Excitement, and Love. It’s a season where everyone seems happier and more eager to “give” than to “receive.” Maybe the two go hand in hand.
In the quote above, that’s exactly what John Greenleaf Whittier is suggesting: “Somehow, not only for Christmas but all the long year through, the joy you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.”
What if this is the most magical, wonderful time of the year because we are more focused on giving joy to others than on bringing it to ourselves? What if The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is actually more fact-based than we realize? If you’ll recall, the Grinch never found happiness until he stopped taking and started giving.
As a Self Help and Self Improvement blogger, my first thought is this: How do we take this extra special happiness and extend it from December to the rest of the year? How do we capture the joy of the Christmas season and make it shine brightly over every other season?
The answers actually lie within questions:
- Ask: What is our primary GOAL each Christmas? I can only speak personally, but mine is simple – to bring smiles to the faces I love the most. I want to see their faces light up when they open special gifts I’ve bought just for them. I want to see a return to childhood joy when they sort through their stockings. I want to blow them away with the Christmas meal, coconut cake, fudge, candy, and cookies. Told you, the sweet tooth is strong with this one. I also find myself more concerned with giving back during the holidays. Why is beyond me, but it’s more in the forefront of my thoughts this time of year more than any other.
- Ask: How often, during the rest of the year, do I focus most of my energy on making other people smile or bringing joy to others? Do I fall into a rut of focusing only on things that make me smile?
- Ask: What are special things I can do from January to November to bring smiles to others? What are ways I can go out of my way to show others how much I love them? What are things I can do to give back to others and help those who are unable to help themselves?
Making Christmas Joy last all year is as simple as asking the right questions.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
~ Joi (“Joy”)
Goethe almost always knew the right thing to say, didn’t he? I say almost because he was human after all, with all of the snails and puppy dog tails that come with it.
I think this is always a good thing to keep in mind whether we’re quoting an individual or backing them for President. We’re all human – deep down, we realize that – but how quickly we forget when a weakness is exposed in another.
We want compassion and understanding for ourselves and we even want it for people we support. Yet, when anyone else messes up – by gosh we’re all over it like a cat on a fat mouse with a limp.
I actually caught heat years ago for using a Goethe quote and for saying it was a wonderful quote. Come to think of it, I’ve also gotten flack for using John F. Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Ronald Reagan quotes.
If I highlight a quote, it’s out of great appreciation for the quote – not always for the quoter. It’s to share the thought, not necessarily the thinker.
Many of the words Goethe left behind are wonderful and if they can be used to bring inspiration, motivation, and encouragement to people – I’ll quote him for years to come.
Was he perfect? No more so than any of us. Heck, even Mother Teresa wasn’t perfect. I only know of One Man who was perfect and no other will ever even come close.
There’ll be people we like, there’ll be people we don’t like. There’ll be people we all but hate with an un-Christian hatred! That’s just life. But here’s my own personal take on the situation: The fewer people we dislike or (worse yet) the fewer times we go searching for reasons to dislike them.. the better off we’ll be.
Why? Because negativity is a disease that eats us from the inside out. It’s also a habit – you look for reasons to dislike someone and it becomes second nature.
That’s anything BUT a good thing.
There’s another reason to always keep an open mind – one that most people don’t even want to consider. Shhh, don’t let it get out but, we might be wrong! I know, I know – I don’t like it any better than you do, but it’s just the truth.
I have my faults and I’ll be the first one to own up to them. Heck I’ll even alphabetize them if you want me to. But one thing that can be said of me is this – I have now, and always have had, a very open mind. I think one of the reasons may be the fact that I’m so blissfully aware of how imperfect I am. Maybe somewhere in my mind I’m always thinking, “You could very well be wrong, dear, don’t go shutting any doors or bolting any windows….”
Just recently – while following the Presidential Candidates and reading everything I could get my hands on – I changed my mind. Twice! Some people get so locked into an individual (or party) that they put blinders on their eyes and plugs in their ears.
Talk about a surefire way to make sure you shut out knowledge. Don’t know about you, but I want all the knowledge I can get.
A mind is like a parachute – it works best when, to a point, it’s open.
Just be sure no one comes along trying to fill it with their thoughts… choose your own. Your mind, your thoughts.
Whatever you do in life, wherever you go, and whomever you choose to be – never think of yourself as “too small,” “too young/old,” or “too inadequate…” The only “too” you are is “too awesome” and I can tell that from here.
Tuck away these words by Goethe and pull them out when needed. They really are WONDERFUL words.
Make each moment count double! – Joi (“Joy”)
Art little? Do thy little well:
And for thy comfort know
The great can do their greatest work
No better than just so.
Quote About Living in the Moment
One of my favorite sayings I like to whip out is, “Make each moment count double.” The thought, feeling, and core belief behind the words is this: Each moment we spend in the PRESENT is a PRESENT we give ourselves.
When we spend time in the past with either regret or longing, it’s as though the PRESENT remains on the table, unopened.
When we spend time in the future with worry or fear, it’s as though we don’t even glance at the unopened PRESENT.
Our time is the most beautiful gift we can give to anyone.. including ourselves. Do all you can to live in the moment.
And make each one count double!
So many people get so stuck in a negative mindset that they don’t even fully realize why they were there in the first place! I’m fairly convinced that if you walked up to the average “sad sack” or “worry wart,” and asked them, “Why so down, chum?,” they wouldn’t have a legitimate answer.
They’d either say something vague like, “I just can’t catch a break” or go they’d whip out the old standby, “Life just isn’t fair.”
On the other hand, of course, there are plenty of people who have reasons why they’re wearing a “never in season” frown:
- they don’t have enough money
- they haven’t found Mr./Mrs. Right
- they live in an empty nest
- they don’t live in an empty nest
- their spouse doesn’t measure up
- their kids don’t measure up
- they don’t measure up
- they hate their job
- they hate their co-workers
- they live in a “one horse” town
- they live in a noisy city
- they’re overweight
- they’re underweight
- they have health issues
- etc etc etc
Regardless of their own personal reasons for feeling down, the surest way to move their emotions upward resides in the beautiful quote above: Allowing themselves to recognize just how good things really are.
Like me, you’ve heard the quote, “Things are never as bad as they seem,” right? Well, if we’re going to be completely honest here – sometimes they are as bad as they seem. Losses happen, change happens, and sometimes life really and truly does not play fair. And, yet… if we take the time to look around us – even in the dark – we’ll realize that there are more good things than bad.
More reasons to smile than to frown.
More reasons to feel hopeful than to feel hopeless.
More reasons to feel grateful than hateful.
Joy is a beautiful, wonderful, completely euphoric feeling. It’s more than worth the few minutes it takes to “round up” your blessings and “find” reasons to smile.
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine.” – Dwight L. Moody
Like branches on a tree, we may grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one. Each of our lives will always be a special part of one another. – Unknown
Those who say they will forgive but can’t forget an injury simply bury the hatchet while they leave the handle out, ready for immediate use. – Dwight L. Moody