Reclaim Joy

Recently I’ve noticed a trend in story telling and self-identity (the rosy picture you paint of yourself in your head and the favorable tale you weave to justify your actions). I argue that when people, myself included, retell a story they exaggerate to make the story better. I believe this process of blurring reality in an attempt to make it better also occurs when one conceptualizes an unsavory event in a favorable light to comfort the ego. The ego wants to remain unscathed and I believe humans have a knee jerk reaction to protect the ego. This can be seen when a person does not take accountability and blames others as to remain the protagonist of their own story; all to preserve the integrity of the ego.

Remedy: be accountable; acknowledge when your ego is talking; spend less time construing your self-identity and more time pursuing what brings you joy.

What does joy look like?

My idea of joy is engaging in an activity that pulls attention away from the ongoing conversation in your head and onto the activity at hand. Find an activity that captures your full attention.

  • Read a book. I highly recommend Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Start an art project. Look to see if there are free art workshops in your town
  • Volunteer
  • Plan a picnic and stare up at tree limbs
  • Clean your house/room/car/closet
  • Start a puzzle
  • Play a sport that requires immense focus like tennis
  • Invite a good friend to coffee (and pay for their coffee)
  • Listen to a podcast without any distractions. I highly recommend Networks, Power, and Chaos by Sam Harris
  • Send someone a thoughtful care package to let them know you are thinking of them
  • Practice meditation

Consciousness is a fascinating field of work that I will continue to explore via books, podcasts and observation. I strongly believe that getting out of what I define as a personal loop of ego-serving thought that resides in your conscious is highly beneficial (dare I say, enlightening). I hope this post inspires you to get out of your own head regularly and devote your full attention on a joyful activity!

Thanks for stopping by,

Plan an outdoor coffee date with a good friend
Start and finish a puzzle: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer (1000 pieces)
Take the scenic route
Admire art (Smithsonian American Art Museum)
Make art (Open Studio at the National Portrait Gallery)
Make art (Open Studio at the National Portrait Gallery)

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