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Could you use a little more joy in your life? So many people go through life focused on what they lack that they forget to be grateful for what they have. Worse yet, our consumer culture encourages us to fixate on this lack.

This robs us of our joy.

In this episode, I discuss my best tips for living in the moment and increasing the amount of joy in your life, making you happier and more pleasant to be around.

Show Highlights Include:

  • A simple step you can take today to ensure yourself a joyful life (2:31)
  • A surefire way to live in the moment and experience joy that’s been eluding you (3:59)
  • Exactly how consumer culture robs you of joy and how you can fight back (4:12)
  • Why joy is not found in a specific moment and how to attract it like a joy magnet (6:10)
  • Why laughing at yourself makes people take you more seriously (8:56)
  • How to instantly make your environment more joyful (11:42)
  • “Black Belt” secrets to facing your fear and achieving more in your life (12:38)
  • A common obsession that sucks joy from your life and how to overcome it (15:09)

Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Click here to get the first chapter of Dr. Rick’s best-selling book, Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout, for free.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to “How You Living?” a transformative podcast featuring best-selling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby—and, now, Dr. Rick.

Dr. Rigsby: Hello, friends. I'm so thrilled to be with you today. I couldn't wait for this opportunity to talk to you about joy. I have a question for you. Could you use a little bit more joy in your life today? I think we all could and it begs the question, What is our source of joy? Where do we get our joy from? And I think immediately many of us would probably say family. We would say friends. Some people would say circumstances and situations. If we're honest, some people would say material things and possessions. [01:00.0]

Joy derives from a lot of sources, but there's nothing, there is nothing like the joy that comes from within, right? And I happen to be a man of faith. I happened to be a Christian, and I want to tell you something. It doesn't matter to me if you're a Christian or whatever your faith is, or if you're a person who describes yourself as spiritual. Just because the passage proclaims joy doesn't necessarily mean that a person is automatically joyful, right? The point that I'm getting at is that we have to pursue joy.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible reinforces this. It's found in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.” In other words, just because you believe in the Bible or just because you believe in your spiritual book and the book talks about joy, doesn't mean that you're automatically going to receive joy. [02:11.8]

I can tell you as a man of faith, as a Christian, as a pastor, I've experienced a lot of joyless days, and there's a correlation. I've experienced those joyless days when I made a choice not to pursue joy. Come on now. It always has to do with a choice, right? And so, as we talk about joy today and how we can make sure we are living a joyful life, remember this. It is our responsibility to pursue that joy.

Hey, listen to this, friends. According to this SUCCESS magazine, they published an article a couple years ago, titled Ways to Experience More Joy. Here was one of the ways. Stop waiting to be happy. I love that. In other words, what are you waiting for? There is absolutely no guarantee that we're going to be around tomorrow or even tonight, or even in the morning, and so what is it about the human being that causes us to put things off that we shouldn't?

I want to do my best to live in the moment. I don't tend to do that very well, and so what did God do? Put me with a wife that does. Ha. And one of the things that I appreciate about my wife is that she has taught me how to live in the moment, to not wait but to experience it now. The way that she has taught me how to live in the moment is to appreciate right where I am. [03:53.8]

Now, I'm going to confess something to you. I am a part of a consumer culture in the United States of America. Here's what makes a consumer culture work. The focus is on what we don't have. The focus is on lack, and if the focus is on lack, you're always looking toward getting gain to overcome the lack. Nothing wrong with looking forward, nothing wrong with casting a vision, unless it causes you to miss the moment.

I have to retrain my mind, not to miss the moment. If I don't retrain my mind and get ahead of myself, I will find that I will wait to be happy. I don't want to do that. Stop waiting to be happy, friends. Appreciate the moment. Instead of focusing on the lack, why don't we focus on what we have? I want you to think about this. Why not consider joy as a process and not just an outcome? Oh-ho, baby. I need to talk about this. [05:03.0]

You see, we live in an outcome-oriented society. I've just outlined that in terms of my consumer orientation, always trying to overcome for the lack, but what if I chose to live in a process-oriented manner where I'm really focused on the process? I think what would happen is that I would enjoy my day more because I would enjoy the journey.

I want you to think about something. Think about the last time you listened or watched professional athletes after they had won either a group championship or, in the case of golfer tennis, an individual championship, and listen to how they're so grateful to have won the trophy, but they are equally as grateful in talking about the journey. [06:00.0]

You see friends, I have interviewed and been around so many people who have won championships and I have noted with interest that the journey was just as joyful as the ending, as the conclusion. There must be something about this process orientation that tends to go over the heads of those who are convinced that a consumer culture is the only way to go. Bottom line, stop waiting to be happy and let's learn to live in the moment.

SUCCESS magazine says not only should we stop waiting to be happy to experience more joy, but we should develop a joyful state of mind. I love this one. Let's go back to the scriptures for a moment. Many of you know this, comes out of Philippians 4:8, “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever offers good report, let your mind dwell on these things.” [07:11.0]

You might say, Rick, I don't believe in the scriptures. Fine. Whatever is good, let your mind dwell on that. Whatever is pure, whatever is right, let your mind dwell on good things. On good things. Instruct your mind to be thankful. Instruct your mind to be grateful.

You know what I try to do every day? I try to laugh lots. Ha-ha-ha. I try to laugh at myself. I’ve got to tell you all a story. I remember being a chubby kid growing up in the ’60s and being laughed at for being fat, and I came home probably second or third grade with tears in my eyes. I remember my mother saying, “What's wrong, baby?” I'm saying, They're laughing at me. Because I'm fat, Mom, they're laughing at me. [08:03.4]

I remember my mother gave me some wisdom that changed my life. My mother said, “You beat him to the punch. You laugh at yourself first and you will discover that they’ll be joining you in laughter, and not laughing at you, but they'll be laughing with you.” The next day, I started laughing first. Before you know it, I had friends. I'm entertaining the class now that causes another whole bag of issues, and having the stay after school and being named class clown.

However, it solved one issue. I discovered that there's nothing wrong with not taking yourself so seriously, and instead of being laughed at, I am laughing with people and enjoying my life. What's my point? Develop a joyful state of mind by laughing more and not taking yourself so seriously. [09:03.8]

How about loving more? I like that. Especially in this day and age of divisive politics, especially in this day and age of me, myself and I, why not love more? And you know another thing, still with number two, developing a joyful mind? Set a joyful state of mind, I should say. Seek the good in other people. I think this is really important.

May I be blunt? Most of us criticize way too much. Most of us complain way too often. I'm just wondering if our state of mind might improve if we stopped complaining so much, if we reduced our criticism of others and focused once a day on something that we could be thankful for Oh, friend, why don't we at least try it? I think it would help us, it would encourage us to develop a joyful state of mind. [10:07.2]

I have a dear friend who has been given a horrible diagnosis of terminal cancer, and according to her doctors, she doesn't have much time to live on this earth, just a couple of months. But every time I talk to my friend, guess what I discover? Her focus is not on dying. Her focus is on living. Come on, somebody. What's your excuse? What's my excuse?

A positive mindset is a choice. A joyful mindset is a choice. Why not have a joyful mindset by making sure that we think of things that are honorable, that are right, that are pure, that are lovely, that are good? Why not instruct ourselves to be thankful, to laugh more and to love more, and to seek the good in people, and not criticize and complain so much? Oh, baby. I can't wait to practice these. [11:07.8]

Here's another experience or another way that we can experience more joy according to SUCCESS magazine. “Change the landscape.” Change the landscape. In other words, surround yourself with people who are positive. I love that. Challenge yourself to be around people who are more positive and rid yourself of folks who tend to take-take-take, take-take-take. I love that.

Here’s a fourth way that SUCCESS magazine says we can employ to experience more joy. Stop worrying so much about everything. Worry, leads to fear. I want you to listen to this. Ben Hogan is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of golf. Reflecting on Hogan's legacy, all-time golfing great. Jack Nicklaus said “Concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety. I have always felt that the sheer intensity Ben Hogan applied to shot-making was one of his greatest assets for it left no room in his mind for negative thoughts.” [12:17.4]

That's good. We must face our fear before we can truly experience joy. I have a friend that's a black belt and he told me to get to being a black belt, you have to resolve it when you're fighting these other black belts to get to where you want to be. You're probably not likely going to win. But what you are going to do is you're going to learn to face your fear, and he said these words to me. He said, “I discovered in the process of becoming a black belt that fear sucks the energy out of life.” Isn't that good?

Friend, it's hard to be fearful and joyful at the same time. In fact, I try to tell business leaders that leadership always begins with a leader. Nothing changes until we acknowledge that change is needed. Nothing shifts until we assume responsibility. [13:08.5]

I want you to just think about the words that we're using in this podcast. Stop complaining. Reduce your criticisms. Increase concentration to decrease worry. Face fears. Acknowledged change and take responsibility. Friends, this is nothing but old-school wisdom. My daddy would call it common sense, that third-grade dropout, the wisest man I've ever met in my life, my father would say it to me like this on a regular basis. He would say, “Son, don't expect others to do for you what you ought to do for yourself.” Isn’t that good?

I have a friend who's a major league baseball executive for a major league baseball team and he was telling me earlier this week, he said, “Every day professional players make a choice to improve.” He said these words. He said, “It’s part of their DNA.” [14:00.3]

This friend of mine gets a chance to give speeches and he tells people from every walk of life that they can experience this very same kind of DNA, but they must assume responsibility for themselves to the point that they're motivated to make a decision to improve every day. It reminds me that joy comes down to a decision, a decision to pursue it on a regular basis. This means we have to overcome the enemies of joy. I label those enemies as resentment, bitterness and anger, and all of these negative emotions are rooted in self-centeredness. Wow.

There's a fascinating article in Psychology Today titled A Surefire Method to Experience Joy in Your Life and here's the conclusion. Don't be so me-centered. Isn't that interesting? Friends, we need to step out of ourselves and be part of something larger. We need to make sure that our world is not limited because of an obsession with ourselves. [15:06.5]

The article offers an interesting challenge that goes along these lines. “The next time you have a conversation with a good friend, do not use the words ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’. This simple device prevents you from expressing your opinion and many are astonished by how difficult it is and by how much the depth of listening goes up when you are no longer preoccupied by thinking about what you are going to say.” Wow. Living in an other-centered universe reminds us of basic values of serving and helping.

The article went on to say that this helps us not get so frustrated at the elderly lady that's holding up the checkout line at the grocery store or the motorist who's going just a bit too slow, for it is hard to be joyful and frustrated at the same time. [16:04.3]

Here's the bottom line, friends. We all have the capacity within us to be more joyful. Acknowledge it. Take responsibility for it and pursue it. Remember, we don't want to wait until it's our birthday to be joyful. We want to have a joyful state of mind every day. It can be as simple as decreasing our complaining, slowing down our criticism, changing our landscape, not worrying so much.

Remember what my friend, the major league baseball executive said, “Every day, professionals make a choice to improve.” Remember what Jack Nicklaus said about Ben Hogan that his concentration was so intense, it left little room in his brain for worry, and so let's worry less. Let's complain less. Let's criticize less. [16:58.2]

Let's reprogram our brain to be grateful for the moment, to appreciate what we have and who we are, to make sure that our thoughts are true and honorable, and right and pure, and to replace bitterness and resentment and anger with laughing more and loving more, and being more kind and being more helpful, and serving others and being less me-centered. Friends, this is joyful living. It is worthy of our pursuit and it just very well may be the thing that keeps us in a joyful state of mind.

Oh, I'm filled with joy, friends. I hope you are as well, and until we meet again, this is Dr. Rick asking you the most important question I can ask you today. How you livin’?

Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his bestselling book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout”, absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/FreeGift to get the print or audiobook right now.

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