Joy is not an option. It's not "if you have time for it." It's a necessary ingredient of every hour. It's essential, and I am committed to being a joy-maker. Smiling at people way more. Slowing down to hear the response when people answer my "How are you?" Carrying post-its (for love notes) and treats (Starburst or Tootsie Roll?) with me. Are you looking to ramp-up your joy spreading? How much time do you have?
- If you have one minute:
- Text someone who needs a hello.
- Write a love note on a post-it and give it to someone you love. Or leave it out for the world to see. (At a loss for words? Just find a meaningful quote and put it on the post-it.)
- Clean-up a shared space: pick up trash, empty the recycling, wash 3 dirty mugs.
- Share a complement with someone that is NOT about how they look, but how they act. Try to do this face-to-face.
- If you have five minutes:
- Write a thank you note. Three sentences: Thank you for x. It made me feel y. I'm grateful for it because of z. Mail it.
- Brighten up shared space: A plant or flowers. A candy dish (preferably one filled with kisses). A container of freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencils. A new hand lotion or air freshener.
- Call someone who needs a hello. "I only have a moment, but I wanted you to know I was thinking of you today."
- Fund a DonorsChoose.com project. Even $5 is a gift to a teacher who has a dream for his/her students.
- If you have 30 minutes:
- Make a simple soup for someone who is sick. Add rolls and drop it off. Don't know anyone who is sick? Drop it off with a neighbor or call any church/temple/mosque/service organization and ask them if someone in their congregation/community needs a meal. (Make cookies as an easy substitute for soup, depending your cooking talents.)
- Clean-up your bookcase/closet/game area/shoe bin. Give away at least one grocery bags of stuff you really just don't need. Put it in your car right away, so you have it ready to drop off.
- Read aloud to a kid for 20 minutes and then talk about what you read. Don't know a kid? Go to the children's room at a library -- there are always kids there willing to hear a good story!
- Fill yourself up for more joy-giving. Read a book that inspires. Take a nap. Meditate or practice mindfulness. Go for a run or walk. Sit in quiet or dance to your favorite Beatles song. Add fuel to your engine, so you can commit to joy work.
Being a champion for joy is my signature. And deep commitment. What ideas do YOU have have for spreading joy?