I was thinking, as I came across a quote by Theodore Roosevelt—is comparison the thief of joy? Does comparison to how things “used to be” steal the pleasure of living in the ordinary moments of life now?
Before your life is interrupted by a life change, there are a load of things you can take for granted—good health, a great job, family, friends, a nice home, trusting my body, being fearless about most things.
By taking for granted, I don’t mean not abusing them, but more or less you didn’t really think about these things too much. After all, don’t you expect to have all of these things in our life all the time?!
You see, you just expect to be healthy when you exercise and eat well—being healthy was the reward. You work hard to establish a career, so shouldn’t you expect that hard work should give you that reward?
Most of the time you just don’t even think about your body until something happens or goes wrong, especially an illness. Then your body gets loads of attention. After being illness—how could you trust your body not to fail you again or had you failed it?
Focus of the future you want
Trouble was you didn’t generally know how to. It’s in those moments that you can start to think about how easy things were before and how difficult they seemed to be now. It’s in these moments that comparisons can steal the joy of living and the ability to live a full life.
You need to find tools to get through this period and these three tools are simple but effective to make sure that you keep your focus on the life you wanted not the life you had…
3 Simple Tools For Finding Joy
1. One tools is a gratitude journal.
Journaling all of the things you are grateful for will keep you focused on all the joy in your life. If you compare events in your journal, you are comparing joy to joy, not how things used to be. This keeps you sane in some of the awkward moments when comparison tries to steal your fun days.
2. Set a new vision, mission and goals for your life.
It empowers you to take charge of your life or watch it slip away. This literally saved my life, as I did it at a period when I really needed help but couldn’t find it anywhere. This focus keeps you looking forward all of the time, rather than backward. Once I had completed my vision and mission, I typed it up on an A4 sheet of paper, laminated it and hung it in the shower. It was my daily reminder of where I was going and it gave me a morning reminder every day of what I needed to focus on. It worked a treat and it still hangs in my shower all these years later.
3. Choose your attitude.
“Attitude” by Charles R. Swindoll everyday. You can download a copy for yourself here. A friend gave it to me when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and I still have that copy in my gratitude journal. So each day it’s a ready reminder…what else do you do in the shower while you are waiting?!
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