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family, vacation, tourism concept“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

Does it have to be over already?

This is the thought that crossed my mind as we packed up to leave Florida last Friday. I’d just spent a week on the beach with my family and dear friends, away from the noise and distractions of everyday life. Finding joy in the beauty of nature, the laughter of my kids, and quiet moments with my wife.

Now it was back to reality.

But does it really have to be that way? Why can’t this relaxed feeling of joy continue once I get home?

The truth is that it can and it must.

Especially because there will be years for all of us when schedules, finances, or family situations don’t allow us to get away for vacation or even a quick weekend getaway. That is why today I am sharing an excerpt from my book #1 National Bestselling book On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life that reminds us to find joy in the everyday moments of life.

These are the moments we must celebrate.

Excerpt from the #1 National Bestselling book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life

Chapter 4


I recently had the opportunity to speak at a leadership event for one of my absolute favorite companies, Southwest Airlines. Also invited to present was one of my favorite speakers, Brené Brown. In the last five years, she has become one of the world’s leading experts on vulnerability, courage, and leading an authentic life.

What stuck out to me the most during her talk was this:

“The number one joy indicator, the one thing that will predict whether someone feels joy in their life or not, is the practice of gratitude.”

This is not her opinion. She has been studying this stuff for twelve years.

Her research shows that joy is not a question of what happens to you, how much money you have in the bank, your looks, your kids, or the vacations you’re able to afford. It’s about actively choosing to practice…gratitude.

As she writes in her book Daring Greatly, “In fact, every participant who spoke about the ability to stay open to joy also talked about the importance of practicing gratitude. This pattern of association was so thoroughly prevalent in the data that I made a commitment as a researcher not to talk about joy without talking about gratitude.”

You can’t have joy without gratitude.

But what surprised her in her research was that the things that people were the most grateful for were the ordinary things in life. The sound of your spouse’s laugh, the smell of morning coffee, the echo of children playing in the yard. The little things.

In waiting for the big moments- the vacations, the retirements, the birthdays- we risk missing the experiences of life most worthy of celebrating. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

I’m grateful that I am now paying attention and celebrating the little things. I now understand that there are no “ordinary” moments.

It’s all a gift, all a miracle.

Today is your day. Live Inspired.
What are your grateful for today? Take 60 seconds to make a list and then share in the comments below.

17 replies on “The Number One Joy Indicator”

I am grateful for beautiful family and friends as we leave this chapter of our lives and make a move to Wisconsin near our son and his family. I am grateful to know love and that we will be returning often to bask in that love. I am grateful for this adventure of living on beautiful land with our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter as we all grow older together.

Best of luck on your adventure and move, Anne! Beautiful land and family – such a blessing. Thanks for sharing. J

I am grateful that I get to spend my 57th birthday knocking out a bucket list event of skydiving with my daughter who came home from Mizz to celebrate life. Btw John your book is priceless. Thanks for your message to us at NYL.

I am grateful for my spouse on how we strive/demonstrate a life of grace and forgiveness AND tonight I was thankful for corn on the cob and the hands that grew it (certainly weren’t mine)!

I’m grateful for my life, health, my children, husband, family and friends. I’m grate to be a child of God, an agent with the best insurance company in the world.

Grateful for an easy start to the week after being on holidays. Grateful for the time I had with my family on holiday making memories

I am grateful for this beautiful morning. I woke up early to get a bike ride in before it gets hot. Was ready to go when my 9 year old Samuel came out of his room and gave me a hug. We went outside and played basketball for 30 minutes. Just the 2 of us. With 5 kids it is hard to get some “one on one time”. Grateful for the sudden change in plans.

I am grateful my kids and grandkids are healthy and happy, that I get to spend Sundays with them watching them grow, hearing them laugh and playing with them.

I am grateful for Jesus who gave his life for me, for my family (all of them, including church family), and for the experiences God has and will allow me to go through that are making me into his son’s image. He is the Potter, I am the Clay.

I am thankful that even though it is Monday and I was tired when I got up, that I have a job to go to when so many don’t.

I have breakfast each morning with my granddaughter. I’m in Saint Louis and she’s in Baltimore, so we FaceTime. I’m so grateful for this time with her!

Lynn, that is so creative and I think could be a great idea for lets of folks who have loved ones in other places…thanks for sharing! J

I am grateful for everything single blessing that me and my family has been showered with. Health, belief, positive outlook are just to name a few, but to count the blessing are like counting the stars- endless.

I’m thankful for life, family, and the beauty of nature that surrounds me when I’m near the beach or among mountains.

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