Practicing Joy

Reading “Three Tips from a Google Pioneer” in Tools of Titans, Chade-Meng gives useful tools to immediately feel better.

The practices he outlines are powerful because we all have the capabilities to feel better within the day. Mere moments of time allow us the opportunity to gravitate towards the love that is the entire Universe. I know, it gets all spiritual but instead of being cynical, give it a go. See what happens.

Without divulging everything from the chapter, I’ll stick to just one practice.

Loving-Kindness

Meng does many public talks and takes his audience through a 10 second exercise of giving. He asks the audience to identify two people in the room and think, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.”

That’s it. Simple enough. When we wish for others to be happy it makes us feel a bit happier as well. And it only takes about 10 seconds. He invited one of his audiences’ to do this every hour for two people throughout the day. An email he received later from someone in attendance who was unhappy at work for 7 years said she finally felt happy after participating in the practice. Powerful, to say the least.

What are some additional practices?

Mindfulness through each moment. Instead of thinking of life as the moments between grabbing the cell phone and checking social media and surfing the Internet, transport yourself to the now.

Enjoy the clouds overhead.
Enjoy the walk as the breeze hits your face.
Enjoy the quiet moments after a hectic hour at work.
Enjoy the water you drink after a good workout.

Practicing mindfulness in these moments takes time but it pays in compound interest.

As Naval Ravikant says,

“All the real benefits in life come from compound interest.”

Another practice is ten deep breaths through the belly before bed. Get rid of the phone; I know it’s addicting. Start now. Start today. Read here on how technology before bed affects sleep quality.

Breathe deeply through your belly as you lay down for bed. Ten deep belly breaths and let the thoughts come and go, noting them as they do.

Eventually, after one week, one month, three months, six months, and one year…where could you be? The upper limits are undefined.

Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to go from moment to moment feeling mindful rather than robotic…

Most of us go through the day waiting for the next thing (the future) instead of enjoying (however banal) the moments. We miss these micro-gifts the world provides to us, wondering when our “next big thing” will come. But if we aren’t able to see the micro-gifts we will never be able to receive the bigger gifts. It seems counter-intuitive but it seems to be a law of life.

The last thing that EVERYONE can do is be the first person to say hello to the human beings you come across on a daily basis. Practice the habit of saying hello to ten new people each day. With some, they will stop and talk and you will learn their name. This can turn into recurring conversations at places you frequent. This can turn into opportunities never before realized, all due to a simple hello.

I wouldn’t speak of this if it wasn’t insanely powerful. Since practicing this, I’ve met many people I will never forget and many opportunities that were right underneath my nose sprouted up like a bamboo tree.

Someday never comes.

Get after it today with the smallest of disciplines.

Tell me how these practices go, I’d love to hear the stories!

In strength,

Coach G