Last month’s blog, the Three Essentials of a Joyful Life, inspired a lot of positive feedback. I realized from your feedback and recent coaching conversations, that you’d like more information about how to cultivate joy and happiness during the challenging times we’re navigating. So, this month I’m writing about the eight pillars of happiness from The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It’s a book I’ve had since its release that has been especially helpful during the last couple of years. I refer to it often for reminders about how to cultivate joy while navigating times of stress, anger, grief, illness, and death.
On page 145 is a Tibetan saying that, “…it is actually the painful experiences that shine the light on the nature of happiness”. This points to the first of the eight pillars:
Perspective. The lens we see our challenges through makes all the difference in how we navigate the difficulty.
Humility. This is the quality or state of not thinking you are better than anyone else.
Humor. The ability to laugh at yourself and your circumstances is the next pillar. Laughter with a friend is also a doorway to joy.
Acceptance. By accepting life’s inevitable sadness and grief, we open the door to growth and healing.
Forgiveness. Nelson Mandela once said that hatred is like drinking poison and then expecting the other person to die. Doing the work of forgiveness for self and others frees us from the pain and suffering.
Gratitude. This is one of my favorites because it opens the heart to all that is working in life, opens our eyes to new opportunities we might otherwise miss and inspires us to feel positive about the future.
Compassion. It is about understanding the suffering of another and taking action to help relieve that suffering.
Generosity. It is a cousin to compassion and means being kind and generous. The sharing the love and resources in our lives.
I recommend the book. I also invite you to choose one of the pillars over the next month as a daily practice to cultivate joy. Not only will you experience more joy and well-being, it will spill over to your loved ones, colleagues and community.
Feel free to reach out for a conversation about how to successfully navigate the challenges in your life and cultivate more joy!
Sabrina Roblin, CPCC, a former executive and founder of Life Reinspired, is happily enjoying her best chapter of life. She now helps others do the same. Schedule a free Life Reinspired Strategy Session or email firstname.lastname@example.org.