Prioritizing the Things You Enjoy: How Joy Can Guide You to a Meaningful Life
It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life. The pressure to meet deadlines, to be productive, and to achieve our goals can leave us feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and uninspired. In the midst of all this chaos, we often forget to prioritize the things we enjoy—the activities that bring us pleasure, peace, and joy.
We may dismiss these activities as indulgent or unnecessary. After all, who has time for frivolous endeavors when there are bills to pay, tasks to complete, and responsibilities to fulfill? However, this way of thinking is flawed. Prioritizing the things we enjoy is not only beneficial for our well-being, but it can also guide us to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
Joy as a Compass for Authenticity
Brené Brown, a renowned researcher on human connection, emphasizes the importance of authenticity in creating meaningful relationships. According to Brown, our ability to connect with others depends on how comfortable we are with ourselves—how authentic we are in expressing our thoughts, feelings, and values.
Authenticity, however, is not something that comes naturally to us. It requires practice and a commitment to being true to ourselves. By prioritizing the things we enjoy, we can begin to discover who we are and what brings us happiness. This, in turn, can help us cultivate a sense of authenticity and a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Finding Meaning in Life
The pursuit of happiness is a universal endeavor, but what brings happiness to one person may not bring happiness to another. This is why the search for meaning is so important. When we have a sense of purpose—a reason for getting up in the morning—we are more likely to feel fulfilled and content with our lives.
Blue Zones, a longevity research project, discovered that many communities with the highest life expectancies in the world share a common trait: a sense of purpose. This purpose may come from various sources—such as work, family, or community—but the key is to have a reason for living that goes beyond mere survival.
Prioritizing the things we enjoy can help us find this sense of purpose. By pursuing activities that bring us joy, we can cultivate a sense of passion and meaning in our lives. Whether it is hiking, writing, or spending time with loved ones, these activities can give us a reason to keep going, even when life gets tough.
Letting Go of the Negative
In order to make room for joy and meaning in our lives, we must let go of the negative. This may mean giving up habits or activities that no longer serve us—such as social media scrolling or excessive drinking—or it may mean setting boundaries with people who drain our energy and bring us down.
By prioritizing the things we enjoy, we are actively choosing to cultivate positivity and happiness in our lives. We are saying no to the things that do not serve us and yes to the things that bring us joy. This can be a powerful shift in mindset—one that can lead us to a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
At the end of the day, life is a precious gift, and how we choose to spend our time is a reflection of what we value most. By prioritizing the things we enjoy, we are celebrating life and all the beauty and goodness it has to offer.
This does not mean that life will always be easy or perfect—far from it. There will be challenges, setbacks, and difficult times. But by choosing to prioritize joy, we are giving ourselves the tools and resources to navigate these challenges with strength, resilience, and grace.
So, whether it is drawing with chalk, hiking a mountain, or writing poetry, take the time to prioritize the things that bring you joy. Your life—and your soul—will thank you for it.