Give a crap about someone besides yourself. That’s the surest and quickest way to always enjoy life.

The main thing that gives me motivation to enjoy life all the time is my relationship with God, but that relationship has taken 34-years to develop, and only 12 of those years has the relationship been strong and actively cultivated. Traveling a spiritual path is highly recommended, but giving a crap about other people literally produces immediate results.

Quick things that we all (should) know to bring temporary joy would be holding the door open for someone, or helping someone carry something when their hands are too full. I have read plenty of uplifting stories about the first time someone volunteered at the local soup kitchen (or community bicycle shop).  But I have found that the way to really turn temporary feelings of joy into permanent habits is to care about others in my daily activities. Being a husband and father certainly comes to mind. I can quickly up my feelings of self-worth and joy when I actually do things around the house, without my wife nagging telling me to (love you honey!). It’s really exciting when I do work that she usually does.

But putting my wife and kids before my wishes is an obvious place where I can bring joy into my own life. How about a place that isn’t known for having an abundance of joy – say, work?

Yes indeed, there can be much joy for yourself at work… if you actively give a crap about someone besides yourself. There are several things that you can do, you can:

Do your work: I know, right? Maybe just doing your work isn’t the key, but understanding that your work benefits someone. Your customers, your co-workers, or even your boss (I’m biased, I happen to like my boss). Quick tip: Being in a job that’s meaningful to you helps produce joy from doing the work. Just sayin’.

Speak highly of someone: Like many things in this world, gossip and the watercooler can have benefits if used wisely and in moderation. Besides, I don’t care if a million people read this post. If any of you say that you don’t gossip, you are LYING. So since we all gossip, we might as well make it positive, right? On this same note, here’s something that might surprise you, but can bring even more joy to your life.

Speak highly of someone who is usually spoken lowly of: In other words, that guy that always gets “thrown under the bus”? Pick him out from under that bus and see how people react. There is something positive about everybody, and I’ll bet that person has done something that you appreciate, so make sure everyone else knows about it. It might even make everyone feel pretty good.

If you’re still not sure how these tips can help you enjoy life all the time, especially at work, leave a comment or e-mail me and I’ll answer any questions you might have. Of course, if you just ask yourself (or a God of your understanding if you have one), “How can I give a crap about someone besides me today?” You might be surprised at how quickly the right answer comes.

Always Enjoy Life

Zach Ellerbrook

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