Just checking in—How is the new year going so far? Asking because, in a previous post, we floated these guidelines to keep in mind while setting personal goals for 2021:
- Be kind to yourself.
- Stay in touch with yourself and others.
- Pour out the guilt and cultivate joy.
Today, we’d like to expand a bit more on that last one.
How does one cultivate joy?
These days, there’s so much pressure to be “productive” all the time. There are ups and downs to this. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” said Confucius. And if you love your job, that’s great! But there should be things that you do purely for your own enjoyment and enrichment, too.
Start by giving yourself permission to be happy. To do that, remember that it’s more about the journey than the destination. You’re not aiming for productivity, after all, but for fun!
There is joy in still learning.
As kids, we did all sorts of things just for the fun of it. We colored outside the lines! We danced and ran around like crazy-heads without caring if we looked graceful or not! We sang along with songs even though half the time we were belting out the wrong words, or hitting the wrong notes, or hitting the right notes but then our voices cracked!
For anyone who has ever doodled something or written a short story, but been hesitant to share it with anyone because “it might not be good enough,” this is for you:
Cultivate the idea that you can be so-so at things and still enjoy them.
Maybe you’re not perfect at something, but it’s okay. Learning is a blessing. Humans are a social species, and in many ways we thrive on learning together.
For example, say you have an interest in food and wine pairings, and how a glass of wine with the right food can accentuate the dish and vice versa. You might not know much to start with, so you scour tasting notes and occasionally turn to Google for suggestions. During wine tastings, virtual or otherwise, you ask the tasting room staff and sometimes even wine-makers about pairing recommendations. Just about everyone you chat with on the subject understands that not the best of this, because if you were you wouldn’t have to ask.
Want to know the secret? They haven’t tried every available wine with every available dish, so they’re still learning too. Your questions might offer a fresh perspective, an angle they hadn’t thoroughly examined before. That’s why our team is always so willing to discuss the subject and share their insights; by sharing our own thoughts, we refine and add to them, adding the observations of others to the “I have to try that” column! No one is the best, because being the best isn’t the point.
Trying new things helps lead to a balanced and well-rounded life.
With food and wine pairings, the point is to try new pairings and enjoy (or learn from) the results. The more new experiences you have, the better informed you will feel when settling into a lifestyle that brings you the most joy and fulfilment—one that is achievable, maintainable, and provides sufficient time and energy to the areas of your life that you consider top priorities. It’s a constant balancing act and opportunity for learning experiences.