“Follow your bliss.”
In our study of the ways of living and working
that will support Your Creative Dharma,
today I would like to share with you my Ode To Joy…
Joy is more than just a pleasant life experience.
Joy is a real, measurable energy – scientists can detect the effects of joy in our bio-chemistry and the electrical impulses in our brain.
This energy can impact our physical body and wellbeing, it can boost our emotional state, it can be a profound spiritual connection and a tonic to psychological health.
There is a real power to joy.
And in this journey to Your Creative Dharma, we’ll aim to harness this force as a creative power.
In fact, joy can be so beneficial to this work on so levels that I’ve come to view joy as possibly the ultimate creative superpower.
After all, the pursuit of joy is the driving force behind all human behaviour.
Because even when we seek fame or fortune, love or freedom, expression or evolution, peace or power – we want these things because we believe we will enjoy life more when we have them.
And so joy is a formidable force, and we’re exploring its power today because it is a vital ingredient of the vision we’re working towards.
But true to our theory of How You Do It Is What You Get, joy is not merely the destination – it is also a route and a means for getting there.
If Mind is the engine of Your Creative Dharma, then Joy is the fuel, the igniting spark and the navigation system.
“The first step to success is to find
the thing you love to do and to do it.
Success is loving your work.”
DR JOSEPH MURPHY
THE JOY OF DHARMA
Can you spot a theme in our blueprint for Your Creative Dharma…?
• JOYFUL expression
• JOYFUL service
• JOYFUL commerce
• the JOY of purpose
• JOYFUL faith
• the JOYFUL pursuit of excellence
Joy is a key marker for being ‘in dharma’.
When your work is joyful…
When you joyfully serve others…
When you are enjoying life-enhancing levels of prosperity and success…
When joy infuses your creative life…
You are living Your Creative Dharma.
There aren’t many rules and must-dos in this material but valuing joy is one of them.
Joy is an essential ingredient.
Joy is a non-negotiable.
In fact, this course was going to be called Joy Works, not only because the works we create when we find our sweet spot are works of joy, but also because following, trusting and prioritising joy really works!
When designing a creative career, lifestyle and legacy that you want to enjoy – joy is without doubt an integral part of the journey.
JOY AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Joy is undoubtedly a driving force, one that we can tap into for supplies of passion, enthusiasm, inspiration and energy.
But more than mere fuel for our forward motion, joy can also become a reliable source of guidance.
After a lifetime of studying the human journey, renowned author and mythology expert Joseph Campbell had this to say about joy;
“If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.
When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
We’ll be experimenting with this as we go on because if you can begin to trust joy as your compass – the results will delight you.
At the very least – you will enjoy yourself!
If your projects turn out other than expected or planned, you’ll still benefit from the life-enhancing experience of joyful creative expression, which not only is a reward in itself, but also has many wonderful ripple effects for your future creativity and success, as well as your quality of life.
Because the experience of creation is worthwhile, regardless of outcomes.
Creativity for the sheer joy of expressing our unique spirit and energy is a valuable endeavour in its own right.
And when you embrace joy as your creative director, you also make room for that all-important sense of detachment that many spiritual masters claim is a vital aspect of cocreation.
This trust and carefreeness allows for even more joy during the creative process, resulting in a happy upward spiral of self-enhancing benefits which ‘mysteriously’ seem to attract the best results.
Well, I’m happy you asked…
JOY AS SUCCESS MAGNET
In the Third Principle of Your Creative Dharma, we explored how the way we create can impact not only the process and the finished creation but also its success in the wider world.
So, by prioritising, valuing, trusting and following joy, we can infuse our creations with this magnetic quality.
But why is joy magnetic?
I am fascinated by this connection and have been experimenting with the mechanics behind it in my own life.
I currently have more questions than definitive answers but I’m finding that just asking the questions and monitoring effects can yield some interesting – and enjoyable – results.
Is it the joy-infused creation that holds the attractive power?
Or is it our joyful energy that invites the magic and miracles?
And if it is our joy itself that leads to the successful outcomes, does it even matter what we create?!
These questions are wonderful fodder for philosophical debate, and even though it may be difficult to find irrefutable proof, I believe that considering these possibilities can help us formulate our own experiments.
This way, we can discover for ourselves how the role of joy can help us.
We can experience its benefits and power in our own lives, see the evidence with our own eyes, so that we’ll more readily accept and harness the power of joy in creating our vision of success.
We can use that powerful question from last week – What’s working for me? – to play with these ideas and explore their real effects in our lives.
Because if we find evidence that our joy during the creative process increases the success of the end result – this would free us from so much doubt, dilemmas and any dutiful ‘shoulds’.
This would mean that we can create anything that feels joyful!
For our optimum success, not only can we create in joy – we must create in joy.
Even though this is a new theory for me, my early findings are encouraging.
I’m learning that, for me, joyful work tends to lead to joyful results.
An enjoyable process tends to result in more successful creations.
When I’m in that wonderful flow state, not only is the process more effortless and effective – the end result is more inspired and even better than I’d imagined.
Even if I am enjoying life away from my work – things seem to work out well and lovely results find me with delightful frequency.
And so I’m increasingly convinced that joy is a success magnet.
I’m still exploring whether joy is essential for success.
My current theory is that it depends on belief.
The mind is so powerful that if we truly believe in a project, it can be successful even if the process isn’t a joy.
But just for a moment, imagine if you held the belief that work created in joy will be magnetic to success…
Surely that’s the ultimate creative freedom?!
You would fully and readily commit to creating only what felt joyful.
You would also enjoy a new creative confidence – always clear on what to work on and when.
Joy would become your guiding light, your North Star and – given what we know about the creative power of belief – your ticket to a self-fulfilling prophecy of success.
“Joy is the most magnetic force in the universe.”
We’ll be revisiting the link between creativity, success and joy throughout this material.
But for now, I would love for you to begin monitoring the connection in your own life and work – for both the keys to success and increased levels of everyday joy.
Because in our highest vision of Your Creative Dharma, joy is an essential precursor, a prerequisite to success.
Before you can sell your creative dharma work – you have to create it.
And to create in dharma, you create in joy.
Besides, being in love with your work is one of life’s greatest joys, regardless of external success.
• • •
For all the theory, proof and passion, the best way to help you discover the power and benefits of joy is to help you experience them for yourself.
So, here’s an affirmation designed to harnesses the double-power of a Mind-Joy combo:
As I create in joy,
I am magnetic to success.
Feel free to adapt this to suit whatever works best for you.
And now let’s develop this theory of joy power with today’s exercise.
Are you ready to play?