02 Dec Day 16 Life Lessons from Buddy
We watched Elf over the weekend. It is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I just love it! I think everyone should answer the phone saying, “Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?” I really relate to Buddy. He’s just out there doing his thing. Just trying to spread the love, joy and good cheer. Once he is in the “real world” he is met with a whole lot of skepticism, mocking and in some cases down right haters. You see him so perplexed by people and the way they act but he just shrugs it off and goes about his business. Eventually there is a tipping point at the end of the movie and the haters finally give in to the joy. Buddy makes that possible for them by not giving up and by not letting their negative attitudes and experience of the world spoil his attitude and experience of the world. He lifts them up.
This brings me to an important point on the joy journey. Over the years I have been accused of being overly cheerful. I’ve suffered eye rolls and mocking from coworkers, friends and even members of my own family. Like Buddy I could not understand why people reacted that way and still do on occasion. It took me longer than I care to admit to realize that not everyone will share my joy. I used to take it very personally but after a while I realized it’s got nothing to do with me. It’s about them. For whatever reason they are more comfortable focusing on the negative than being grateful for the positive and that’s okay. It’s not my problem. I have a choice. I can agree with them and adopt a negative mindset. I can focus on what wrong with everything in my life. I have plenty of what’s wrong. But I also have plenty of what’s right. We all do. What you focus on, you get more of. Wouldn’t I rather get more of what’s right instead of magnifying and bringing on more of what’s wrong?
Oh, and it’s not about denial. This is usually the first line of defense from the haters. Life is hard and bad things happen. If a person pretends everything is fine and lives in a happy la la land they are fooling themselves. Well I couldn’t agree more! Denial is useless. Pretending everything is fine doesn’t do me any good because I am not being honest with myself or anybody else. But there is no need for denial when you have joy. Joy exists amid the hard and the bad things. It’s always there, you just have to keep focusing on it. When people were cruel and Buddy got his feelings hurt he just and went and made more Christmas decorations because that is what made him feel good. When I am met with what I now call joy resistance I shrug it off and go do what makes me feel good – help someone, create something, connect and all is well.
If I do nothing else but wake up every day and tap into my joy it helps people. It makes a difference even if I don’t speak to anyone or connect with them. As I live my life with joy it gives other people permission to to do the same and that, my friends, is awesome.
So today take a page from Buddy’s playbook. Be yourself and rock your joy. Be a shining example of what’s possible when you have joy and love alive in you.
You just never know who you may inspire.