Living a joyous life is a choice.

We can choose to live in joy or we can choose to live in fear, anger, struggle and disappointment. It’s up to each and every one of us.

If you let others steal your joy, by accepting their words that say you should or shouldn’t do something or by them telling you you’re wrong or misinformed or that you’re being selfish, you have no one to blame but yourself. Your joy belongs to you. It is not dependent on another’s comments, opinions, judgments, or behavior.

Want to incorporate more joy into your life? Try minding your own business.

Endeavoring to control things you can’t actually do anything about, like other people or most situations or the past or future, only leads to frustration and unhappiness. Stay focused on where you are in the here and now.

Another suggestion to increasing exuberance all around you is to give to others whatever you feel you are lacking. Don’t waste another moment living in lack; celebrate generosity. Give to others what you want or need for yourself. Go overboard in offering attention, empathy and caring. Any sense of lack will be transformed into fullness. Like Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see.”

Finally, write the word “JOY” on a couple stick’ems or 3×5 cards and put them in places where you’ll be reminded throughout the day to be open to all the joy that is available to you. Make a commitment to look at the joy you see in every day. Do this for a week or a year; whatever it takes to become a habit.

Take a moment to identify where the joy in your life is today and have a joyous New Year!