Four Points of Joy

Beverly Inman-Ebel

"If it is to be, it is up to me." This is my mantra, the standard by which I live my life. Oh, I appreciate help from others and welcome them to take off in leadership, yet I depend upon myself to make my moment, my day, and my life.

Since our topic this month is doing more with less, I thought it appropriate to discuss the smallest whoe number: one. I believe we get ourselves in trouble when we wait on others to make it happen. The "it" can be initiation of a task, coming up with an idea, or even happiness. Following my idea of it is up to me, it is important to get off to a good start each day.

I like to begin each day with thinking ahead to four things I am looking forward to. I call these my points of joy. Today my four points of joy were taking my niece for a ride in my new car, completing my nine sales calls, writing creatively, and hugging my old dog that I have not seen in a week. The first one was probably the most fun, but it didn't happen because my niece called to cancel due to illness. Making the sales calls was no joy ride, but finishing thembrought me a sense of accomplishment. To creatively write today, I had to hide in the conference room because of all the distractions in the office. Even the conference room had distractions due to a recent break-in and vandalism. I will cherish hugging McClellan, my 12-year old Standard Poodle, even if he is dirty and full of briers from being out in the woods with my mother-in-law.

Why do I target four points of joy? It reminds me to be grateful for a moment that I might otherwise miss. For instance, I left nine messages today, reaching no one on my sales calls. That could be a downer, yet because I had targeted the completions as a moment to celebrate, I was able to see the value of what I had done rather than commiserate upon the lack or results. I guess you could say I plan the joy in advance and then make sure I come to the party.

When you are depending upon yourself, it is also important to end your day well. Before going to bed, I remember my day and count all the moments of joy that I was not expecting. There are always more than the original four. For me today, while I did not get to see my niece, I did spend some time with my best friend.

Goals, happiness, change - if it is to be, it is up to me. We all can do more with less. It is up to us. And thinking of that, I'm going to take a quick lunch break and drive my Mini Cooper. I promise I will feel the joy of the zippy little car. Live your dreams!

Beverly Inman-Ebel is founder and CEO of TLC, Talk Listen Communicate, LLC
Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

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