As we head into the holidays—especially Thanksgiving we know we’re supposed to feel thankful. We know that this is a special time of the year and that we now is the time to feel lucky for those we love and who loves us. We’re supposed to feel blessed to be healthy and happy to be alive.
But let me ask you something—do you really feel lucky? More importantly, when was the last time you really felt joy?
There are some questions that stop you dead in your tracks. This is definitely one of them.
I know it stopped me. So, let’s think about it…
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU EXPERIENCED JOY?
I first heard this question on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah was talking about how her trainer had asked her this very question during a run. It forced Oprah to think back in her own life and remember when she had last felt pure joy. She thought about it and realized it had been more than seven years earlier!
Oprah went on to explain how the trainer’s question made her remember how much joy she had felt while she was filming The Color Purple, and how the memory of that joy and its meaning to her, ultimately inspired her to change her own life. As she put it, it led her to take her TV show out of what she called the “yak, yak, yak” genre and transform it into a platform to help people truly lead better, more meaningful lives. The world is better place today because of how this one woman was inspired by that one question about joy.
THE NEXT DAY THE JOY QUESTION HIT ME HARD
After I finished watching Oprah that day, I tried to go back to whatever I was doing. But that question—“When was the last time you experienced real joy?”—continued to rattle around in my mind.
The next day it hit me…hard.
I remember driving up to my office at Morgan Stanley, where I ran my financial planning business back in 2001. It was 5:45 in the morning and I asked myself again,—when was the last time I had experienced joy?
The answer was—during a tour across the country teaching Smart Couples Finish Rich™ Seminars. Being on stage in front of a thousand couples, helping them live and finish rich was my last truly joyful experience (fortunately, this had taken place only a month prior). Then, I asked the question—when was the last time I felt joy at work? The answer was a shocker—I realized it had literally been years. I started to realize how I no longer felt fulfilled at work. And realized that I wanted to spend my life writing books and teaching others. More importantly, I wanted to spend my life helping people live and finish rich, and essentially become financial free.
That singular realization would change my life. Within 18 months of that experience I left Morgan Stanley where I was a Senior Vice President to move to New York City and start FinishRich Media, LLC.—a company dedicated to teaching others about how to live and Finish Rich®. It wasn’t easy and still isn’t but it I can honestly say, it has brought me true joy. Hearing your success stories is always the highlight of my day!
LET THESE HOLIDAYS TRULY BE FILLED WITH THANKS AND JOY
So this Thanksgiving ask those you love when was the last time you felt joy? Make sure you share your answer with others. Especially, with your family and those you love most. Look back and be honest—you’ve had great times in your life. Remember every time and experience you can because these memories are priceless and can change your life!
And most importantly—reconnect with yourself. Go get a piece of paper now and do the following: Take FIVE MINUTES and tell yourself the truth…
- When was the last time you experienced joy?
- When did you last feel joy with your family?
- When did you last feel joy at work?
- Who do you love?
- Who loves you?
- Who could you love more today—by picking up the phone and tell them—how much they mean to you.
- If we were getting together one year from today, what would have to happen for you to be able to tell me that you now more joy in your life?
You deserve to be joyful!