BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

30 Days of Joy: Look Beyond Yourself to Find Yourself

Joyful Man and Woman Celebrating Together

Note: This article is the next step in my challenge to find joy in something — anything — every day for 30 days. Today’s entry is part 30.

Though happiness may be an inside job, joy often is found outside yourself.

As this 30-day endeavor draws to a close, that’s one of my biggest takeaways.

Over the last month, I’ve found joy in well-wishing strangers, bonding with grocery store workers and security guards and baring my soul while playing with others.

And yesterday, I once again found joy in helping those less fortunate than I.

As we try to do once a month, my wife and I volunteered at the local food bank.

In three hours of work, alongside about 200 hundred other community members, we sorted some 15,000 pounds of food, which the staff told us translated to more than 13,000 meals for people in need.

Not bad for a Saturday morning.

I bring this up not to pat myself on the back, but to reiterate what’s possible when we expand our focus beyond ourselves.

Too often we get consumed with what we, as individuals, want and need to be happy.

And trust me, nobody does this more than I do.

But even though our happiness is ultimately up to us, it’s the joy we get from connecting with others that often completes the job.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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