Pixar released the animated movie ‘Inside Out’ in 2015. The movie won the Oscar for Best Animated Film the following year. The movie is based around an 11-year-old girl named Riley, whose family move from Minnesota to San Francisco. In the movie, we watch events unfold through the lens of Riley’s mind. Specifically, we see how five animated characters, joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust, interact in the mind’s Headquarters to control how Riley behaves and responds to what is happening in the outside world.
These five characters are chosen with good reason. They are five of the six primary human emotions, surprise being the sixth. Pixar leverage ‘Inside Out’ to illustrate fantastically to us viewers just how important joy is to create positive thoughts and behaviour.
Letting joy come to the fore in our thoughts and feelings is not without challenge. Our earliest ancestors were most focussed on tuning in to negative emotions. As these were the ones that enabled them to stay alive in the face of the dangers that threatened their existence on a daily basis. We have each evolved from this earliest, negatively biased mindset.
We each, therefore, need to consciously work to enable joy to be at the forefront of our lives. Here’s four suggestions to make this happen:
Commit to joy:
Make a commitment to yourself. Commit today to bring joy to the fore. Write your commitment down where you can see and refer back to it. Not just for today, but for each day going forward.
Set joyful goals:
Look at key aspect of your life. Relationships, work, interests etc. Write down one joyful action in each case. See each action through to completion. And then repeat the process.
Choose what you read:
Media outlets and social media commentary appear to be as influenced today as our earliest ancestors were all those years ago by the negative bias of thought and focus. Therefore, we must be selective about what we read. We must ensure that we consume more positively focussed news than negative. This will allow us to maintain a positively disposed outlook.
Choose what you say:
You have a chance to contribute to the world in a joyful way. You can do this through each conversation you partake in. And you can do this through each message you post to a WhatsApp group, and each comment you leave on social media platforms. As often as is possible, weight your contributions in each case to be positively biased.
Two questions should dictate whether you decide to adopt any, or all, of these suggestions:
- Would I be better off for acting on these suggestions?
- Would we all be better off for us each acting on these suggestions?
The chances are, you’ve said yes to both these questions. Get to work on them immediately. Before the negative bias in our mind finds reasons to justify ignoring them. And secondly, share this post. So we can all get joy working and spreading in our lives.
If you would like further information on Inspo or how you can commit to joy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.