Keep knocking and the joy inside will
eventually open a window and look
out to see who is there.



When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning . . . . We are joyously and intimately engaged with our world.  This is the experience of authentic power.

Gary Zukav


I need to learn.  Joy is at the heart of God's plan for human beings.  The reason for this is worth pondering awhile:  Joy is at the heart of God himself.  We will never understand the significance of joy in human life until we understand its importance to God.  I suspect that most of us seriously underestimate God's capacity for joy.

John Ortberg


Life is a place of service and in that service one has to suffer a great deal that is hard to bear, but more often to experience a great deal of joy.  But that joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.

Lev Tolstoy


Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness—happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.

Adela Rogers St. Johns

You have to sniff out joy, keep your nose to the joy-trail.

Buffy Sainte-Marie


When I look at the sky, the trees, the land or into the eyes of someone I love,
I experience the wonder of life. Noticing the simple blessings that surround me
here and now, I tap into my inner wellspring of joy.  One joyful thought starts
a chain reaction, just as the song of a bird at dawn invites others to join in
I choose to cultivate joy, to count my blessings and to share this feeling with
others.  A joyous state of mind opens me to divine ideas and substance.
I see new ways to express my potential and new opportunities
to experience life as a joyful child of God.

unattributed (Daily Word)


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Joy increases as you give it, and diminishes as you try to keep
it for yourself.  In giving it, you will accumulate a deposit of
joy greater than you ever believed possible.

Norman Vincent Peale


The real joy of life is in its play.  Play is anything we do for the joy
and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of
duty.  It is the real living of life with the feeling of freedom and
self-expression.  Play is the business of childhood, and its
continuation in later years is the prolongation of youth.

Walter Rauschenbusch


Joy is the soul made visible.

Susan Santucci

Learn to nurture seeds of joy within yourself.  Ask yourself,
"What's one action that I can take to increase my joy today?"


Joys come from simple and natural things:  mists over meadows,
sunlight on leaves, the path of the moon over water.

Sigurd F. Olson


Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.

Leon Bloy



As you express joy, you draw it out of those you meet, creating
joyful people and joyful events.  The greater the joy
you express, the more joy you experience.

Arnold Patent


Joy of life seems to me to arise from a sense of being where one
belongs. . . of being foursquare with the life we have chosen.
All the discontented people I know are trying sedulously to
be something they are not, to do something they cannot do.

David Grayson


Real joy means immediate expansion.  If we experience pure joy,
immediately our heart expands.  We feel that we are flying in the
divine freedom-sky.  The entire length and breadth of the world
becomes ours, not for us to rule over, but as an expansion of
our consciousness.  We become reality and vastness.

Sri Chinmoy


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Listen to the clues.  The next time you feel real joy, stop and think.
Pay attention.  Because joy is the universe's way of knocking
on your mind's door.  Hello in there.  Is anyone home?  Can I leave a message?
Yes?  Good!  The message is that you are happy, and that means
that you are in touch with your purpose.

Steve Chandler


I need a kind of spiritual inhalation, a spaciousness that comes
when I am living from the inside out.  Only in this way can I find
my joy again, the tenderness I can feel toward myself and the
world.  Find is the wrong word.  I don't think anyone "finds" joy.
Rather, we cultivate it by searching for the preciousness of small
things, the ordinary miracles, that strengthen our hearts so we can
keep them open to what is difficult:  delight in taking a shower or
a slow walk that has no destination, in touching something soft,
in noticing the one small, black bird who sings every morning from
the top of the big old pine tree that guards this cabin.  I need to
give my attention to the simple things that give me pleasure with the
same fervor I have been giving it to the complex things
with which I drive myself crazy

Dawna Markova
I Will Not Die an Unlived Life


There is no need to ever wait for joy.  My joy does not depend on reaching or
achieving certain goals.  I don't have to graduate from college to feel joy, nor do
I need to be married to feel joy.  I needn't postpone my joy until I've retired or
reached a certain level of success.  Joy is a state of mind, arising from realization
and gratitude, accessible to me at all times.  I never wait for joy.
I choose joy in this very moment.

unattributed (Daily Word)



People need joy quite as much as they need clothing.
Some of them need it far more.

Margaret Collier Graham


The beating heart of the universe is holy joy.

Martin Buber


The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy
you can contain.  Is not the cup that holds your wine
the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

Khalil Gibran



Once as we were sitting together in a doctor's office, awaiting the lab results
of her six-month chemotherapy checkup, I had asked her about her joy in life.
Her own life had been so hard.  Didn't she feel envious of others who had
things she did not?  She had smiled at the thought and shaken her head.  "Then
what is your secret?" I had asked her, laughing.  Suddenly serious, she had
replied that it seemed to her that joy was not something personal.  When I looked
at her, baffled, she explained she has found that if you are genuinely happy for them,
people are very generous with their joy and share it with you openheartedly.
"When something good happens to the person next to me, I am there to celebrate
it with them.  Their good luck makes me feel lucky.  I rejoice with them about it
as fully as if it was happening to me," she told me.  "It makes me really happy."
She paused and looked thoughtful.  "Of course, then it is happening to me,"
she said with a grin.

Rachel Naomi Remen



To miss out on joy is to miss out on the reason for your existence.

Lewis Smedes


If we are to extract any joy out of our span, we must think and plan
and make things better not only for ourselves but for others, since
joy for ourselves depends upon our joy in others and theirs in us.

Theodore Dreiser


There are thousands of books on the joy of gardening
and cooking. Alas, there are only few on the joy of living.

Robert Muller


I certainly wasn't happy.  Happiness has to do with reason, and
only reason earns it.  What I was given was the thing you can't
earn, and can't keep, and often don't recognize
at the time; I mean joy.

Ursula K. LeGuin


Even rain and wind and stormy clouds bring joy,
just as knowing animals and flowers and where they live.

Sigurd F. Olson


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

The greatest gift you can give yourself is joy, not only because
of the feeling that goes with it at the moment, but because of the
magnificent experience it will draw to you.  It will produce wonders in your life.

Jack Boland

You know, that's what I've regretted the most, that joy.  Of course,
later there were times when I felt happy, but happiness is to joy what
an electric light bulb is to the sun.  Happiness always has an object,
you're happy because of something, it's a condition whose existence
depends on external things.  Joy, on the other hand, has no object.
It seizes you for no apparent reason; it's like the sun--
its burning is fueled by its own heart.

Susanna Tamaro


This is my real secret to being a joyful person:  I make my life easy.
I spend more time being grateful for what I have instead of focusing
on what isn't working.  I no longer believe that people have to
do things my way and that I have to be perfect.

Ellen (no last name given)
as related to Salle Redfield



Joy is the wild card of life; it supersedes every other formula for success.
If you can find a way to create joy, you can rise beyond all external factors.
If you can play at whatever you are doing, you are the master of your life.

Alan Cohen

Can you go a whole day with joy in your heart?  Joy and
vitality are an inseparable combination.  Joy is not concerned
with having fun; it is an inner spiritual quality that overcomes
despair, pain and defeat.  You cannot turn on joy like an
electric light, but you can prepare yourself to receive it.

Norman Vincent Peale


You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human
relationships.  God has placed it all around us.  It is in everything and
anything we might experience.  We just have to have the courage to
turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild

Joy is the characteristic by which God uses us to re-make the
distressing into the desired, the discarded into the creative.
Joy is prayer--Joy is strength--Joy is love--Joy is a net
of love by which you can catch souls.

Mother Teresa

If people only knew the healing power of laughter and joy, many of our
fine doctors would be out of business.  Joy is one of nature’s greatest
medicines.  Joy is always healthy.  A pleasant state of mind tends to
bring abnormal conditions back to normal.

Catherine Ponder

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put
a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.

Eleanor Roosevelt



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.