Guiding Others Toward Joy

“You inspire people to be happy, you don’t lecture people to be happy.” –Doreen Virtue


I have a loved one who is working through an issue with a friend. I was pretty proud of myself for keeping out of it, but apparently I went past my internal time limit of restraint because I finally asked about it the other day.

I just wanted to check in and make sure that he was okay as he went through this experience.

I wasn’t far into my loving, open conversation when I was gently but firmly told, “You need to let me handle this my way.”

Wait. What?!?


It turns out that although I truly believed I was just making myself available for help, I was actually trying to guide. (And by Guide, I accidentally mean Direct. Oops.)

You see, I thought that enlightenment was for everyone.

News flash: it is — it’s just that there is more than one path to get there.

(Can you hear that? It’s my mind blowing.)

The best thing I can do for another, the best example I can be, is to simply live my own joy.


No expectations that others need to join me. No agenda of what their joy should look like. After all, joy is different for everyone. In fact, sometimes it’s downright oppositional:

  • When you live for the TV being turned off and your spouse loves constant news channels. In your studio apartment.
  • When you are lit up by exploring ideas and your good friend is energized by discussing people. Every day.
  • When you could read self-empowerment books for hours and your sister could play video games for days. In the same room.

I’ve learned approaches and outlooks that have changed how I see the world and myself! My mistake is to try to bring everyone with me. Everyone has their own path to joy.

For those of us who are wired to empower others, don’t worry. There is a way to share your happiness, to teach people, to offer a way for others to join you on your journey.

Simply follow your own joy.

Your lit up self allows others to become theirs. Your way, even if you know it is The Way, may not be for them. But your example shows them how to find their own.

As I learned when I got schooled with my loved one, just say no to being an enlightenment snob. Do you want to live a lecture or live your joy?

Follow your joy. And because of you, others will be able to discover theirs.



Ode to Joy I guess it really is about Mi…

Where in your life do you unknowingly push your joy agenda onto others? How can you step back and regroup from that approach? Share your stories and ideas below.

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