How to Live a Joyful Life Starting Today

The word that we use so often, but not enough when we’re conversing with our inner self is the key live a joyful life.

My father is a no-person.

When you ask him a question, his automatic response is no. In a while, after he goes through some mental process that is a mystery to me, he might say yes. Most of the time he actually does change his mind if you bring him back to the topic several times or present him with evidence. Usually it just takes a few kind words.

It’s not because he doesn’t want a vegetarian diner, or because he doesn’t want to go to the movies or because he hates everything new…

It’s because he just reacts with a no to everything new. I know that and I work around it.

You might think that this is a good thing – most people nowadays are too weak-charactered to actually say no and suffer a lot from that.

I am quite sure you’re wrong.

Not because saying yes to everyone and everything is a healthy way of living and communicating. In fact, we use the word yes way too much – we make promises and commitments that we never follow through.

We agree with things we’ve no idea about.

We confirm that someone is right, when they are fundamentally wrong.

We say yes too much to people and too less to ourselves.

My father is a no-person on the inside and out. He says no to everyone including himself. And he has a boring life he doesn’t like much (he doesn’t even agree with that, but anyhow). I can imagine the complete opposite of him – a person who says yes to everything. That wouldn’t be okay neither, don’t you think?

You would end up with a lot of regrets and disappointments.

But what if, only if we tried to say yes to the one person that matters the most and try to make them happy?

YES, this person is you.

We often (if not always) say a fake yes to agree with someone we like or want to please. Now it’s time to start saying yes to ourselves! And see what happens.

How To Live a Joyful Life

I promised to tell you how to live a more joyful and exciting life, and I am sorry if I get carried away with my father’s story but it had a point.

We are limiting ourselves with every other no. Society has conditioned us to live in a world where being spontaneous and excited is seen as irresponsible and childish.

Saying no is the first logical reaction to anything new.

Because you don’t have time.

Or money.

Or you are too old or young or busy or beautiful.

Because you just don’t do that kind of things.

Because you are afraid.

Or tired.

All kinds of reasons to say no. And they are all legitimate…..if you want to live a boring life. 

Ask a kid if they want to do something they have never done or see something new. They always say yes.

And when you and I start saying more yes to ourselves, then the joy and excitement of life will be back.

Commit to a day of saying yes to yourself, for small and big stuff, and see where this takes you. It might take you to the fast food restaurant eating burger after burger….But it might as well take you to your passion in life, to discovering new friendships, love, opportunities and experiences.

When you get that feeling that you should do something, don’t say no backed up by logic….say yes, backed up by curiosity.

This is where you find excitement and joy in life.


Being a complete yes or no person on the outside is a big no-no. You either end up frustrated and bored, or regretful and with a bunch of commitments you can’t keep. On the contrary, learning to say more of YES to ourselves can create more excitement and joy in our lives.

We feel like the kid that’s finally been allowed to eat ice-cream for breakfast.

We feel like we are sneaking out of school to watch a movie or meet friends.

We feel like we are finally allowed to be adventurous.

And this counts for more joy and happiness in our lives.

Say YES to yourself and to your heart, it knows what’s good for you!

Looking forward to reading your comments – what did you say NO to today, and what are you going to say YES to tomorrow?

If this simple mindset tweak for living a joyful and exciting life sounds like something you dig, you should check out the Happiness Workbook for more (it’s free and really hilarious at times).

Antonia Zorluer is a designer, writer and content marketer. She writes for businesses at work and for pleasure at her personal happiness blog where you can find inspirational stories and tips on using writing for a better life. She loves to connect and talk happiness and writing on Twitter and Google +. 


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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