The Joys of Life


Sometimes it’s difficult to be filled with joy. There are so many obstacles in the way, and we listen to the news only to hear about terrible tragedies or see ugliness that we cannot fathom; it feels like a mountain of negativity that we’re climbing over, day in and day out. It’s exhausting, right? Recognizing the horrible challenges facing the world doesn’t mean that we must live our life in constant despair.

If you’re in despair, you’re not able to be a light in the darkness. There are so many instances where someone going through a terrible time or the worst day of their life is searching for the light. Be that light by sharing your joy. It sounds easier than it is. Being joyful means being full of high-spirited delight. I would guess that many people would not describe themselves this way very often. In fact, you probably would look to describe mostly children in this way.

There are people I think about when I ask myself who is joyful, people that I know right here in our community. Bob Hoffman comes to mind. He began a pass-it-forward organization. Lauren Aitch, founder of the Aitch Foundation, leaps to the forefront as well, along with Jane Aldrich, who is so delightful that her friends and family have added the word to her name. We are so pleased to have Joyful Jane speaking at CAWLM’s Mom & Me Tea event this month.

It isn’t intuitive that Jane be filled with such joy. After all, she spent so much time in the news business, surrounded by the negativity and tragedy that could easily create a cynic. I’m sure her story will be filled with how she overcame the ugliness of the news and became a light in the darkness for so many in our community. I encourage you to attend our event and hear her story, but I wanted to add some tips I’ve learned over the years that have helped me also stay joyful.

  1. Stop procrastinating: This is standing in the way of moving forward. I like to stay in motion and, even though procrastination is something we all do from time to time, I’m at my happiest when I’m moving forward.
  2.  Live in forgiveness: Enough said. You cannot be joyful if you’re consumed by pain and suffering. Try to let it go.
  3.  Determine your needs: If you’re feeling like you need love, companionship, a laugh or just someone to talk to, give that to someone else. It will come back to you. Simple.

We have a lot to be thankful for, even amid terrible ugliness, so build a foundation of joy. Be the light that someone needs to move through their difficulties. And, I promise, your joy will help brighten the world.

Tiffany Dowling

Tiffany Dowling

Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at

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