Introduction from JOYFUL SOUL: A PROMISE WORTHY OF TRUST, from Amazon: What if I told you that there is a simple solution for living a balanced and joyful life and achieving optimal mental health? That if you follow a few simple steps you can feel organized, happy and know that you are doing your very best to get along with others and succeed in the world? It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s because in this stress-filled and difficult world we constantly receive messages to the contrary. I’ve been there, trust me. I’ve felt deflated, stressed, disorganized, and as though every relationship with almost everyone in my life was a disaster. But I’ve managed to turn my life around and so can you. In this book I will share with you the secrets to achieving joy and balance in your life. You see, deep down inside you already are a Joyful Soul! My goal is to help you tap into that joy, bring it to the surface, and gain control and power over your life.
It is not surprising that so many of us feel tense, worn out and disheartened. Every day we receive messages that unsettle our minds, hearts and souls. We are told that we can be perfect, that we should be loved at all times, or that we don’t need relationships at all. If you watch or listen to enough popular media, you may begin to believe that it matters neither whether anyone respects or trusts you nor whether you respect or trust others. Sadly, even at home and work we are often surrounded by people who demean and discourage us. Then there are the persistent cultural messages of selfishness, arrogance and greed. We live for ourselves, so we should be happy, right? Whether we are already successful in business or trying desperately to achieve the American dream, our lives can become all about striving for what is beyond our grasp at the moment. Rather than being content with our current blessings and working patiently to move forward, we rush, rush, rush to get it, have it, be it, or achieve it. We fantasize about finding that one special someone in our life or about having perfect children. Or we might take our partner and children for granted and imagine our life would be better if we were single and on our own, or with someone else. In short, we take all the joy out of our lives by wishing that situations and people in our lives were different. We may even believe we’ve been given a bad deal in life. But we don’t realize the power we really have within ourselves! We have the power to change. We can change our situation, change our outlook, and change our hearts. We have the power to love deeply, to succeed and yet rest, and to discover what is most important in this world. We can learn to have more realistic expectations for ourselves and make informed choices for ourselves that are within our comfort zones. We have the power to grow, and the capacity to empower others around us to grow and thrive, too.
It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But how do we get there? How do we acquire the power to live a balanced and joyful life? How do we start?
In this book, we start by connecting strategies for developing psychological well-being and spiritual health to the practical dimensions of life. We will bring these strategies to bear on each vital facet of life. The combination of these approaches in multiple life segments is groundbreaking. When integrated, the result is a series of realistic, workable steps to help you reduce the harmful effects of stress, find a sense of purpose, achieve your goals, and lead a fulfilling life.
But how do we acquire the power to live a balanced and joyful life? We will find the clue in the relationship between three key factors and what I call Areas of Focus or AOFs.
HOW DO WE GET THERE?
Three key factors are essential to achieving your goals and living a life that is satisfying both to you and to those you love. In becoming aware of and concentrating on these three factors, you will be on your way to finding balance and living the life of your dreams, without falling victim to the unhealthy idea that you need to be perfect. In this book, I will explain these three key factors and their importance. These factors are the building blocks necessary to excel in life, work, relationships, and every important area of your life.
As unique as each of us is, with distinct differences and individual traits, most of us would feel we were on the right track if we felt in control of a few particular facets of our lives. I’ve named these facets the Areas of Focus. There are eight AOFs that, if realized to your fullest potential, will enable you live a balanced and joyful life. In the following chapters I will guide you through feeling a sense of contentment in each of these areas.
First, I’ll direct you through the process of acquiring health and wellness from the inside out. We’ll start by working on developing a strong spiritual core from which will flow every other aspect of our lives. The inner strength we gain as a result will be available to rely on in every important facet of life.
Next, we will work on emotional and mental well-being. When we are healthy emotionally, we are able to take care of ourselves physically, give to others, and contribute to society. In addition, to achieve outer as well as inner health, we will focus on physical well-being and taking care of the gift of our bodies.
ADDITIONAL STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
But why stop there? At this point in our journey, while we begin to feel capable, assertive and well-cared for, we will enhance our relationships with others. Beginning with our intimate partners, our powerful love will move on to our children, friends, colleagues and even acquaintances.
Of course, we mustn’t forget about our life’s work. So after focusing on our inner and outer selves and our relationships, we will concentrate on career planning and goals. A healthy, balanced and joyful life is enhanced by loving our work and working out of love with a sense of purpose. You might be surprised to learn that you can accomplish this in any work you do, even while you await the job of your dreams.
In all of this, we will be good to ourselves so that we do not feel rushed or as though we must be perfect, yet we will set goals for ourselves so that we can feel the contentment that comes with success. Of course we will build in time for rest and relaxation. Taking time for fun and enjoyment is crucial if you are going to live a life of joy.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Finally, we will put it all together by exploring how we can accomplish these goals in a more organized, simplified fashion. This will allow us to work smarter and faster as we take time to mold a more peaceful, balanced life of joy. Are you ready to begin a new way of life? I’m so excited to guide you through the process on your way to daily tranquility, stability, and happiness. Read on!