The Joy Thieves

Joy Thieves are everywhere and they’re usually camouflaged which makes them really tough to spot.

So, what are Joy Thieves, I hear you ask (okay, maybe you don’t care but I’m going to tell you anyway)?

Well, Joy Thieves are what I call the little things in our lives that create a massive decrease in happiness levels.

The first biggest mistake we all make in our search for happiness is to assume that just because we’re not hungry, cold and don’t have a terminal illness, it automatically means that we must feel ecstatic all the time. The second biggest mistake we make is that it takes a huge change to create a difference in our happiness levels.

A really good Joy Thief example from my own life is my hair and the regularity of bad hair days. This might not sound like a big problem compared to let’s say not having enough to eat or a place to live but I’ve realized that just because I’m not as badly off as some of the people in this world, it doesn’t automatically make me feel thrilled about my life.

You may have heard of Malcolm Gladwell (who also seems to have troubles with his hair) and his fantastic book The Tipping Point, which is essentially about how little  changes can make a big difference. Gladwell says that one of the reasons he wrote the book is to inspire people to start ‘positive epidemics’.

In his website, Gladwell proclaims,”The virtue of an epidemic, after all, is that just a little input is enough to get it started and it can spread very,very quickly.”

In the spirit of starting my own positive epidemic, I’m determined to identify my personal Joy Thieves so I can create a huge wave of happiness with little effort.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far and what I’m doing about it:

Horrible Hair

I have wavy hair and I live in a humid climate – needless to say the two don’t mix. If I don’t blowdry and apply product my hair tends to curl up in every conceivable direction – needless to say, this makes me want to scream every time I look in the mirror.

Solution: Tried going for a weekly blowdry at the salon and it turned out to be too expensive and time consuming so I’m currently learning to blowdry my own hair and have invested in an anti-frizz product that works.

Jump in Joy: 7/10

Cleaning

Unlike some people, I don’t naturally pair the word domestic with the word bliss. I hate hate hate doing housework – the mopping, the dusting, the ironing and the general cleaning. The Engineer is given to bouts of cleaning fits but isn’t the type to do it everyday. As a result, our house often winds up looking a little more pig sty and a little less palace.

Solution: We recently hired a domestic to come in every other week to keep things from entering the crazy cluttered territory.

Jump in Joy: 8/10

Workspace

When I started working from home, I used the dining room table as my workspace. This made the entire living area in my apartment look messy and unwelcoming. It also had an adverse psychological effect on me. Every time I walked in the front door, I felt like I had entered an office and was forced to deal with a powerful awful urge to sit at my computer and work!

Solution: I have converted one of the rooms into an office space and had great fun shopping at IKEA for this reason. It’s nothing fancy, just office supplies, a place to store my files and everything neatly arranged and within reach but it definitely works for me.

Jump in Joy: 8/10

So there you have it – little changes, big jumps in joy. There are many more Joy Thieves lurking in my life and my aim is to shine a spotlight on each one and I’ll share them here once I do. It’s such an easy path to more happiness, I just have to take it!

Pics credit: my.telegraph.co.uk; diminishinglucy.com; anythingabteverything.wordpress.com

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2 Comments on “The Joy Thieves”

  1. Thank you – am feeling very enthused to fight back with my Joy thieves (not eating healthily at the weekend, and the plants in my balcony dying because I never water them)

  2. Trisha Rajah says:

    Dear Angel,

    I’m so glad you found my Joy Thieves concept helpful. I’m still struggling with my some of my Thieves (specifically the Hair problem!) but I feel pleased to have identified them at least : )


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