How to be Ms. Joy Giver not Mr. Joy Thief

Just last week, I was giving a keynote presentation to an audience of about 100 professors, and the topic was CELEBRATE Success: 9 Easy Tips to Pump up Your People B4 They Deflate You. My husband accompanied me to this conference. He was pleased to hear the compliments that I was receiving from these professors as they passed me by. Many of them thanked me for the uplifting message that I had just delivered. I was humbled by their accolades, and grateful that I had ‘pumped them up’ a little.

That same evening while at a dinner party with many of those same professors, my husband and I quietly sat down at our table of six because a conversation was already in progress and we did not want to interrupt it. After a few minutes of them visiting, the gentleman to my right made this comment, “I thought last year’s keynote was better than this year’s keynote.”

Gulp! I swallowed hard, trying my best to hold back the tears that were starting to sting the corners of my eyes. Of course, when he realized that I was the keynote, he tried to backpedal.

Too late. The damage had already been done.

So much for pumping up people… I was deflated!

I remember listening to a Joyce Meyer DVD and she said we could share a message with 100 people, and 99 of those folks will appreciate our message and will tell us so. But when that one person tells us he/she did not like what we had to share, that is the one comment/person we dwell on. Why do we do that to ourselves?

During dinner, I chose to remain quiet (which is not like me at all) while the gentleman to my right, who had deflated me unintentionally, continued to talk about himself. That is when I made the decision to forgive this guy and not allow him to steal my joy. However, please forgive me if this sounds rude, I was so grateful when it was time to leave.

What is the lesson learned from this little story? We must try our hardest to pump others up and to NOT allow anyone to steal our joy. ~Wendy

Below are 5 ways to arrest those joy thieves in your life so you can pump yourself and others up:

Positive Words: Whoever made up that famous children’s chant Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me had clearly never been stabbed by negative words! Like Hawk Nelson sings in his song, “words can build you up, words can break you down…start a fire in your heart or put it out.” Choose to pump yourself and others up with positive words. Be aware of those people who surround you, and proceed to have a life-giving rather than a life-draining conversation. Start a fire in their hearts!

Realistic Expectations: Unrealistic expectations are quick to disappoint which will zap your joy-filled heart. What happens if you are expecting a diamond necklace from your spouse and you get a can-opener instead? How do you respond if you are expecting a 20- dollar tip from the group you just served, and all they leave you are a few bucks? Ouch to both! Kent Julian mentions in his video that we need to remember events + responses = outcomes. The only thing we can control is HOW we respond to life’s events. Pump yourself and others up by choosing positive responses to realistic expectations.

Sincere Empathy: Lead by example with empathy. You never know what others are going through…until you walk a mile in their shoes. We aren’t recommending that because it could be a smelly situation, but we do recommend one of these days taking a moment to see their perspective and do what is right. If you need to–because we all can’t lead all the time–follow the leader who leads by example and with sincere empathy.

Silver Lining: Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be your biggest fan. If you do not believe in yourself, who will and why should they? We cannot depend on the accolades of others to make us successful. Sure the nice words can help persuade us, but only we can decide what success is to us. Don’t wait for the silver lining, be the silver lining.

Contagious Smile: Turn that frown upside down and “spread the cheery-cheeries all over the place.” Remember we all smile in the same language. Sometimes a smile will do wonders, and sometimes all you can do is smile and move on. Put a smile on your face and make the world a better place. 🙂

Until next time… smile! 🙂



Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

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