The Secrets To A Joyful Life

By Miles Patrick Yohnke
Original release February 19, 2010
Update April 3, 2017

A Joyful Life

This article is dedicated to the memory and life of Mr. Stuart McLean. Aside from his talents and accomplishments in many fields, Mr. McLean was also host of the long time radio program "The Vinyl Cafe" on CBC Radio in my home country of Canada. Mr. McLean was a wonderful man and a brilliant storyteller whom I looked forward to hearing each and every week. My article "A Joyful Life" was one of his favourites. He touched millions of lives and although he may be gone, his life and memory shall live on.

R.I.P Mr. Stuart McLean. With the utmost respect and so deserved appreciation for your life.

Miles Patrick Yohnke on his bicycle

I've never seen a u-haul behind a hearse. The only thing you take with you when you're gone is what you leave behind. We are slapped when we come into this world and they shovel dirt on us in the end. This is our life. Everyone's life. These are the bookends of life. But what really matters is what goes on in the middle. That we are passionate people. That we are caring people. That we LIVE!

The people I've been privileged to watch succeed have intensity about them. They demand everything from themselves. They show up everyday, in fact every moment, and they are accountable to themselves. Everything they do has a hard statement, and they know when to stop. Very impressive.

Real beauty is found in oneself. That's the tranquil beach. The beautiful sunset. It's not a location, the location is you. To travel is to travel inward. That's the ultimate vacation.

Turn your weaknesses into your strengths. Success is failure turned inside out. We need to find a deeper meaning in life. Our duty, as artists, is to tap into those notes that resonate in us all. Not to sleep walk through life, like an outpatient program; but to strike a chord.

We can't catch kindness in a net or a gun. When kindness is given to you, it's by choice. One must adopt an attitude of gratitude.

We can become prisoners of self. One must dig tunnels; escape one's own mind. We get just this one life. We have to stop doing time but live lives like we planned in our youth. No matter where we are, how old, we can always reach our dreams.

All your life you're going to be judged, what matters is keeping your soul intact and making work that matters. We have to stop telling people what we are going to do, what we have not yet accomplished, and tell them instead what we have accomplished. Only in this way can we be accountable for our actions. I am not accountable for achievements I have not yet reached, but I am what I have accomplished.

It's when we stop forcing it ... trying to impress, that we really shine through; we start having strong people like us, just fall into our laps - and those that are weak are empowered by the tone of our voice. Get off your knees and do. Words without action is death. One has to stop sitting in the back, waiting. Come to the front. The front row of life.

A joyful life. My mother told me at a very young age, "Miles, we are placed on this planet to help others. Go out and help others." So, it is by her words that I try to shape and reshape my life. Yes, each day we will be challenged by indifferent people and for the most part it isn't their fault.

We are just so conditioned by life (media, society) to live like caveman or barbarians (non-contemplating spoon-fed society). To live like the subjects in mindless beer commercials. Their ideals perhaps "you deserve better, more than another, you are the most important." After a while we believe it.

Brainwashed. Let's have "fun." Fun? Fun is a limiting word. Why would one limit their existence to only this? Is that all we appreciate for the life we've been given?

Life is a 24/7 celebration of the word itself (existence). So maybe one needs to replace the word "fun" (a word created by media to keep you down, to bait you, to sell you things, tell you what you need) to the word "joyful." Maybe we could be way happier if we lived a life that from each waking day till sleep time is joyful.

You get but one life. We are each only given one shot at getting it right in the long run. Find a job you love and you'll start to bring joy to yourself and all others in your life. Words are either negative or positive.

Could it be that all this time "fun" is really a negative word and "joy" a positive one? Perhaps a little rethinking is in order.

Copyright 2010 Miles Patrick Yohnke - All Rights Reserved.

Miles Patrick Yohnke photographs by Marcel Toews

Miles Patrick Yohnke is a globally recognized motivational author, poet, and mentor with a wealth of life experience. His philosophies and materials are used in schools in Africa, India, and the United States. They are used by preachers in their pulpits. They have been read on National radio and featured in countless publications.

If you are looking at developing your career, Yohnke offers consulting in person, by phone or via email. For more info, please contact Miles directly at: 306.227.6379

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