“Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.” – Andre Gide

It’s fair to say many of us are conflicted about joy. We love it, but don’t often have or make the time for it. Or we associate joy with something outside of ourselves.

Here in the states our Declaration of Independence guarantees “the pursuit of happiness,” yet messages abound that it’s located in the acquisition of goods, the quick fix of addiction or the high of achievement – to name a few.

Thankfully that’s not true. Research supports that the cultivation of positive experiences through simple, ordinary means is the key to a long and flourishing life. These experiences are not only a “moral obligation,” but a vital and necessary ingredient to health and happiness.

Start small. A stroll around the neighborhood will do nicely. Just be sure to leave the cell at home. Instead, take in the sounds around you. Smile at a stranger. When it comes to positivity, the little things add up.

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