‘Give yourself new opportunities and do things that scare you, that’s really important for happiness.’
How do you capture happiness? Is it in the memento’s you collect along the way? Or perhaps it’s in the essence of a photograph which forever encases the joy of each moment. Lifestyle blogger Lucy embodies joyfulness on her blog Shiny Thoughts. She creates moments of euphoria by channelling her creativity and letting her optimistic / happy-go-lucky personality shine through her words and images…
What is ‘joy’ to you?
I feel like joy is quite a bleating emotion. One has moments of joy, but I’m not sure it’s something that you can maintain necessarily. I suppose it goes hand in hand with happiness – those are the two words that go together. But I believe happiness is a longer state of mind, whereas joy is more of a short-term feeling. Joy is something that I like to portray, but as an ‘influencer’, I feel like that is my niche and therefore I need to maintain that idea in everything that I put across.
Do you think that joy is something that you would try to offer and create? Is it something that we all work towards?
Definitely! I get joy by knowing that I’ve brought joy to others. When I hear “I look at what you do, and it makes me happy!” I think that’s such a lovely compliment to give someone because there are so many things which don’t make us happy in the world right now, and particularly in the area that I work in. There are a lot of conversations about competitiveness and feeling like you’ve got imposter syndrome. I love the idea that I can be a representative of bringing back that raw emotion of joy. I never want to be seen as a person who makes someone feel bad about themselves or feeling that they need to be better. I love to stand for inclusivity, making people feel good about themselves and showing people that it’s a great thing to portray happiness.
What was it that started this life choice of standing up for inclusivity and implementing happiness?
I’ve always been an optimistic person which seems slightly ironic now because, the older I get, the grumpier I become!
I have to remind myself of what I stand for. As I’m constantly marketing myself like any brand, I need to make sure that everything’s on brand. In that sense, yes that is a choice.I guess it all stemmed from when I was younger, I obviously had the odd mood swing but I’ve always been a happy person, and I’m thankful for that. So, when I started the blog, it was natural to smile, and be excited by the things around me. I bega n to realise that I was quite niche especially when I was regularly being told “you stand for this, so I’m going to come to you for this”, so I take those comments on board and run with it.
Where did the buzz for wanting to share the little moments of joy originally come from?
I was a creative child and I was lucky to have been encouraged by my parents to be creative – that brought me joy. I’ve always been someone who uses their hands to create and I grew up when things were more physical and less digital. I got so much satisfaction out of creating and sharing what I did.. So when I started the blog, the content was centred around beautiful crafts, art exhibitions and so on, as those were the things that I discovered, got inspired by and felt joy. I grew up in Surrey, in an area where artists opened their backdoors and let people in to discover their work. I found that so fascinating, and that sparked the need to share.
Outside of the content you put out, do you find joy in what you share with other people, and what other people are putting out there?
You’re probably going to think this is strange but I don’t really read other blogs. Although if I read them and dedicate the time, I get so much joy out of it. If I read a couple of my favourite blogs, I just feel so inspired and just think wow, they’re amazing! What they’re producing is so amazing and I can do something like that. But I tend not to make time for it. What I do tend to love indulging in – when I let myself – is frankie magazine, an Australian publication. They do these interiors, like people’s homes. And I just LOVE looking into people’s homes, so that’s my other joy haha.
Outside of everything, what would you say are the key priorities in life and key factors that influence one’s state of happiness? When you’re 75 and at a BBQ – what would you like to look back on?
Being inquisitive, being creative and reminding yourself that you do only have one of these lives, and it’s moments like that where I think “oh my god, I’m going into the second-half of my 20’s!
I haven’t even travelled yet, like young people are meant to do!” So, I think that ensuring that you give yourself new opportunities and do things that scare you, that’s really important for happiness. You mustn’t just stick to what you know. I think it’s very important to try, always be a believer in working at what you’re passionate about and don’t waste time in painful situations. I very much believe that opportunities will happen. Maybe I’m just very lucky, but things tend to work out for me quite well sometimes haha. I managed to find an amazing place to live because I persisted and said no to all the others and then found the right one. I got a job from the first role I applied for – it’s mad stuff like that gives me a quiet confidence that helps me feel like things will happen. Hopefully I’ll have great opportunities that I will be proud of when I’m 75 and at that BBQ!
I’d love to say a huge thank you to Lucy for sharing what brings you joy and giving us all a little reminder that we all need to step out of our comfort zones and live the fullest life we can.
Whether big or small, I would love to hear from you all on what ‘joy’ is to you. If you wish to share your story, send to firstname.lastname@example.org