The Basis for Joy

26 Aug

If you’ve ever worked for me, you know there is something I say all. the. time.


In a business situation, I think about this when I’m giving my boss or a client an update. You can’t assume their head is where your head is at the moment so don’t just jump right into a conversation. Pause and start from the beginning – or tell a story – one that has a start, middle and end. Or in business, a problem, a solution and a result.

On a personal level, I’m going to start from the beginning with you. Right now. This is how I grew up with a heart for joy.

When I was in junior high, we lived in a suburb of Flint, Michigan. My dad worked for Buick Motor Division, so it made sense for us to be there. It was a nice suburb where I was given many privileges. The ability to play outside for hours with friends, take dance and tennis lessons, roller skate to Diana Ross and swim in our neighbors pool.

During this time, we had a black lab named Maggie. We trained her to do her business down “at the dirt.” We had a huge backyard complete with a walking path through the trees and a little stream with a bridge. My parents didn’t want Maggie to ruin the yard so we used to walk with her off leash through the backyard to a wide open space with… dirt. That is where she did her biz.

Maggie, being a young lab, never did anything quickly so sometimes you were out there at night for quite a while. This time is what I remember being very pivotal for me and how I found true joy that would become a part of me forever.

At 12 or so years old, I would (very vocally begrudgingly) take Maggie out to the dirt at night before bed. I’d have much rather been watching MTV. But I would slip on some flip flops and whistle for Maggie who would run with me through the yard. We were careful to make sure the sprinklers weren’t on having learned that the hard way.

I’d stand out at the dirt and be overwhelmed by the star studded sky. I felt so small in comparison. I used to raise my 12 year old hands over my head, close my eyes and think to myself “I can go as high as that.”

How my young soul knew to think that and think it with conviction and with my whole body, I don’t know. Actually, I may have an idea but we’ll talk about that later.


This has been in my head and as part of me for as long as I can remember. It is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it formed a GROWTH mindset in me. I can do what I put my mind to and I was meant for big things. A curse because I’m never satisfied that I’ve reached “high enough” yet.

I share this experience with you because there are lessons we can pull from if you didn’t have a similar belief or experience growing up. Here are 3 things to consider:

  • Confident hope stated as truth breeds true everlasting joy
  • Having a grandiose goal that you reinforce daily points your brain 🧠 in right direction
  • You have to believe this yourself – it can be reinforced by others (parents) but it has to come from you

So what do you do with this information and how could it help you now?

  1. Where do you want to go? Even if it is as vague as “up.” I told myself over and over that I was going somewhere.
  2. What do you know to be true about yourself? You work harder than everyone else, you’re driven by honesty and integrity, you are passionate and driven towards … what?
  3. Put together your own mantra of sorts that is short and focused on where you want to go. It can be grand and open or very focused. confident hope. Here are some examples:

I got this

I can finish with honors

I can go as far as I want

I’ll make x next year

I can go as high as the sky

Let’s go back to the beginning. This is where joy started for me. This confident goal to myself. And I’m doing it. One of the most special comments ever made to me was from a mentor and boss I had in the agency world. One of the most important people in my life as far as influencing me to be a good leader and manager. I had made some sugar scrub as a weekend project (hahaha) and brought some jars in for some of the guys wives. And he said to me: “Amy no matter what you do whether it is making sugar scrub or leading our social media department, I know you can do whatever you put your mind to extremely well.”

The last thing you can do is if you are reading this and you have kids- give them the tools they need to have this kind of set up in life. One that sets joy up as a base at an early age in their life.

2 Responses to “The Basis for Joy”

  1. jim hardick August 26, 2019 at 9:22 am #

    That was a very good read! Hope all is going great with you Amy.

    • Amy Fulford August 26, 2019 at 9:27 am #

      Jim it is so good to hear from you! How are you doing?? Thank you very much for reading!

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