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Close your eyes and imagine your dream world. No smartphone bill. No laundry, errands, or parking tickets. Good health. The freedom to get up and go, whether it’s to Europe or the ethnic market down the street. A lifetime of Saturday mornings, with no Mondays in sight. Smiling, happy family members and unlimited hours to spend with them. Strangers who greet you on every street corner. A house that feels like a home and a career that feels like a good fit. Oh, and dishes that magically wash themselves.

Now, open your eyes. Look out the nearest window. See that hustle and bustle out there? Do you see the cars and the trees and the occasional litter? The imperfect grey sky? Do you hear the commotion and the honking of horns? That may seem light years away from the utopia you’ve just imagined. It’s not. Here’s how to transform your life into your dream life. Welcome to the world of joytopia.

The real world has its flaws. There are the ups and downs, the light and dark, the good and bad, all tugging at you and making things a lot more complicated than you’d like. But here’s the kicker: even if your dream world became your real world, the dualities wouldn’t go away.

Sure, your day-to-day may not be riddled with financial worries or health issues if you got everything you hoped for. You might have the perfect job and family in this dream. But what you can’t change is your humanity, and regardless of how perfect your life’s circumstances may be, we as humans are inherently programmed to respond to them with a plethora of emotions and reactions that complicate the perfect picture. What’s a perfect world when you haven’t figured out how to best interact with it? You can’t escape your nature. The best way to change your real world into utopia, then, is to engage in a little joytopia.

When we greet the world with empathy, compassion, courage, and hope, a funny thing happens to the blasé life outside our window: it looks better!

When we frame our life in happiness and optimism, our daily commute turns into an excuse to listen to our favorite music, and our trip to the grocery store becomes a culinary adventure. By infusing a little curiosity, courage, and faith into your world, you’ll slowly begin to find the good, utopian parts of your life, rather than focusing on what doesn’t satisfy you. When that happens, you’re approaching joytopia.

In joytopia, empathy, compassion, hope, and intrigue rule the roost. Yes, the circumstances of your life may not be perfect. Your job may still disappoint you, and your friends might cancel on a night when you could really use some company. But by letting these positivity-breeding values guide you, you can overcome these hurdles and see the world for the beautiful, complex, imperfect place that it truly is. After all, what do the perfect job, love life, and body mean if we’re not able to appreciate them? Live your life in joytopia, and you’ll quickly find that the circumstances don’t matter as much as the outlook. So go ahead, embrace the commotion outside your window!

Fellow happiness seeker, I’d love to hear about the ways in which your life is joytopia. What euphoria can you find in your everyday existence?


Lisa Cypers Kamen is acclaimed for her engaging blend of positive and spiritual psychology coaching, workshops, and philanthropic projects. Through her books, radio show, media appearances, and inspiring documentary films, such as H Factor: Where Is Your Heart?, Lisa recently launched Harvesting Happiness for Heroes, a non-profit corporation dedicated to bringing integrated psychology coaching tools and mindfulness training to Veterans and their loved ones. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, ABC and CBS television, Yahoo News, and Money Watch. You can visit Lisa on her website, Facebook or Twitter.

*Photo Credit: GabrielaP93 via Compfight cc