Joy Magnet

Hello fellow Tribe of Uppers! In our ongoing quest to advocate for more joy and keep our emotional bank accounts overflowing, today I would like to offer yet another (gulp) analogy.

In past articles and podcasts, I have lamented how doing kind acts and being ‘up’ is vital for us. If we do good things for others, then we are bound to their reactions and expected reactions for justification. If we do good things because we genuinely love doing them, the deposit into our emotional bank account is accomplished, regardless of the beneficiary’s response.

In a deep think session I had recently, a long forgotten memory popped up in my head. My thinks are really a form of meditation. I just let whatever wants to show up in my mind to have a seat, hang out for awhile and move on when another thought asks for the chair. While on vacation, we went on a whale watching excursion. Humpback whales migrate to the southern tip of the Baha Peninsula, and it was very cathartic to see these majestic creatures swimming around us. This got me thinking about their journey. They migrate thousands of miles each year without a compass. Compass. The thought of a compass took me back to sixth grade and our Outdoor Education class. We went to a camp for a week to learn about the outdoors. I loved every second of it. One of the classes was on orienteering. Using a compass to find a flag in a forest. Our team won. I loved how the compass was always right. In proper orienteering, if you are trying to go due north, one has to find a landmark using the compass. You cannot get there in a straight line, especially if you run into a pond like we did in Outdoor Education. You must count steps going away from true north, that way ensuring you know how far you have to go back once you get past the pond. It is precise and incredibly rewarding. Our reward for capturing the flag back in sixth grade was getting to go through the dinner line first. A wonderful prize after spending a day hiking through the woods.

Compasses are magnetized, which brings me to this article’s title. Magnets both attract and repel. If you have ever played around with magnets, you quickly realize one side will attract a hunk of metal to the magnet and the other side will push it away. I have found joy and positive in our ever-increasing cynical world to be increasingly elusive. So, I have decided to become a joy magnet. I am actively seeking it out. When I find it, I want it to come close to me. In turn, it is of the utmost importance to make sure your magnet is pointing in the right direction, so as to not repel it once it is found.

How do we do this, you may ask? In a previous article, I talked about the concept of ‘be here now.’ If you are truly engaged in where you are and what you are doing, you are pointing your joy magnet in the right direction. If we are distracted by a device or phone, that magnet will repel all the joy around you. Be here now. Be engaged in your surroundings as much as you can. Joy can be like a cat sometimes. It only shows up when it wants, not when you call it. Sometimes, we can go to it, and it will run away (as the owner of 2 rescue cats, I can confirm this to be 100% correct). When it shows up, if we aren’t fully engaged in the moment, we may miss it. Awareness is not unlike muscle. We have to work on it to make it stronger.

Another way to be a joy magnet is to, well, be up. When my emotional bank account is full, I am actively seeking ways to distribute the interest earned on the deposits. Our attitude is a choice my friends. Even when I am having a less than perfect day, I have songs, podcasts, and even a few TikTok videos ready to boost my mood. Everything from a Mike Rowe podcast to a video of fainting pygmy goats to a good old rock and roll song by Tesla can get me out of my funk and back into magnet mode.

Dear friends, be a magnet for joy. It will find you. I promise.

Steve is a Dexter resident and the Owner, Chief Magnetic Officer, Emotional Fiduciary Officer and all-around happy dude at Better Place Consulting, a success coaching company. If you need some orienteering help, reach out to him at

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