How To Help Others Follow Their Joy

Being a coach is such an honor. I get to work side-by-side with my clients who truly want to live their best lives! And one of the cool bonuses of being a coach is that I get to learn from my clients every day.

Recently a client taught me about the importance of supporting others in following their joy. It’s such a simple concept, but I don’t know that I fully understood it…until now.

Family tension

On a recent session, this client was discussing an upcoming family visit to see her mother-in-law who lived out of town. You could tell on the phone that she was uptight and anxious about this visit and all that it entailed. The dread in her voice spoke volumes.

Once we dug underneath the surface, it became clear that what my client was bothered about most of all were the “details.” Her mother-in-law kept calling her with questions in preparation for the visit with things like: “What type of food will the kids want?,” “Which museums should we visit?,” “When is bedtime for the kids?,” “What size shoes do they wear now?,” etc. This was bugging my client at a core-level, as she just wanted the visit to be stress-free and without all the questions and fanfare.

But as we talked more, together my client and I uncovered that it was “the details” that gave this mother-in-law her joy. She loved buying gifts for the kids, she loved preparing just the right meals that everyone would enjoy; she loved the idea of creating a perfect week for her children and grandchildren whom she loved so much.

So with an “a-ha!” moment that literally leaped from the phone, my client said, “Wait! When I’m bothered by these questions and avoid her phone calls, I am not allowing my children’s grandma to follow her joy!” She came to her own conclusion and realized that all these years she had been more of a hinderance in her mother-in-law’s path toward joy.

Going along for the ride

When I asked what she’d like to do about this, she enthusiastically exclaimed: “I want to go along for the ride rather than be a roadblock!”

Wow. I couldn’t have said it better myself. So my client welcomed each future phone call from her mother-in-law, knowing that all those “details” were simply representative of a woman following her joy.

The following week, my client even mentioned to me that she’d play into the conversation, too, by saying things on the phone call like, “Jimmy loves when you have his favorite popsicles in the freezer, so it would be great if you could have those on-hand as well.” The mother-in-law couldn’t have been more delighted to be of service in this area, and it was my client who was helping her embrace that joyful feeling.

The family visit turned out to be very enjoyable and stress-free. There is such wisdom in letting others be who they are and ride the wave with them.

I know what it means to follow my joy, and I know I can do a better job at making sure I’m fully supporting others in following their joy. Again, it’s a pretty simple concept, but one that can be easy to lose sight of, especially when we’re all coming from a different perspective in life.


When you’re interacting with the people you love, take a moment to think about what it is that brings them joy (if you know them even a little bit, you’ll be able to pick up on the clues). And then make sure you are supporting and rallying them on their journey; “going along for the ride,” rather than being a roadblock. To that other person, it will be a subtle gift (that they may not even be able to put their finger on) that will make them feel good, heard, valued, and uplifted. The world needs more of that!

Special thanks to my wonderful clients who are willing to do the work it takes to live a great life! They routinely teach me about humility and grace, as well as remind me of how powerfully amazing life can be when you’re following your joy.

Note: If you want to learn about the great work that some of my clients have been up to, go here!

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8 Responses to “How To Help Others Follow Their Joy”

  • Bill says:

    Excellent story, and what a great lesson!

    Just because we don't understand someone else's joy doesn't mean we shouldn't support them. It's easy to judge and be a roadblock, but it's effortless to "go along for the ride."

    How aweseome would it be if we were all able to support one another in our own unique quest for joy?!

  • Connie says:

    This article helped me more than you will ever know. I will work harder on enjoying the ride… more roadblocks (or at least I'll try!)

    I love that you share your life with me like this Michelle…..just makes me appreciate you even more and cherish the blessing!

  • Anonymous says:

    This one is my favorite. Thank you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, once again when I'm feeling a down, I read your blog and my heart lifts. You've just reaffirmed how important it is for me to follow my joy and to help others follow their joy as well.

  • Artem says:

    Great story and great lesson that I actually will apply in my life as I know I am impatience and with being impatient you naturally create road blocks for others. Thanks Michelle!

  • Amy says:

    Wow, Michelle! This really hits home for me. This story could be about me! Thanks so much for continuing to give me Aha! moments.

  • Sam Richter says:

    I really enjoyed this post and it's a great reminder that you get more "what's in it for you" when you think "what's in it for them." Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks for all the great insights, everyone! I'm so happy to know that when I share the things that I learn (those "aha" moments)…it is helpful to others as well. We can all learn from each other, and that's what this life is all about!

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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