Toys can bring us joy if we keep the proper perspective.

Rudy the island dog has a daily ritual that fills him with immense joy. After he eats his breakfast, he stands by his toy box eagerly awaiting his first toy of the day. As soon as he gets it, he races full speed to the other end of house. He chews on it a bit, then casually drops it and walks away. He loves his toys, but he may like racing around with his prize even more.

We all love our toys, don’t we?

And like Rudy, we especially love the anticipation of getting new stuff. We love plotting and planning, even obsessing about getting the perfect things. But inevitably our toys lose their initial excitement.

Our once-loved possessions turn into irritating clutter that takes up space and drains our time and energy. We have to clean, dust and move them around. Eventually, many of those must have items wind up in a storage bin or the trash.

So it’s no wonder the joy is diminished.

Now I’m not advocating that you give up your toys altogether. Rudy and I would both be sad about that! But it might be possible for them to maintain their appeal a bit longer. And it’s certainly possible for you to look at your toys with a new perspective.

Here are 7 ways to get more joy from your toys:

1. Keep them precious.

When you have too many toys, it’s hard to value the individual splendor and unique beauty of each one. By limiting your indulgences to a precious few, you will cherish them even more.

2. Take good care of them.

Fully enjoy and appreciate your toys. After all, you probably had to work real hard to get them. Or someone cared enough about you to give them to you. So treat them with respect.

3. Be grateful.

Be thankful for all the toys you’re privileged enough to own. Don’t waste time thinking about what you don’t have. Practice an abundance mindset and even more goodness will flow your way.

4. Keep them in their rightful place.

Imagine your home as a beautiful island. There’s only so much room on your beach for the stuff  you love. Plus, you want to keep your island home nice and uncluttered.

5. Know your true worth without your toys.

Don’t let your things define who you are as a person. They’re just things, no matter how beautiful or cool they may be. What’s on the inside of you will always be more valuable.

6. Share with others.

Try not to be selfish with your toys. Give others the opportunity to enjoy them too. Donating your goodies to a worthy cause has even been shown to make you happier.

7. Let them go.

Don’t become too attached to your stuff. There may come a time when you outgrow your toys. Or maybe they no longer serve their purpose. That’s when you know it’s time to pass them on.

I know it’s popular these days to live a minimalist lifestyle and cut your possessions to the bare bones. With good reason! Too much stuff can certainly weigh us down. And we sure don’t want our toys to hold us hostage or control our lives. But there’s nothing wrong with having things we love.

We know that toys will never replace the deeper joys of life like loving relationships, meaningful work and finding tranquility. But they can be useful in a lot of ways, like making our lives easier and more fun.

When kept in their proper perspective, it’s okay to find joy in your toys.

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