What are you doing to find your true joy? This year my One Little Word is “True” and I am finding out what that word means to me in my day to day life, my relationships, my work, how I talk, and my heart. There is a lot of talk about finding happiness, but what about joy?
Is there a difference between joy and happiness? According to Diffen.com, “Happiness is an emotion in which one experiences feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure.” Those are based on earthly and attainable things. Nothing wrong with that, but Joy “is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness. Witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice frequently triggers this emotion.”
Excitement over ice cream, completing a project on time, or getting something you have wanted are all triggering that happy place. There is nothing wrong with the happy place, but it is fleeting. Joy on the other hand is deeply rooted inside. There is a sense of satisfaction, peace and contentment. Joy is the feeling you get when you help someone who needs it or the pride of accomplishing something difficult.
Martha Beck talks about the illusion of faux happiness. “Intense excitement is what Asian philosophy might call the “near enemy” of true joy—something that looks like the genuine article but is in reality its evil twin. When a gift recipient or jackpot winner starts shaking, screaming, or hyperventilating, we call it happiness, but actually it’s evidence that their neurological fight-or-flight mechanism has been triggered.” It’s an interesting idea that what people are really into is the addicting power of happiness.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha
I think that simple stuff can make a bad day happier and that is worth seeking out. In fact, I believe wholeheartedly in the pursuit of happiness, but joy warms your heart and lasts just a little bit longer. So, go for the good stuff, but also go for the lasting stuff. At least that is true for me and what I want in my life.
I’ll be exploring what True means to me all year through the One Little Word project and with that I will be looking towards what brings me True Joy. Let the journey towards “True” begin! What brings you true joy? We will be talking about it over on Facebook. Join us.