What is your state – Happiness or Joy?

What determines your emotions or state of mind – people, things, family, events, – or your self?

We all love and cherish our relationships. I hope that we all do. We cherish our family and families. I hope that we do. We love gifts when gifted. I hope that we do, else we’ll be looking a gift horse in the mouth. And, of course, we love to attend events for various reasons. Who are we and how do we respond to others, especially those closest to us, when these things are taken away (or not forthcoming) for whatever reason? The answer describes the difference between happiness and joy.

What is Happiness; What is Joy?

Happiness is superficial, external and dependent on something or someone. Joy is internally cultivated, thoughtful, and independent. Being Joyful is constant and a state of contentment irrespective of the externalities (that is, people liking and/or befriending or not, your family dumping accolades on you or not, your boy/girl friend buying you gifts or not, or whether you have money in the bank or not). If joy is constant, happiness is erratic and dynamic.

Someone once said that “happiness is when you’re happy when things (and people) are happening for you, but joyful when nothing is happening.” True or true?

What role does Money play?

Money is a biggie and some people allow it to control their emotions. Sometimes one is able to tell when a friend just got some money. The same friend becomes irritable to be around when s/he is financially broke. This is a developmental thing as well. It takes a level of maturity to be constant with or without anything, especially money. And, yes, we all need money and more money, Bills need to be paid, and without money nothing can be done; not even an ice cream night with friends. I get it.. But why be irritable. One can buy things and even people when we have the money. It therefore becomes a tool used not to benefit humanity but to control.

The BIG Telltale

Constant complaint is a telltale sign of someone who is unhappy about something. Sometimes it feels like they are unhappy with the world. It is not uncommon to hear someone who is unhappy complain and shift blame on another person or thing. They are also fault finders. The truth is that, given the right person or thing, that same unhappy person will find something else to shift the blame on. In essence, it is not the person or thing, but the unhappy person’s state of mind.

One who is joyful, on the other hand, is at peace with themself and often is a grateful individual. I have learned that one who lacks gratitude for life or self or anyone, is often a complainer and one whose happiness is short-lived.

Happiness therefore is good, but Joy is better.

So, how can we cultivate a state of joy?

  1. Learn to be grateful and live a life of gratitude
  2. Be at peace with yourself and others
  3. Avoid arbitrarily complaining
  4. Avoid comparisons - there will always be people who are better, prettier, more financially stable, with more more and more than you. Accept or change it, else you’ll be miserable for life; not a good state to be.
  5. Avoid triggers like fear, stress, jealousy, and envy; these are joy blockers.

Now that you know the differences between Happiness and Joy, where would you prefer to make your residence – chasing happiness or spreading joy?

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