What is the difference between joy and happiness? In the words of J.D. Salinger, “happiness is a solid, joy is the liquid”.
Joy is what leads to happiness, and is a feeling that is truly achieved through experiencing adversity.
Fleeting happiness comes from stuff, or shiny objects—whether that be toys, or spiritual experiences. True happiness comes from connection, friendship, service, and overcoming challenges with a sense of purpose, which I call joy.
For example, a father teaching his child how to walk must first lift the child, then he must hold the child’s hand, before finally letting go. This is really hard for the parent to do, yet it’s probably way scarier for the kid, taking that first unassisted step. Joy is when the parent sees their child’s first step; happiness is when the child takes that first step, but then the feeling is gone, it doesn’t last.
However, when someone has lost the privilege or the ability to walk, and they learn how to walk again through hard work and perseverance, they experience a true sense of joy. In turn, this joy leads to true happiness and lasting appreciation.
I find that for me, happiness and joy come from not taking my gifts for granted, whether they be my abilities, my connections, my family, my health, etc. Ultimate joy, for me, is when I’m connecting with others and seeing them succeed.
I used to think happiness was a state of mind, and to some degree, I still agree that it is. Yet I want to say it a bit differently now, because I believe that happiness comes from overcoming adversity with a sense of purpose, a purpose that I call joy, because I know that my hard work isn’t going unrecognized.
This week, let’s appreciate our gifts. Let’s recognize our talents and appreciate those we are connected to. This will enable you to feel joy, which in turn, will help you create a sense of peace and lasting happiness.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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