Ask anyone on the street to define joy, and they might struggle to find a definition. Webster’s dictionary defines it as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. The second definition is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune.
I have a little argument about the second one. While I agree joy is an emotion, I do not believe true joy comes from anything external. If being successful brought you joy, you would never see a celebrity addicted to drugs. If good fortune brought you joy, you would never see a lottery winner lose all their money. So what brings true Joy?
I believe joy is something we create on the inside and express externally. If you wait for some external factor to find joy, what happens if you never win the lottery or become successful? Are you going to be depressed for the rest of your life because you didn’t win the lottery? Perhaps my definition of success is different than most. To be truly successful, you need it in every area of your life; this includes relationships, spirituality, health, and finances.
What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul is an old saying that I love. How many times do we see this happen to aging celebrities? They have based their value on their performance, and when people start forgetting them, they get depressed and start having trouble. Does that mean they weren’t successful? In reality, they have found financial success but never realized it comes from them internally.
Whether people love you or hate you, you can be successful. You don’t have to have a million followers on Instagram to be considered a success. I worry about this next generation. Society has taught them their value is in their face or body’s beauty. What happens if they have an accident and lose their beauty? What if they live past 25?
It’s time for us to realize joy comes from within. Happiness comes from taking a moment to enjoy the beauty around you. Roses fade every year. Does that mean roses aren’t successful in their growth or their purpose? No. They are beautiful for a short time. So are humans. We may live more than a single season, but if you look back over history, our lives are too short. We need to find joy in the little things daily and not focus so much on the superficial.
I read a study once that said 20 seconds of deep laughter would double the heart rate as if you had done 3 minutes of an intense rowing exercise. What if we laughed more? What if we took time to enjoy the little things? How many good chemicals could we fill our bodies with by looking for joy daily? Decide today that you will be happy and look for moments of pleasure.
How do you reconnect with joy, you might ask.
- Learn to say no to those needless obligations.
- stop “Shoulding” all over yourself
- clear your mental clutter
- create a stop-doing list
- engage in 15 minutes of Laugh therapy daily
- play with your kids and your pets.
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