Choose Joy

Joy and why it is more important than Happiness

You remember the comic strips from Awkward Yeti? The ones where Brain is sad looking at the past and Heart is asking Brain to live in the present. Well if you haven’t then you really should check out Awkward Yeti. There are some really cool comic stripes.

Living in time
Living in time

Coming back to the topic of Happiness and Joy. I am sure you must have read way too many articles regarding Happiness and its noble pursuit. But that’s how Happiness is always portrayed. As a pursuit. As a destination. As a goal to be achieved.

Mostly we believe that if I get that job or pay raise or a life partner then we will finally be happy. And don’t get me wrong. We do get happy when we finally lose that stubborn weight and reach our goal weight. We get happy when we get that job or that raise or a dream partner. The happiness comes but then it doesn’t last. We soon start looking for the next goal that will get us more happiness. The next house, the next promotion, the new addition to the family. It can be anything.

The pursuit continues.

We do get to experience Happiness once in a while. But we never get to stay there for long. It’s like riding on a train where happiness is the stations. New Job station. Graduation station. Marriage station. When we reach the station, we get to experience happiness for a while. But then the train starts to move again towards the next station.

The joy on the other hand is what we do while we are sitting on the train waiting for the next station. We can make our journey more comfortable. Maybe listen to some favourite music. Read a book or two. Or just sit and chat with others. Even just sitting next to the window and watching the landscape pass by can be pretty awesome.

Or we can be squished in the middle seat with both the armrests occupied by co-passengers. Or there might be a crying infant or an over-enthusiastic kid practising his football kicks sitting right behind you. You know what I mean because you have experienced this some time or the other in your life. We all have.

But no matter how pleasant or painful the journey may be, the Happiness station is just the same. It doesn’t matter if you arrived in comfort or in pain, you get the same amount of happiness before you start your journey again.

Why Joy is Important

Let’s take a different example.

Let’s say I am working towards a goal. It may be losing my weight or writing a book. I am doing both at the moment buts lets pretend its hypothetical scenario.

Reaching my goals is like reaching the ‘Happiness Station’ and what I am doing right now is the journey on the train.

If I hate writing or hate my exercise routine then I am miserable on my way to the destination. I might manage to be super disciplined and finish my workout routines and writing targets every day despite hating every moment doing it. Then I might get the Happiness I am craving so much but even that Happiness will not last forever. And then when the euphoria fades, I will start questioning if the struggle was worth it. Will I be willing to endure all the pain and tears and sweat again if I knew the prize at the end is only temporary?

Now the entire scenario will change if I actually pick a workout routine that I enjoy even if it doesn’t help me lose weight fast. I will stick to the routine and the happiness will get enhanced by the joy of doing something I love.

Many times when we are working towards a worthy goal, we may not enjoy the process. We still endure it because we know there is Happiness waiting for us at the end. But if there is a possibility of making the journey even a little bit better, we must do everything in our power to do that.

Finding Joy in what we are doing is very important. And sometimes its really difficult. But just like we do everything in our capacity to make our journey a bit more comfortable, it important to make our journey towards Happiness a bit more Joyful.

Happiness is future expectations. Joy is living in the moment.

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