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Happiness…joy…happiness…joy. Are they the same thing or aren't they? What do you think? What is the difference between happiness and joy?
Now, I used to think that if I had a million dollars I would be happy. So, I set out to make a million dollars (and, surprise surprise I never did). Would that million dollars have solved all of my ‘problems' and made me happy? (We will never know will we). What I do know is this…if I would have relied on that money being the source or ALL that I needed and desired…I would have still been a sad and miserable person. Because as the old saying goes ‘Money can't buy happiness' and money was NOT the root cause of what ailed me for sure!
Happiness is what happens TO us. Happiness is something that we look for, desire and/or pursue…but it is totally based on external factors. If you did not get what you wanted or a situation did not go according to plan…you are not happy,
Joy, on the other hand, is a choice that you make. You CHOOSE joy regardless of what happened or did not happen. Joy happens when you can make peace with who you are, what you have, and what you think are lacking/missing.
Joy is not a byproduct of happiness. Happiness does not bring joy. Joy is much greater than happiness. Scripture tells us: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control; Against such things there is now law.' Galatians 5:22-23. Joy is a byproduct of faith in God.
Now, you may not believe what the Bible has to say on the subject and that's ok. Regardless of what you believe, joy is inside everyone. It is your untapped reservoir of potential. The potential to look beyond all the stuff of life and to look inward and what is inside of YOU. Rather than living in a state of misery or unhappiness, you CHOOSE joy.
It does not mean that you can't feel sadness, anger, or fear. It DOES mean that joy can, and will, share a space with all of the other emotions. You can feel sad and choose joy…both at the same time.
Happiness is not there when you face difficulty, sadness or fear. Happiness relies on the things of life to be going according to the way you think they should. Your perceptions of good…brings happiness. On the other hand, joy will bring to life peace and contentment, even in the face of unhappiness.
When you combine happiness and joy…if happiness is fleeting and elusive…you forget to choose joy. Maybe it's easier to watch tv, kick back and drink some alcohol, take drugs or eat your way to what you are seeking. Rather than shifting your mind from the ‘glass half empty' mentality to the ‘glass half full' mentality.
Spend some time seeking to find reasons to be grateful and thankful. And, once you find those reasons, and hang onto them, you will find gratitude. Once you find gratitude…choosing joy is not far behind.
Sometimes you might need to do something different in order to clear your head and mind so that you can find the joy. Such as:
Compassion International put this in their post about Child Sponsorship. And, I love it.
And there you have it. The last line above says it all –
And when stress sets in it is sometimes difficult to be happy or joyful. So, please don’t let stress have the last word!
Go on and grab the FREE ‘Stress Reducing Action Plan’. So that you too can get on the path of living a joyful life.
Joyful Living is ALL about not letting let the circumstances of YOUR life determine who you really are. You learn to choose YOU instead! Not sure how to do that? Let me help!
To begin, go ahead and read:
HAPPINESS VS JOY PIN