How to Choose Joy

This is the followup of my most recent blog, read that one first!

Yesterday I defined the difference between the emotion, “happiness” and the choice, “joy”. Simply put, happiness, as awesome as it is, is a fleeting emotion, it doesn’t last long. Joy, on the other hand, is less of an emotion, and more of a way to live life. You can choose joy, while you can’t always choose happiness.

So then how does one choose to live joyously? Looking at peaceful and content people from the outside, it seems like joy just kinda happens to someday, like wrinkles and receding hairlines. However, this is not the case. Joy is something that must be worked towards. It often comes down to making a conscious decision that no matter what happens, you will remain as peaceful and as content as you can.

That’s easy to say, but a lot harder to do. I asked some people their tips on how to live joyously, and here’s what they told me.

My most common answer was to always remember that life is fleeting, and that events that seem like tragedies in the moment, are often forget about years later. The best thing you can do when you feel overwhelmed or trapped is to breathe, remember that this will not last forever.

Another common piece of advice was to find someone to live joyously with. Life works best when you live it with others. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be married, but make sure to surround yourself with people who radiate the qualities of peace: contentment and peace.

The final trick to living a joyful life, according to those who have, is to pursue your dreams. Not in the silly, Disney way, but in the practical world. Find what you were meant to do, and do it to the fullest. Whether that’s being a Missionary in Africa, or making sure that every customer gets their best meal, follow that passion with everything you’ve got.

I want to make it very clear that I am not currently living a joyous life. That’s why I decided to ask others for their tips, rather than try to make up my own. I’m learning how to choose joy too! So tomorrow, I’m going to decide to live with joy. And I encourage all of you to do the same.

And as always my friends, choose JOY.

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