I am sure if you talk to ten people about what they desire most in life, more than half will probably say happiness. I learnt that the word happiness is derived from the same root word for happening. That is really saying, people are generally happy based on what is happening around them or in their life. So if things are going great and they are on top of the world, that results in glad hearts and happy faces.
But joy is a bigger fish, bigger than physical mundane happenings. If you are talking about a joy that comes from within, a joy that things cannot give to you and nothing nor no one can take it away. To take your mind to another level, we call that the joy of the Lord.
So far, I have made a marked distinction between happiness and joy. Happiness goes and comes based on what is happening to you or around you. Therefore, you can be very happy this minute and that emotion can dramatically change the next if something unpleasant happened unexpectedly.
Joy on the other hand is more of an inner personal attribute that is cultivated and developed. The circumstances of life cannot shake nor remove that experience. It is not from surface, but is internal, lasting and strong.
Which is better to have, joy or happiness? Everyone wants to be happy, who doesn’t? But if I have to choose, I would choose joy. As the good book says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength”. When the goings get rough and all hope is gone, joy is there to keep you from crumbling. This joy is that inner strength that keeps you going like an athlete whose legs are saying stop, they can’t go any further, but the mental power says, you can’t stop the race not finish.
The choices the most people make in life put them through un-necessary sorrow and suffering. The minority make choices that bring them more happiness and peace of mind. I totally agree with William Shakespeare who said that life is what we make it to be. We are making choices every day of our lives, knowing or unknowingly. More importantly, these choice are creating our future.
If you choose not to do anything, that is a choice. The people who have joy and happiness, are those who know that they have the power and ability to change the direction of their lives. There is no such thing as opportunity comes but once. There are always opportunities abound. The person who is serious about finding joy and happiness will create opportunities if there is none around.
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