“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” Albert Ellis
Joy, what is it?
Is joy happiness? Is joy the sustained sense of well-being that we experience when our needs are met and some of our wants are met? Is joy a sense of contentment in the midst of all of life’s circumstances?
Some people would say that joy has no definition, it is a state of mind that defies description. It is a feeling that is different for every person. Let’s look at an example, two stewardesses on a plane with basically the same job, the same pay, the same circumstances and yet one is happy and the other is grumpy. The conditions on the plane are the same for both stewardesses, yet one is happy and the other isn’t. What is the difference?
Where does joy come from? Does joy come from things outside of you? Joy seems to be manufactured by the interpretation of the situation you see yourself in right now. If you find yourself being anxious, upset, worried, fretting, angry, or depressed about how things are in your life there will be little space for joy. If you find yourself at peace with what you have and where you are in life right now then you’ll probably sense some joy and happiness.
The difference it seems between feeling joy and not having joy is about taking responsibility for joy. If you take 100% responsibility for your life then you will start experiencing more joy in your life. Responsibility means that you are doing all that you can to create the outcomes you want in life for you. It means that you are giving more, you are more concerned with others than yourself. It means that you give with the expectation of getting nothing in return.
For many people getting more stuff provides some level of increased happiness yet that only lasts a short amount of time. Hedonic adaptation takes over and that new car, new home, new bike, new clothes, or new something only has a short impact on happiness. So while new things provide momentary happiness that happiness dissolves within a relatively short amount of time and as a result there is an increased sense of dissatisfaction which increases the pressure to get a happiness fix.
The responsibility equation replaces those momentary happiness fixes with a sense of long-lasting joy. That is taking 100% responsibility for all things, giving more and doing more. Think about it, what would living the 100/0 equation do for you?
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