Everywhere nowadays we hear, see, read “be happy” or “be happier” as if it could be added on our to-do list, as if it was something to have or something we don’t have.
But what is happiness? What is the difference with joy?
When I personally understood the difference between happiness and joy, I felt lighter and surprisingly more joyful.
Happiness is external. It depends on circumstances. It’s an emotional response. It’s temporary. It’s having what you want.
On the contrary, joy is internal. It arises from within. It is independent of circumstances. It’s consistent. It’s an act of will. It’s wanting what you have.
So instead of feeling guilty of not being able to be happy or happier, what if we change perspectives and focus on what gives us joy, what lights us up, what animates us within us?
Then it’s not anymore a question of what to do, but a discovery about who we are. Isn’t it less overwhelming and much more exciting?