The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness. We wish for it, look for it, dream about it, and toast to it. We plan for it and we hope it comes our way. Some people try to buy it. We can be the cause of it for others. It can be created, and it should be nurtured.

Most often we are found pursuing it. But does anyone ever find happiness?

Perhaps it is not actually happiness we are pursuing, but joy.

Happiness is a state of contentment. Being happy is momentary. Happiness is affected by outside forces.

Joy, by comparison, comes from within. It is the elation that lasts. It is an underlying, good feeling that never seems to disappear. It is peacefulness in knowing you are satisfied with your life. Joy is a deeper feeling, not a passing emotion, and creates a greater sense of well-being.

When people speak of being truly happy and fulfilled in life, they most often mean that they have found the joy within themselves.

But how do you get from momentary happiness to lasting joy? The answer is simple to give, but can take time to achieve as it requires a change in habits. To find joy, you must be open to seeing all the little sparks of happiness, which combine to create an overall feeling of joy in your life.

Being successful, whatever that may mean to you, can make you happy and can also contribute to your joy.

Good fortune however, has nothing to do with it. The luck of winning a prize will give you a moment of happiness, but the feeling will fade.

Possessions are not where you will find joy. Too much effort is put into the accumulation of material things. An item may bring you brief happiness, but in the long term, will not bring you joy.

Not that any of the above items are necessarily bad things, but they are often the focus of our lives, and we miss the simple pleasures that are right in front of us that create true joy. We are too busy pursuing happiness, when what we truly aspire to achieve is joy.

Happiness comes and goes. People are pursuing that feeling, though it is fleeting. Joy is what lasts and will not be found in material success or wealth.

You can choose to be happy, and have a positive outlook. This choice will enable you to find happiness in your everyday life. Open your eyes and your mind to see all the simple moments in your day that create happiness: the smell of fresh coffee, the quiet of the morning air, the smile of your spouse, a hug from your child.

Now, think of these small moments combined, and feel the overall sense of joy and peace of mind.

Knowing what you are truly pursuing, seek out the sparks of happiness in your day. Sooner than you realize, you will find your joy.


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