Joy, a higher state of happiness
Let’s start with the title. Some might think that’s just words put together to sound spiritually and poetically appealing. Others might think we are referring to a higher state and therefore might need more effort, requiring another level of commitment which you would only reach after you’ve accomplished happiness. The short answer is yes, it is a higher state of happiness, but achieving it takes less emotional work to attain than any other positive state.
Once you grasp joy, happiness by definition will follow. In other words, it’s a legit free hack into the system of happiness.
Happiness is conditional, it always requires something or someone in order to feel it. If you ask anyone what makes them happy, they will give a well detailed list of things and people in their lives, wishes and dreams that they’re trying to achieve, memories and moments from the past…etc. Let’s take for example cases where your happiness is not related to the outside world in that you’re self-sufficient and centred, I could ask you, how come you feel happy inside. Your initial reply might be “Because I have peace”. Ultimately, even in that situation your happiness is dependent on something i.e. Peace. If you don’t have it, your happiness would have been disturbed and incomplete.
For me, joy is unconditional, simply because to experience it does not depend on anything or anyone from the outside. It’s an act of doing or just being, with detachment from the outcome. It’s not an act of receiving something from someone, it’s not even an act, it’s a feeling that you generate inside while doing the act, right at that very moment. There are no outer conditions that restrict me from achieving it on a daily basis with everything that I do.
Enjoying the process while doing something with complete attentiveness and presence, it is being in sync with the moment, the art of Now. No past or future is connected to it, it is complete freedom of sensations that gets organically born in the present and the natural healthy child of your positive perception.
Joy Vs Happiness
Happiness is an emotion, joy is a feeling, a state. Here’s an example that I refer to more often; I am painting an artwork, loving it, enjoying it, feeling it, I’m at my best and highest frequency. After 2 hours of painting, I show it to you for a feedback and you simply said “Oh! It’s nice, but I wish it was yellow instead of blue”. Disappointment will quickly kick in and a sense of sadness will follow, I’m not happy. Why? Simply because my happiness was depending on your feedback. But the Joy that I got from it while painting it can’t be taken away from me, I’ve already lived it. It wasn’t dependant on your feedback at all, though my happiness was.
Joy doesn’t have to be just through arts and beauty! Let’s say you have no artistic skills at all, no hobbies whatsoever, you’re emotionless and very robotic. Fine. You’re at work with your head dipped in paper work, there’s a deadline and you’re stressed to deliver the task. While researching and assembling your document and report, something inside still gives you that sense of accomplishment while wondering about your boss’s reaction when you deliver the job later. Some inner thoughts will be playing inside your head saying things like “Oh this is going to surprise him, he wouldn’t see these positive numbers coming”. This joy of getting the right numbers, putting the file together is JOY nevertheless regardless the hard work, and it doesn’t depend on your boss. The confrontation with him later can go both ways, and here is where you might end up happy or sad.
Can you reverse his negative feedback later to a sense of joy? Sure, you can. Let’s go to that room now and watch him unsatisfied with your hard work and unappreciative to your time and efforts, listen to him while watching his mouth in slow motion articulating negative words, enjoy how humans can actually speak, that voice tone, the body language, be amazed and dazzled how he missed out on the whole point of your report, enjoy your temporary superiority over him in that moment, enjoy the whole situation engaging all your senses. Then leave, enjoying that it’s all over, enjoy that door on your way out as a portal to freedom, enjoy the break after, your lunch and the food you eat. First, touch the plate and feel the ceramic and its temperature, look joyfully at the colours of your food with your hungry eyes, smell the aroma of the dish, taste every little ingredient in it with pleasure, and listen to yourself chewing it. Then pay close attention to everything else that you pass through on your way back, in the same way that you absorbed that meal.
If we do that constantly throughout the day, living joy in the moment with all our senses, being present in the moment, then you’ve hacked your way into happiness in an indirect way without even expecting to receive any rewarding outcome from your tasks.
Do that over and over again every day, and you will find yourself in an eternal state of happiness without even having to look for it in the first place. Joy in the Now is your secret weapon to eternal happiness.
If you're ready for a quick injection of JOY, admit yourself here