What is the Value of Joy

In this post, you will learn what is the value of joy. Pardon the grammar, but this simple request is often searched for and few have found it. Today, you will learn “how to joy”; what joy is, why joy is valuable and how to experience it abundantly. You will also discover the source of joy and what blocks joy in your life. Finally, you will learn the ancient path that leads from suffering to joy.

1. What is joy?

Joy is a feeling of great Delight, of great pleasure, of Jubilation which is delight with a sense of Triumph, of exultation, happiness, gladness, Glee, and exhilaration. Joy is related to all these and yet Joy has one quality which these other factors lack, and that is the joy lasts, it doesn’t end quickly or easily.

And so you might consider what is the difference between joy and happiness. Everyone seeks happiness, everyone wants to be feeling good at the moment. But happiness is completely dependent on circumstances. When good things happen to me, I feel good; but when bad things happen to me, I don’t feel good anymore.

Joy is different. Joy is when you feel delight and pleasure even when your circumstances are bad. For most people, this is a great mystery. They don’t understand that suffering and joy are intimately connected. While it’s true that you can’t really have suffering and happiness at the same time but as we shall discover, you can have joy and suffering at the same time.

2. What is the value of Joy

This brings up the great value of joy. Joy is not a sometime friend that’s here during the good times and goes away during the bad times. Instead, Joy is a like your closest friend who is with you all the time. Rejoicing, which is the verb for “to be joyful”, is something you can do anytime and all the time, no matter what your circumstances are. So the great value of joy is that you can depend on it. It is there when you need it and in fact, you do need joy the most during the hard times of life, during the trials of life. So the great value of joy is to help you endure and overcome the trials of life so that you do not give up prematurely and in the end, you experience victory and all the benefits of success- which in turn will generate greater joy.

3. What is the experience of Joy

There are different experiences of joy. The most obvious form of joy is when there is a great celebration there is a very high spirit. Whenever you have a great Victory whenever something wonderful has happened in your life then the feeling goes beyond happiness into the light and joy. This is the kind of Joy most people are looking for and this is the kind of joy. But of course, this is not the only kind of Joy there is a second more quiet form of joy. This kind of Joy I will call it a simple joy it is a peaceful feeling of having faced the worst of times and has come out you have survived you have overcome and the feeling is just one of rest and peace. this quiet Joy is something you can carry with you all your life you perhaps no one else will even see it at first people will just not understand why you carry yourself the way you are why you aren’t complaining why you are anxious why you aren’t going through the troubles that everyone else goes through. But the secret is that you have learned to endure life and still hold on.

4. What is the source of Joy?

The source of joy is not success or good times – no, that is the source of happiness. Instead, the surprising source of joy is thankfulness, gratefulness, and appreciation. Thankfulness is a pretty rare thing in life. But, once you learn to become a thankful person, you will discover more and more opportunities for joy.

When you read the newspaper, you don’t see a lot of thankful people. Nor do thankful people buy a lot of newspapers either. Constant hunger for News leads to anger and dissatisfaction. Everybody today is so concerned with all the trouble going on in this world and yet it is beyond their ability to influence these world events. Yet, the weight of 24/7 international news Bears down on its consumers and it beats them down until they lose all their Joy.

But if you can face whatever comes your way and be thankful for what you still have, grateful for the bad things that did not happen, appreciative that you are alive and that you have meaning and purpose, then you will have your source of joy.

5. How Can I find Joy?

One of the best ways to find joy is to humble yourself. Proud people just don’t really enjoy life. They feel superior to other and yet are always facing insults, or imagined insults, from people who are inferior to them. But if you can humble yourself, if you can think of yourself as small, if you can stop comparing yourself to others then you will no longer worry about people not treating you the way you expect, or the way you deserve.

A second way to find joy is to forgive others. I have personally worked with many people, teaching them to forgive all of the insults, all of the crimes, all of the sins that others have committed upon them. Those who learn to forgive and let go of those offenses, learn to find more and more joy. But those who cannot forgive, those who hold on or even gain strength from problems that people have given them, don’t find joy. Instead, they tend to get the opposite of Joy which is misery and spread that misery to others.

The final and most mysterious way to find joy is through suffering. Now I’m not saying that you should seek out suffering, or that you should volunteer to go through the pain, for that would be stupid. All I’m saying is that as you go through life, you will encounter trouble both in your life and in the life of others. When you do face such difficulties which are common to the human race, don’t run away from them. It is the suffering that will give you a new appreciation for joy. (I will explain more about that in a few seconds later. But for now, just keep doing the right thing at the right time and even though it hurts even though you suffer.) To find and experience joy, don’t settle for momentary comfort and happiness– that will lead to a joyless communion with those who run away from suffering and can never experience “how to joy”.

6. How can I increase my joy?

Now let’s talk about increasing your joy beyond what you already have. The first step is to celebrate with others. It can be in a wild raucous party, it can be in a quiet memorial service, it can be anything that is filled with thankfulness. Every holiday, every birthday, everything that people like to appreciate, when you join with them, you can increase your joy and multiply it with others. Plus, you can experience their joy and share part of their joy as well.

The second way to increase your joy is to let someone share their suffering, their hardship, their trials with you. Naturally, this will make you feel unhappy and uncomfortable, so you will want to run away. But from those who have experienced it, sharing in suffering will lead to joy, if you can avoid certain “joy-killers”, which we will view next,

7. What blocks me from Joy?

Sometimes instead of seeking to increase your joy, you need to find out what is blocking you from the joy that you should have. When driving your car, it is important to not only put one foot on the gas but also make sure that your other foot is not on the brake. One of the biggest things that can block your joy is when you feel that you are proud, or morally Superior to other people. When you believe that you are better than others, it robs you of Joy, it blocks you from celebrating with others and blocks you from enjoying life. Instead of trying to be Superior to others, try to, as I mentioned earlier, humble yourself, try to see other people as being equal in value, equally as good, and as equally as moral As You Are.

I see a Great Divide in American politics these days between the two parties and there is a huge contest for moral superiority. People think, “My group is the only moral group and the other people are evil and because they’re evil I must reject/punish/destroy them.” This takes away your joy and if this situation continues, it will not end well for you or the nation.

The other thing that blocks your joy is the very negative emotions that you carry around such as anger, jealousy, bitterness, and Wrath (which often have their source in pride). These can be very difficult to let go of, but it is an absolute must if you want to get more joy; if you want to have the joy that naturally comes from life. Perhaps you need to examine yourself and discover what are the sources of your anger, and your jealousy, and your bitterness, and your wrath, and so on. Get to the root of those sources and remove them from your life. Learn to overcome your negativity, learn to forgive, learn to let go of all the monkeys that others are putting on your back, and then you will have the joy in life again.

8. The Ancient Path of Joy

The ancient path of joy begins with suffering but not just any kind of suffering, such as for doing something stupid or bad. Foolishness is not going to bring out a path to Joy. I’m talking about suffering for doing the right things, at the right time, in the right way. We call that wisdom. Now if you continue to do the right things even as you experience suffering and you don’t run away, then you will develop perseverance in your life. This was very important to the ancient world because life was harsh and those who gave up died miserably. As you continue to perseverance you will change. Your very character will become stronger and you will become the kind of moral person who does the right thing at the right time in spite of the suffering.

And then as your character grows, you will become more confident because you are slowly becoming the kind of person that you want to be, the kind of person that you admire in others. As this process continues, you will find more and more fulfillment in your life and this will lead to Joy. And it is joy that circles back to give you an endurance so that you can overcome greater trials. The Ancients with their very poor technology and they’re very poor medicine and all of the problems they had to face in life didn’t have easy ways to remove suffering, so they learned to push through and discover joy on the other side. In spite of all of our vast knowledge and wealth, we have lost the understanding that Joy gives you the power to suffer until victory. This is what we call a virtuous path: suffering→ perseverance→ character→ confidence → fulfillment and joy.

We often see this in the natural world. For example, if you go to the gym and you start lifting weights, it’s going to hurt your body. You are going to suffer even though you doing everything correctly. When you are training yourself perfectly, it’s going to hurt; it always hurts. But if you continue your training, if you persevere, you will become a stronger and stronger person both in your body and in your mind and you will become a more confidence a person who is strong in mind and body and you will find joy and fulfillment in this.

It’s the same way with running a marathon. It hurts and as you push yourself beyond your comfort level, there is great suffering. But as you persevere, you develop a stronger character able to endure not only physical pain but mental exhaustion. Slowly, you build up your runner’s confidence and you become fulfilled, even to the point of saying, “I am a runner. I am a marathon runner. That is who I am.” and you take joy in doing the things that only Runners do.

Finally, this ancient process even works when pursuing social justice. Think back to the time of Martin Luther King Jr. He and the people who followed him suffered greatly while marching for civil rights. While attacking no one, they had to persevere during times of great suffering. But as they went through that suffering they produced perseverance and confidence and fulfillment and joy. The American Civil Rights movement in the face of strong opposition sang, “We shall overcome.” They did overcome and they changed the nation.

 

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4 Responses

  1. Aria Len says:

    This came at just the right time! I’ve been feeling a bit down lately because I’ve been feeling isolated due to my busy schedule. I’ll definitely be finding my joy for the next few weeks now that I get a break from my classes.

    • Peter Barban says:

      I am happy to hear that Aria Len! It sounds like you need to connect with the important people in your life and soak of some love. Love, joy, peace: it all flows together. Hopefully, soon, your joy will well up within and spill out to those around you.

  2. Fred Patterson says:

    Would one say that optimistic is happiness or joy? I think this is a great article explaining the differences. I never realized how much joy I actually had in my life. It could’ve been because of my pessimistic attitude at first, but I must say after reading this I realized how many little things bring me joy. Great article!

    • Peter Barban says:

      Interesting question. I would say that optimism is connected to both happiness and joy. Both are about having confidence when looking toward the future. But joyous optimism should be more stable and reliable. While optimism based on happiness could easily be crushed by unexpected bad news.

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