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Some people use the words happiness and joy interchangeably and do not see much of a difference between the two. For me, joy is happiness taken to a whole new level.
As I looked up the actual definitions of both words, I did see that the definitions were very close. Happiness is defined as "the state of being happy." Joy is defined as "a feeling of great pleasure and happiness." Some of the synonyms of happiness included: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction. These words are good, but when you put them up against the synonyms of joy, they seem a little softer. Some of the synonyms of joy include jubilation, exultation, rejoicing and bliss. So as much as I would like to be in that state of happiness, what I really want is to live with the feeling of joy.
I know you picked up on the words in each definition, where happiness is a "state" and joy is a "feeling." So it's a great goal to want to live in a state of being happy, or a state of contentment or satisfaction. I think my stretch goal is to live with that feeling of exultation, bliss, jubilation and rejoicing, I want to fall in love with joy.
Sadly, we fall out of love with things and people all too often. But then we hear stories of people who have found their love again and saved a marriage. And many times, it's because they no longer settled for contentment and satisfaction, they went deeper and found the things, places and activities that brought them joy. Of course, there are many other things people do to re-ignite their fire, and find each other again. I am certain that really good counselors or pastors and close family and friends help too.
As I considered writing this column I thought about my own life and the areas of my life where I was satisfied, content, and basically happy. And then I looked at what it could mean if I elevated my performance, my attitude, and even my heart, and could I elevate joy in any one of those areas. Who are the people in my life that bring happiness to my world and who are the people who truly bring me joy? And then who are the people that I bring happiness to and who might think of me as someone who brings them joy? And what can I do to change their perception, assuming I had to. And I settled on the fact that I need to fall in love with joy again first myself, and hope that it becomes contagious.
So how about you? Are you in a good place, in a state of being happy, content and satisfied? Or would you also like to fall in love again with joy? Either way I would love to hear all about it at email@example.com. And when we move into exuberance, jubilation, rejoicing, exultation and bliss it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.
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