There’s a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is highly dependent on happenings (realize how similar they sound) and on circumstances. Joy is an inner state which remains unaffected and at peace given any outward situation.
Pretense is easy. Even the most miserable or insecure person we might know is capable of exhibiting happiness. However, it is clear when someone who doesn’t seem to show or say much projects a calm orientation that reflects genuine fulfillment. Such people share these in common:
1. They don’t take things personally.
Oftentimes those who struggle to be happy are those who don’t accept conditions easily unless such are favorable to them. This can be a form of self-centeredness, which breeds insecurity (a very common determinant of unhappiness).
Joyful people do not selfishly look within themselves, but open up their minds to different considerations.
2. They see the good.
No matter how undesirable things turn out, they look on the bright side. Instead of complaining, they reflect on any lesson that needs to be learned and use it to find solutions or reasons to be content.
3. They are typically patient.
A joyful person has conditioned him/herself that he isn’t in control of anything EXCEPT his/her own thoughts, feelings, and actions and that there exists no perfect thing, people, or even time.
4. …but they are aware that there’s a time for everything
Whether it’s a time to enjoy, to grab opportunities, to be silent, or to stop dwelling and move on, they allow things to happen accordingly and appropriately.
5. They know themselves well and what they live for
Unhappy individuals usually depend on superficial matters to define them. But the opposites know who they are, what they are capable of, and what truly defines them (perhaps a belief or principle).
Joyful people find confidence in knowing that they have life purposes and that they deserve their own fulfillment.
Happiness is free; all it costs is a choice. But going and growing through life requires the kind of positivity which cannot be taken away, and that is joy.