The final emotion we’ll look at in this series is HAPPY! aka; JOY. Joy is not the same as pleasure, although it is, of course, pleasurable. Real, authentic joy often involves struggle and pain, but the resulting exaltation is joy. Think, the birth of a baby.
Real, Lasting Joy
The Hedonists believed real, lasting joy can’t happen unless we live morally, compassionate and even self-sacrificing lives. Those Hedonists were not all about physical pleasure. Joy comes from mastering difficult, painful things and finding core truths about ones self, the world and life. It is taking pleasure in all of human experience.
Fake joy, on the other hand, has fear as it’s motivator. Fake joy makes you feel good temporarily, but leaves you feeling worse than before you started. Fake joy is not based on truth and reality, it is fantasy based.
How to Tell the Difference
If you want to be sure you can tell the difference between real joy and fake joy, here are some guidelines:
Real joy creates a surge of happiness.
Fake joy has a feeling of hollowness and exhaustion.
Real joy causes your muscles to relax and let go.
Fake joy very often has a numbing effect.
Real joy gives you a ‘light from inside’ feeling.
Fake joy is agitating or ‘hyper’ feeling.
Real joy is a permanent part of your mind and heart.
Fake joy has an edge of fear, sadness or shame to it.
Joy! It’s Inside You
Even the memory of something that is authentically joyful will fill you with a surge of happiness, cause your muscles to relax and light you from inside.
Our societal definition of success leads us to believe that our joy can be found in possessions, fame and money, but true joy, as many discover, comes from being connected to the true self, loved ones and the environment they create. The true source of joy is you and the supply is limitless.