If attaining joy is what you seek, you can try several options:
1) You may seek temporary pleasure, thinking that long term joy and happiness are hidden within many moments of fleeting pleasures all strung together. For folks who believe this theory, they may seek joy and happiness through elements such as liquor, drugs, nicotine, or food. Or you could seek joy through activities such as sex, or gambling.
2) If however, you think that your joy and happiness is related to how much money you have or big expensive items you are now able to afford, then you may seek happiness by investing a lot of your time building a powerful career, along with accumulating large savings and investing accounts.
3) Finally, if you believe that your joy is related to people and friendships, you could seek the love, approval, interest, admiration, or recognition of others.
While brief pleasure feels excellent, it is simply short-lived, meaning that that you will need to keep repeating those actions you believe will certainly bring you joy. The problem is that none of these pursuits will bring you deep and sustaining joy or happiness, since their effect is consistently short-term.
Real happiness is not so much a result of DOING something as it is a means of BEING. So in other words, rather than focus on accumulating things you should focus your attention toward your state of “BEING”. Happiness is the outcome of your focused intent to evolve daily as a loving human being, accepting yourself and others.
So what exactly does this imply?
This indicates that recurring joy is the outcome of choosing the spiritual course of kindness, compassion, understanding, and also acceptance. It means learning how to think differently, and look at situations differently.
Yet it is not enough to just share kindness and compassion towards others. Lots of people have attempted to be kind, but find they still wind up feeling vacant, as well as angry when the deep happiness they desire alludes them.
The path toward joy and happiness starts with being open to finding out how to be more loving as well as thoughtful toward YOURSELF. We can have all the material things that people think will bring joy and happiness; money, a great social life, a loving family, work you delight in, etc. Yet if you are critical toward yourself instead of accepting and caring when it comes to yourself, you will never find lasting happiness.
Imagine a young man who has almost everything one could imagine; a big boat, stellar college education, he enjoys wonderful vacations, and has tons of friends. However imagine that this young man has parents who never made him feel loved or important, or who were judgmental and/or controlling. He will likely suffer depression or feelings of low self esteem, regardless of the number of external “things” he owns.
Neglecting one’s emotional needs or constantly judging one’s self will ultimately lead to sadness, no matter how much you have invested in the external surroundings or just how nice that person is to others. Until you decide to start treating yourself the way you want others to treat you, deep as well as lasting joy and happiness may elude you.
If you would like to experience real happiness, begin to take note of your own emotions and take note of exactly what you are doing that is creating discomfort and sadness. Do you mentally tell yourself “I can’t do that” or “I am not good enough”? Once you are willing to take full, 100% responsibility for your own feelings, and also take action regarding what truly brings you joy, you have taken the first step toward lasting happiness.
I think you will enjoy this TED talk about The Science of Happiness.