Summer is finally here! I had to get that out of the way.
I hope this post finds you energetic, joyful, hopeful, and passionate. Either way read on…
“What determines your joy more than anything else?” It is a question for the ages. I am sure there are a lot of answers to this question. I humbly offer my opinion.
I believe how you feel about yourself determines your joy more than anything else. Some would call it self esteem. Self esteem is a complicated term that is easily lost in “translation”. So I prefer to state it “how you feel about yourself”
Without getting into what determines how you feel about yourself (that’s a topic worth a book), I believe it is the single most important determinant for the following two primary reasons.
First, true joy is internal not external. Culture, especially today, influences us to seek joy externally; from our financial status, our relationships, our work, our possessions etc. Today, it is hard to argue with a definition of life that says “life is the pursuit of things”. External joy is easily attainable but it is temporary. Internal joy is eternal. I could not state it better than Jim Rohn who says” It is who you become not what you get that determines your joy”.
“Who you become”, is a journey not a destination. Most external things we pursue can be characterized as a “destination”. There is finality to external things when you get them, followed by temporary joy before you move on to the next “destination”. Unfortunately that is why many of us believe; when I get married to this person, when I get this promotion, when I graduate, when I buy my dream house, when my business turns around etc, then I will be happy. The joy comes, but only temporarily.
Subconsciously, we pursue external things to receive the internal joy we desperately want. We should do the opposite. We should pursue internal joy to attract the right external things. External things should be attracted not pursued. You will attract the right person to marry, the right career or business, the right home and all those other external things if you pursue internal joy.
How do you pursue internal joy? Have you ever heard the phrase, there are no new “fundamentals”. I would add that “fundamentals” are not complicated but they are hard. That is to say, we all know what they are, but we have a hard time doing them consistently”.
To use construction analogy, the foundation of internal joy is love, the outer walls are character, and the inner rooms are purpose. The three things to pursue for internal joy are; Love, Character, Purpose. I will expound on these in later posts.
Second, you can never get away from how you feel about yourself. You can try, and we definitely do! Not only can we not get away from ourselves, but we can’t lie to ourselves (at least not effectively!). You are constantly with yourself! If you don’t like your job, your house, your car, you can walk away. You can’t walk away from yourself. How you feel about yourself is the most consistent and therefore the most important source of joy or lack thereof.
In the long term your external world will always align with your internal world. How you feel about yourself determines the decisions you make, your behavior and what you attract into your life. If you are not sure how you feel about yourself, examine what you are constantly attracting into your life.
If you do not like what you have attracted in your life, the best solution is to examine the internal root causes of the results you are getting. Examine how you feel about yourself, your love, your character, and your purpose. As you honestly examine yourself, you will gain tremendous insight into your internal compass that subconsciously navigates your decisions and your behavior.
Be encouraged that your ability to sustain long-term meaningful joy and fulfillment is within yourself.
The bible says, seek first the kingdom of God and everything will be added unto you. Using the same principle, seek first to build your love, your character, and your purpose and you will attract the external things your heart desires.