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The Difference Between Happiness and Joy


Happiness and joy pertain to an elated feeling but imply two different things. Simon Sinek, the author of Start With the Why, differentiate happiness and joy based on human experience.

Simon explained that happiness is what you feel when you won from a lottery or got an A from your exams. But the feeling does not linger for a long time.

Joy, on the other hand, is more underlying feeling. However, you do not experience it daily. As we seek joy, we take into account the reality that everyday is not a great day. But we are aware that the small progress attributes to the joy that awaits.

“Joy is more enduring, and can be more consistent, because it’s the byproduct of an aligned and genuine life where you feel like you matter,” Brian Ford, the content creator of the Self Improvement Daily, stated.

Somehow we can say that happiness is what we feel when there’s an achievement while we attain join when there’s a fulfillment. Apart from Sinek, Dalai Lama imparted his appreciation towards the essence of joy.

As cited from the Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, “Joy seems to blanket this entire emotional expanse”.

Accordingly, Paul Ekman, famed emotions researcher and longtime friend of the Dalai Lama, has written that joy is associated with feelings as varied as:

pleasure (of the five senses)amusement (from a chuckle to a belly laugh) contentment (a calmer kind of satisfaction) excitement (in response to novelty or challenge) relief (following upon another emotion, such as fear, anxiety, and even pleasure) wonder (before something astonishing and admirable) ecstasy or bliss (transporting us outside ourselves) exultation (at having accomplished a difficult or daring task) radiant pride (when our children earn a special honor) unhealthy jubilation or schadenfreude (relishing in someone else’s suffering) elevation (from having witnessed an act of kindness, generosity, or compassion) gratitude (the appreciation of a selfless act of which one is the beneficiary).

In reality, we sometimes need to suffer for us to truly appreciate the essence of joy. More importantly, in the Book of Joy, people are being reminded to be the source of happiness for other’s for us to experience joy.

Dalai Lama emphasized in his book that we can genuinely experience joy when we become compassionate even in the most difficult times.

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