The Two-Pronged Approach to Maximize Joy in Your Life

Dear friend,

A practical life philosophy for you: to be happier in life, seek to maximize the joy in your life!

PDF: Philosophy – maximize joy in your life


First of all, let’s discuss the difference between “happiness” and “joy”.

To me, happiness is too abstract of a concept. I prefer “joy”; it is more practical and concrete.

What’s joy?

To me, joy is the sound and feeling of your soul singing. I feel the most joy when I’m doing active things; when I’m actively writing, actively thinking, actively waking around and making photos, when I’m actively reading, or challenging myself. I feel joy from the simple things as well: chatting with strangers, enjoying a cup of coffee, enjoying a walk in the park and smiling at the people and trees, hearing the chirping sounds of the birds, playing with my niece Amelia, etc.

I feel great joy when I’m teaching, innovating new processes, making slideshows, making music, and enjoying the artwork of others. For example, I’ve been really feeling a lot of great joy watching truly great cinema: pretty much anything by Stanley Kubrick (2001 space odyssey, Spartacus), or getting philosophically challenged by watching the MATRIX. Or I feel great joy when I’m analyzing the photography of the master photographers, especially the old school Magnum guys (Cartier Bresson, Phillip Jones Griffiths, Robert Capa, David Chim Seymour, etc). Or the colorful work of the masters of art like Matisse, Picasso, or Monet.

The Two-Pronged Approach

Simple ideas:

a. Art

As an artist (yes, you’re an artist); to maximize joy in your artwork I suggest the two pronged approach:

  1. Feel great joy while you’re actively creating your own artwork
  2. Feel great joy when you’re actively studying/consuming/analyzing the artwork or philosophy of others.

b. Philosophy

I also think if you’re a philosopher (if you’re curious to learning more about yourself), the two pronged approach also works:

  1. Feel great joy discovering inner truths about yourself (know thyself) and discovering more truths about life in general.
  2. Learning from the master philosophers from the past, and also challenging their beliefs and thoughts.

Give it a go

I think this simple two pronged approach will give you more happiness and joy in your life.

Try it out:

  1. Make more stuff (make more photos, make more poetry, videos… Anything!)
  2. Study more great masters from the past, anyone who inspires or motivates you.



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