Joyfulness vs “Happiness”

When we think that we want to be “happy” or to become “happier”, or to augment our “happiness”… I think what we really mean to say is to augment our joyfulness, cheerfulness, and sense of well-being and over-abundant joy.

What’s the difference? Some thoughts:

Joyful vs Happy

Joy: an exuberant feeling of abundance and super-abundance. Joy as manifested in lightness of feet, desire to dance and frolic, feeling of social warmth, and strong energy and physiological power in our limbs. A strong feeling of hope, optimism, and strength.

“Happy”— seems to be more like the “happiness” of a cow. Content, bovine, and static.

Thus in my mind, joy seems far more active, happy as passive. Also, a human can feel joy (a cow cannot) whereas both a human and a cow can both feel “happy”.

Joyfulness… for what?

I don’t see joy as an end into itself. By default my mood is joyful. I don’t seek to strive to maximize my joy in my life … I’ve already been there and it’s kind of “meh” once you achieve it. Same goes with happiness.

I say the deeper and more interesting goal is effectiveness … having the ability to enact effects upon yourself, others, society, etc. Happiness and joy can only ever be a means to an end, not the end into itself.


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