Joy, what a magnificent word! Let the word simmer in you for a moment. Joyous things burst forth, hit us at such a deep level they almost allow us to feel our bodies sing and stretch for the heavens. In earlier times, joy was to be strived for. Music, poetry, and architecture were created to celebrate the joy of life and God. These tributes are enduring. When we walk through a fourteenth-century cathedral today, we can still feel the energy that went into creating these masterpieces.
Fulfillment — sure, why not? We are told that it is a good thing. But allowing joy to pervade your life, rush into you, seems dangerous in a way. I might lose control. I am not sure I can cope with that level of energy. Yet when I come closest to pure joy, it is like nothing I can truly explain. My soul sings.
It is not complicated; I don’t have to accomplish much or do much. I don’t have to buy anything or accumulate anything. Hell, I don’t even have to be anywhere particularly special to experience it. So, I asked myself the other day, what brings me joy?
Joy is not fulfillment. I can feel fulfilled seeing my bank account rise. But that may not bring me joy. Joy is something stronger, more profound — something that hits us in the solar plexus and leaves an indelible mark, one that needs to be re-connected with when lost. Joy sees the interconnected dance of life itself. It sees the simplicity of all things. Joy is found within — it can’t be grabbed from outside you. You feel joy.
Meditations on life, leadership, and how the world works by Jonathan Creaghan
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