Something notable from Matthew McConaughey’s commencement speech at U of H that stuck with me throughout the day when I was taking my lunch break:
“I just want to be happy.” I hear that all the time. But what IS happiness? Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome — If I win I will be happy, if I don’t I won’t. An if-then, cause and effect, quid pro quo standard that we cannot sustain because we immediately raise it every time we attain it. You see, happiness demands a certain outcome, it is result reliant.
If happiness is what you’re after, then you are going to be let down frequently and be unhappy much of your time. Joy, though, is something else. It’s not a choice, not a response to some result, it is a constant. Joy is “the feeling we have from doing what we are fashioned to do,” no matter the outcome.
Sounds like I’ve been doing life wrong. It was then that something snapped inside of me. Enjoy the journey because it’s not always about the destination. That shift in perspective really opened my eyes. The truth is, everyone wants to be happy.. well, everyone wants to be happier, but it’s a lot harder to be happier when you are focused on the gap between your current level of happiness and where you want to be on that spectrum.
Not the first time I’ve heard this message, but the way it was worded, the way it was presented: Joy is so much better. Happiness is conditional, but joy? To put our spirits into everything we do and to love with your whole heart? To a control freak like myself, this is a gold mine.
My end game for this entry is this: no matter what you do in life, do it enthusiastically – except for things like murder and kidnapping and etc. Know that when you are doing something, it’s done by choice. Sure, I mean, sometimes there are obligations to do something, but why not enjoy those things as well? Why waste the remaining time you have left on earth complaining or focused on what you have?
Ironically, I don’t always have joy in doing what I do. Part of the human condition is to relieve stress by venting it out. However, what is controllable is that now I can strive to find such joy in what I do. What comes naturally is writing to you, my readers, being completely lost in the world of books, enjoying my solitude with nature, and enjoying drinks and food with friends.
What about you guys? What brings you joy?