“Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn’t fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude, and hope.” – David Brooks

Have you thought about the difference between being happy and being joyful?

David Brooks covers the topic in his fantastic book, “The Second Mountain.”

Shortening his idea, Brooks suggests joy is a better pursuit than happiness and requires three pillars in your daily life. He says:

  • Live with “wonder.” Wonder means the expectation that there is something good ahead every day. You get the chance to learn something. You get the chance to see something that will make your heart skip a beat because it’s so beautiful. You’ll experience something that changes you for the better. As you stack those days of wonder together, your amazement grows.
  • Live with “gratitude.” I mention gratitude often in these notes. Being grateful is a choice one makes. If you think about it, consuming more than one thing at a time is hard. What have you been considering today? Problems? Worries? Stressful events? Focusing on worldly matters robs you of your joy. Choose gratitude. It revives your soul.
  • “Hope.” Brooks says that joyful people live with hope. Wonder and gratitude condition our minds to believe that troubles won’t last and there are better things ahead. I read once that “hope” is a skill. It’s not wishful. It’s built on the idea that believing there is better ahead will help assure it occurs.

So, wonder. Count your blessings. Look ahead with hope. It will bring joy.