Joy is linked to our personal relationships rather than events. Compared with happiness, joy can be stronger, more enduring, and more stable. Joy is rooted in the positive feelings we have toward others, increasing as the quality of our relationships increase. It inspires our most unselfish desires. In other words, joy redirects our inward focus toward others.
We choose joy, not by flipping a switch—rather by choosing our values, choosing to seek our purpose, and choosing our relationships and how we develop them. Joy is the fruit of a positive attitude, good character, and other aspects of professionalism that develop positive relationships. Joy, as well as happiness, depends on these and other choices made consistently over time.
If the right choices lead to joy, it stands to reason that the wrong ones can stand in the way of joy. We choose our friends, what goes into our minds, the places we go, the ways we use our resources, and the ways we treat people. The wise person will consider these types of routine choices and the ripple effect they have on attitudes, intentions, and joy.