“God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.” Agustine

We have all suffered. It’s not at all pleasant. There are many who seem to always suffer in some fashion in their life.

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau had it right. But why do men lead lives of quiet desperation? Where has all the joy gone?

In the book Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect written by Matthew D. Lieberman highlights results of a survey conducted from 1946 to 1989 regarding people’s happiness as compared to income. During this time the average amount of income rose 2.4 times but happiness did not rise at all. This suggest that having more affluence in America has not lead to more happiness and joy.

“We are the most obese, medicated, addicted, and in-debt Americans EVER.” according to Brene Brown,  The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. If being obese, medicated, addicted and in-debt are forms of suffering then America has a population that has a great deal of suffering.

Suffering is the absence of joy.

How does one obtain joy?

Perhaps that question has been asked more from man than any other throughout all history. There are no simple answers to that question although there are some truths and principles that create joy.

  • Vision: One must create a vision of a joyful life
  • Fulfill the Six Needs: Always working toward each need in a proactive way
  • Faith: Build a faith based life that is full of optimism
  • Inner Child Traits: Improve the traits children have and that you once had (if you lost them)
  • Belief in a Higher Power: Accepting a dependence on a Higher Power
  • Give Love: Outwardly focus on the needs of others

Everything one does in life is either created with joy or sorrow. Removing the activities that are done in sorrow and replacing them with activities done in joy will remove a great deal, if not all, your suffering.

The development of the attitude of joy can be accomplished even when your environment is sorrowful and full of suffering. One can look at Mother Teresa as an example of a joy filled life of selfless service to those who were suffering.