05/09/2014 01:53 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2014

Do We Really Know What Joy Is?

Why is it that all we really want and search for in life is happiness, and at the very same time, it is the one thing that eludes us the most? We all have different ideas of what would give us a feeling of happiness and joy, but there must be some common ground that we're missing. Maybe it's that most of us don't truly understand what joy is or how to attain it?

I have personally found what I think joy is (and is not), and how I believe it can be reached by each and every one of us...

What Joy Is Not:

Joy in most people's minds is synonymous with pleasure. However, joy is not pleasure. Pleasure is a rather short-term, short-lived emotion; it appears in flashes, coming and going fairly quickly. Joy cannot be bought or sought externally and does not give instant gratification.

Joy is also not contentment. Many of us think we've come to a place of joy when we feel momentary peace or simply just a lack of trauma-drama in our lives. Yet merely settling for a life that is 'good enough' or 'okay,' but not 'great,' is not joy.

Pleasure and contentment can also bring their opposites: displeasure and discontentment. These are fleeting and complacent emotions which, unfortunately, we confuse with joy much of the time.

What Joy Is:

Joy, on the other hand, has no opposite. When we are going through pain, joy still remains,(after pleasure and contentment are long gone). It is a state of Be-ing that powerfully affects the world around us. Whether it's your work, family, health, etc., joy touches all you are a part of.

Joy is a sustained, elevated, super-fast vibrating energy that most people are not at all used to. A state of true joy reveals an eagerness and enthusiasm for life that many dear souls have probably never felt before.

How to Find Joy:

To live in a place of joy, one must build and grow their capacity for intense, sustained, positive energy. There are many ways to do this:

1. Slow down.
When we rush around, we actually lower our vibration, which has a negative effect on what we're doing. The more you rush, the less you will accomplish. So breathe, be calm, experience each moment, and focus on one thing at a time.

2. Be grateful.
Gratitude and appreciation for all that you have in your life will raise your vibration in an ongoing fashion and keep it there. Let go of all the distractions in life in favor of those things that really matter. Simplicity will unveil the hidden joy in your life.

3. Be of service.
Focusing on helping others is an extremely effective way to bring joy into your life. Whether your kindness and compassion is directed toward a loved one or a stranger, a connection is made on a fundamental level. When you radiate love and help bring joy to another, you become open to the love and joy that YOU deserve.

4. Live the life you are capable of.
Make the time to do whatever it is that you love doing and are passionate about. Take responsibility for your own joy by creating it! Don't settle for a 'good enough' life. Live life to the fullest. Make it count!

If someone were to ask me what I think the 'meaning of life' is, I would have to say 'joy' -- bringing it to yourself and to others. Joy is that feeling of positive intensity that exceeds all boundaries and resides inside every one of us. It does not come from a store or drift in and out of our lives from day to day. It is who we are at our deepest core. So do your best to simplify, savor, and always reach for a higher vibration. In this way, you will be sure to transform your search for happiness into everlasting joy.