I see a lot of conflict between happiness and joy. My best definition is that happiness is immediate and short term, and joy is internal, slowly developing and long term. For example, a lot of things make me happy. If I think about it, I can come up with a list something like this: oatmeal cookies, boats, apple pie, recognition, validation, etc. Relatively easy to make me happy. If you look at the list, you will realize that all these things are immediate and short term. Back in the good ole days’ cookies could make me happy, and still do, but there is this diet thing. Happiness from a new boat may last a few months. The apple pie about 3 minutes.
As for joy, that is much more complex. It gets into things like peace of mind. Joy projects into the future and is long term. Many gurus have come up with their answer for joy. Some would tell you it is faith in God; others may say that it is financial security. I tend to think it is personal relationships. The remaining question is; how do you find joy?
I believe that it is a process, then again I think everything is a process. No matter how you express it, I believe it starts by discovering your belief. Faith can be an interesting element of any belief system. Once I work out my belief system I can express my purpose or vision for my life. Now I have some boundaries to work within, and I can more easily discover things that make me happy. Ultimately realizing my purpose will give me joy. In fact, if I believe that I am on my path to realizing my vision I will be filled with Joy. Anything that knocks me off my path or interrupts my journey will steal my joy.