Joy does not just happen; you create it!
Joy is a natural emotion in the DNA of human beings. The challenge is that the individual has to generate joy. Joy does not happen, as it has to be generated. It is a choice for the individual who will be amiss if he or she expects friends or someone else to provide it. Electricity does not just happen; it is generated. Similarly, you cannot simply expect your joy to occur. You have to generate it, and you have the power to generate your own joy.
Some people provide you with pleasure as opposed to joy, and you must discern the difference. Pleasure is what people give you, and therefore they can offer it or withhold it. On the other hand, joy is an internal emotion and you are the one to create it. Similarly, you generate sorrow in your life, although others may provide the circumstances or environment. That is the challenge of relationships. Human beings have the capacity to provide both joy and sorrow from within their internal system. People are unpredictable. Life is dynamic. Dealing with human beings can be a volatile experience.
Company You Keep
If you have a problem or difficulty, look closely and you will notice that a human being is usually at the center of the problem. Moreover, the research has shown that the company you keep—your relationships impact whom you become. One statistic is that you become the average of the 5 closest persons you interact with regularly. You achieve over time the average income of your 5 closest associates. Also, you will eventually reflect the success profile of the average successes of your 5 closest associates.
Consciously nurture every relationship you have and life will be more fulfilling for you. One of the marks of mature spirituality is your ability to relate in peace and harmony with others. Sometimes a person will avoid having a meaningful relationship with another. You need to confront your negative thinking patterns that sabotage your ability to love your neighbor as yourself.
Some negative factors that inhibit worthwhile relationships are:
- Your fear that your limitations will be exposed.
- Your fear that differing perspectives will sabotage the needed harmony.
- Your inability to master interpersonal skills.
- Your lack of listening skills.
- A denial that you need to improve your relationships.
- You do not take action to correct or change the current bad relationships.
You can build better relationships if you are committed to do so. You can affect the persons with whom you interact. Some approaches to building better relationships are:
- Intelligently dealing with your emotions, as well as the emotions of others in contact with you.
- Being of service to others without there being any specific direct benefit to you.
- Being kind to others in all circumstances.
- Taking into account concerns and values of others when dealing with them.
The first principle of personal growth is to know where you stand and where you want to go—clarity of intention. Self-assessment is a master key for evolving to be a better person. I only got an insight why my relationships were not as beautiful as I wanted them to be, when I became aware of my narrow and limited views. I was always right in any encounter. I wanted things my way as I knew the answers, and "I was right." Do not fall into this trap of self-righteousness.