How do people find joy in what they do? I don’t understand it because I can’t say if I’ve ever experienced joy while doing things. And if I have experienced joy while doing things, I don’t think that it is enough to motivate me to keep doing it. Sure I do get excitement and a thrill, but that isn’t joy and that only happens during recreation. Then what is my motivation to do the things that I do normally?
I have plenty of hobbies and activities: web development career, dog training, reading, or hiking. I am not confident enough to say that I have experienced any significant joy out of any of those things. These are the primary hobbies and activities in my life now. But then why do I do them?
There have been a handful of times where bursts of happiness, excitement, and gratitude appeared out of my normal activities. The most recent one was a very brief moment when my dog recognized the verbal command, “down”. I had been working on her recognizing that verbal command for about a month and half. That moment taught me that proper and effective dog training can take a long time, and I was grateful and excited that she was understanding the verbal command.
Another time of elated emotions came while reading, *That We May Be One,* by Tom Christofferson. I love reading this book, because I believe that it highlights the very core principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a very beautiful way. And because the core principles are illustrated so beautifully, it motivates me to follow through with the invitations of the author. The author invites to love, support, accept, and understand the people of the LGBTQIA+ community.
I wonder if I ever have seen an activity all the way through. Of course I have. But I don’t experience the same level of emotion as others observably would. And it looks like their emotions drive their motivation. I don’t think emotions are a huge driver in my motivation. My emotions my change the perspective of what it is that I’m doing, but I don’t do things for the emotion of it.
I have seen hard hikes and difficult work tasks until the very end. I do get satisfaction when those thing are done, but do I use that satisfaction to drive me to do more? I don’t.
“Whatever it is that you do, do it because it makes you happy”. But there is an assumption here. It might be worded as “you only do things that you are happy to do”. I’ve heard that phrase plenty of times while in my career. Some people do vouch for it, but that doesn’t mean that it has to work for me.
Then what is my motivation? There is a little hint when thinking about That We May Be One book. My primary motivation is to make a difference. I want people, or animals, to be healthy and comfortable. People don’t have to live in constant distress all the time. They can be balanced. So, I only do things because I determine if it will make a difference. And if something is making a difference, then there is satisfaction for me.