Being happy and being authentic are not synonymous. However, happiness and authenticity work symbiotically. When you are living your authentic self, you are naturally going to have more moments of happiness.
Living authentically produces something even stronger than happiness. Living authentically produces joy. Joy is spiritual, it’s deep, it’s philosophical, and it doesn’t change with the seasons or the environment. Joy is steady. It’s calmer and more reliable than happiness. So what we really want, crave and need is joy because when you have joy you have something that is coming from the inside out, rather than happiness which is often produced from the outside in.
When you are authentic, you naturally have more joy in your life. Joy is a byproduct of living the life that God wants you to live and being who He created you to be. Living authentically produces joy and happiness.
Eccentrics are an excellent example of how joy, happiness, and authenticity merge. Scientific studies and researchers who’ve investigated the lives of eccentrics have discovered that eccentrics are happier than other people. Famed psychologist David Weeks spent years studying eccentrics and found that eccentrics live more freely and fearlessly. They have more excitement in their lives, are more mindful, but most importantly they are themselves – these traits make them happier than the average person.
When you live a life of authenticity and embrace who you are and not care what anybody else thinks, you live a happier and more joyful life.
Of course, there is a downside to living a more authentic life – you may upset the people around you by not living how they want you to live. You might disrupt their peace, but you’ll have peace within, and inner peace is priceless.
There is nothing more disturbing than a restless, chaotic spirit. Confusion is a natural enemy of man. When people are confused, they make bad choices; they get depressed, they stagnate internally and sometimes they just stand paralyzed in their confusion.
One of the ways that you keep confusion out is to stay true to who you are. If you pretend to be someone else, an inner battle begins to rage, and a byproduct of that battle is confusion. Many people are deprived of their peace because they’re confused. And a lot of people are confused because they are not living authentically.
Joyful people aren’t confused. Joyful people live in clarity. They don’t live in a fog with their vision blurred by the past or future. They live in the present. One of my digital mentors taught me that joy is the reward for discerning the divine gift camouflaged in the immediate moment. I would also argue that joy and happiness are the divine gifts camouflaged in living authentically.