Guest Blog: JOY vs Contentment, Battle Royale, or Not

One of my high school creative writing teachers once told us her father told her “Joy is not something you can constantly keep up. The best you can hope for daily is contentment”. That was harsh. I was devastated. I mulled it over so much, because it was there forever. It was said to me nearly twenty years ago, before blogs, websites, and internet, and here I am blogging about it. It’s one of those things I just can not unthink. For me, it was akin to her making us slow down in our car to check out an accident and we not only cause a gapper delay, but we see someone lying injured on the ground being worked on by paramedics. I can ‘t undo that. Geez, that was mean of her!
I say no! Heck, no! I rally against your notion of JOY as a fleeting muse! There are different kinds of JOY and maybe sometimes they work with contentment. Do they have to be mutually exclusive, backs turned from each other? Let’s employee some symbiosis here, friends.

Perhaps, the problem is not that on a day-to-day continuum we can’t have JOY, because it is only occasional, but maybe, just hopefully maybe, we are not appreciating our contentment enough. Can’t contentment inspire our JOY?
Case in point: You may have some daily rituals you engage in. Many are coffee drinkers. I prefer tea, but no matter. Some even swear by it as their caffeine pick-me-up. Some need multiple cups. If you live where it is freezing during the winter months (or if you enjoy a cold drink in warmer climes) isn’t that first sip radiantly warming (or refreshingly cooling)? There is contentment, because you have what you need when you need it. (Need loosely used here to mean want.) And if you appreciate that you live in a place where that need/want can be fulfilled, DAILY, isn’t that JOY? I think so.

With all the questions, I’ve sounded more like a therapist than a blogger tonight. One in the same, I say. Shouldn’t a good blog make you feel better about something? Hence, bringing you contentment, and moreover inspiring JOY? Yep.

Notice what makes your day better. You may have gotten too entrenched in your everyday routine to pay attention. Don’t feel as though you have to get up early to change it or alter the order in which you do things. Simply taking note that those pleasures are a part of your day is enough. Then, tell me, “How does that make you feel?”.

Peace and JOY with you!

AUTHOR BLURB: Elaine Paliatsas-Haughey is one of the lucky ones. She’s got Michael and Zoe and lots of others to love and love her. She is a writer of small important things and a teacher of small important people. She dedicates this post of JOY to Ef and thanks Brett for this opportunity. More joyous blog posts by Elaine can be read at

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Inspirational Life Coach Brett Dupree (266 Posts)

Internationally certified life coach through inviteCHANGE, Brett Dupree envisions a powerful future in which people live in pure joy. He believes that there is a great transformation just around the corner and he coaches people on how to use passion and inspiration to ride the powerful wave of awakening that is sweeping this world. Brett has dedicated his life to the study of personal empowerment. He believes that real lasting change comes from changing from the inside out. Working with you one-on-one, Brett helps you listen to your inner voice to reach your goals with passion, inspiration and ease . He creates a sacred space that allows you clients to bask in the joy of creation. He will help you find peace and balance in their lives so you can transform yourself into a self leader. Using the power of intentions, the Law of Attraction and his deep loving powerful heart he helps his clients gain miraculous results.


  1. Great guest post. As an eternal optimist (baby, I was born that way!) I know that joy isn't just overwhelming excitement. It is in the little things as well. Don't get me wrong, I love a big whoop-de-do now and then, but each day I wake up is a joy worth thanking God for.

  2. What a great post! I think contentment is possibly the highest level of peace in my experience. Love how we each and all see language slightly differently and I would venture to guess our experiences are similar.

    I am so grateful to know the Ultimate Blog Challenge has introduced me to so many great people!

    • Elaine on January 26, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Thank you Julie and Joan! I’m glad you enjoyed my spin on contentment as joy. I wish you both joy and hope you’ll keep up with me at my blog and facebook fanpage. Thanks again!

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