The Top 4 Reasons We Struggle To Hold Onto Joy In Life…

The Top 4 Reasons We Struggle To Hold Onto Joy In Life

When we feel joyful, the world is a happy place. Joy brings a sense of peace, and for some individuals, joy even brings laughter and smiles. But for everyone, joy should be a goal, reaching it on a daily basis in order to enjoy this experience we call life.

SEE ALSO: 10 Tips to Start Meditating Like A Pro

On Transcendental Meditation

I will never forget my experience with the founder of transcendental meditation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was 1996, and we were the only media outlet, my nationally syndicated radio talk show with Westwood one, that he selected to celebrate the 40th anniversary of transcendental meditation. This is the form of meditation that the Beatles took worldwide with them, after meeting Maharishi in the early 60s.

After this incredible interview, one of his assistants flew down to Florida to interview me after I spoke at a major conference in Orlando, and that interview would shake my world and rattle me to the core.

During the interview, this young lady, who had been with Maharishi for 36 of his 40 years, asked me what I remembered during my interview with him. I told her that’s a hard question to answer, but the only thing I can remember was his childlike joy. She looked at me and said “David the reason you remember his joy, is because you don’t have any. This may be tough to hear right now, but it’s the truth. Everyone who spends time with Maharishi walks away with one key element they remember… And it’s almost always what is missing in their life.”

I was flabbergasted. This woman doesn’t even know me, how the hell could she say I didn’t have any joy?

Missing Joy

Three weeks later, Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 PM, 1996, I came out of a three-day binge. I looked in the mirror and said: “David, you have no joy.”

She was right. I had money, a house on the beach, a Mercedes convertible. I was doing the work I loved. But my addiction to alcohol and cocaine had robbed my life of joy on a daily basis. I shared the story, and many other stories about joy and why we might have a lack of joy in my new number one best-selling book, “Focus! Slay Your Goals: The proven guide to huge success, a powerful attitude, and profound love”.

In the book, and during my lectures, I talk about this incredible turning point in my life, which eventually led to me getting sober, clean, and finding out what real, daily Joy feels like. Here are the four top killers of joy in our life.


No surprise here, the first is an addiction of any kind. Food. Sex. Smoking. Alcohol. Drugs. Television. Any of these addictions equals no joy.

Toxic Relationship

Staying in a long-term, totally unhealthy love relationship will rob people of joy quicker than anything. So many relationships are filled with codependency. People are afraid to be on their own, afraid to set boundaries and consequences with their lovers. So, they stay in totally unhealthy relationships, which leads to a lack of joy.

Working in a Job You Hate

There comes a time in life, where you have to suck it up and work for a period of time in a career or position you may not like. But if you stay for your entire life, if you work for a company for more than two years that you absolutely hate, you are robbing yourself of any type of joy in life. Unless you can find something to do outside of work that brings incredible joy.


If you’re one of those people who likes to blame everyone else for your sadness, financial woes, weight gain; if you blame the government, your boss, your children, your partner, your parents for the lack of happiness and joy in your life, you are a victim. And victims, never heal. Now that you know four of the top robbers of joy in life, you can pretty much guess that the following four tips will be the opposite of the above. To create joy, do these things:

Get Help

Get help with your addictions today. Initially, being without your drug or behavior of choice will create stress and anxiety. After you work through those emotions, being free of any and all addictions, and I should know this very well, will bring a sense of peace and joy.

Get Out of the Relationship

Get help today, not tomorrow if you’re in a dysfunctional relationship. You cannot find joy if you’re codependent on a partner who treats you like crap, or if you treat your partner like crap. Get help today.

Leave that Job

Start to prepare your resume, ask friends for referrals, and begin looking for a new career and/or job today if you can’t stand the one you’re in. Years ago when I had my radio show with Westwood One, I’ll never forget a guy that called the show complaining to me that he could never be happy in life because of the job he had. He was a postal service worker, he brought mail from house to house every day and he hated his job.

But he was complaining to me on the air about the fact that he had kids, a wife, no education, and this is the only way he could survive. After a long conversation on the show, I encouraged him to find a hobby, attach himself to that hobby, and not get sucked into the concept that because he couldn’t stand what he did for a living, that it should rob him of joy in life.

He told me himself that he was negative, judgmental, and incredibly impatient with everyone around him. He called several months later and he told me he took my advice. He started back into woodworking which he loved years and years ago. And before you knew it, he was making homemade bookshelves and cabinets for his neighbors and making an incredible profit while doing what he loved. He couldn’t give up his postal service job, but he found so much joy in doing this part time that it eventually turned his complete attitude around.

Stop Playing Victim

This is a big one. Quit being a victim. The odds of any of us breaking out of victimhood on our own is small. So, you’re going to have to hire a coach, counselor, therapist, minister or rabbi or priest or someone else to help you shatter your victimhood. It can happen, and once you do that, I promise you joy will return.

While joy may be a natural state for many, it sure is not for most people unless they’re willing to do the above steps to bring more joy into their life. We all are deserving of a life of joy, but it will take effort, changing your attitude, and maybe even your career and your relationships as well as dropping all addictions in order to bring joy into your life once and for all. After my recovery from addictions, life was never easy. I have faced many struggles in life, but I can tell you, Joy is always right around the corner since I dropped my addictions to drugs and alcohol.

It’s worth the effort. It’s worth the work and I want you to feel the same thing. But you’re going to have to change starting today.

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David Essel


David Essel, M. S., is a number one best-selling author (10), counselor, master life coach, international speaker and radio host…

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