I am always trying to feel joy. In the past I used to get up in the morning with a joy and zest for life. Lately, there is a feeling tugging in my heart that it can’t be this way anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve become more mature. I am trying to see the positive aspects of life and I am also doing inner work with feeling more grateful for all the good I have. Even so, I have a small sense that I am not doing the actions that would make me feel I’m fulfilling my mission I’ve been sent here for. I don’t feel that I am truly bringing good upon myself or helping others. I wish I could work with young people or with children [where I would feel more useful]. I feel disappointed and I do not feel a true joy in getting up in the morning. What should I do – should I leave my job which feels so unfulfilling to me, but which brings in money? Or should I search for a different job that’s more suited to me? I would be happy to receive your guidance.
First, before anything, it is recommended to reflect about your personal situation and discover where you used to be getting your joy from – what changed that you are no longer getting joy?
You need to also know that sometimes, the reason [for loss of joy] is because a person has grown spiritually, and this causes the soul to demand a deeper and truer kind of joy. Sometimes, the reason may be because a person has gone through certain events which have made his life more complicated, and he needs to uncover a deep joy in order to counter the changes. After one has thought about these factors, it will be easier to develop proper joy, according to the current state of one’s soul and according to unique situation one is in today.
Understandably, it is hard to decide how to practically answer your question, without a more comprehensive view of your situation.
On a general level, our Sages teach that a person needs to find a job that is tailored according to one’s talents, which are suited to one’s particular capabilities and nature. (We should note that there are people who have the following issue: they will make important decisions and they are prepared to handle any difficulties that come their way, simply because they have a desire and an interest in what they are undertaking. However, they fail to take into their account how this decision will affect their family). Therefore a person needs to take everything into account, and to try as much as he can to provide the emotional needs of everyone who will be affected by his decision).
Still, in every situation HaKadosh Baruch Hu places a person in, it is upon one to find inner meaning in life. That is why a person should have a certain topic of inner meaning which he can be involved with for at least part of his day, in which he activates the potential of his spiritual power. One should involve himself deeply throughout the day in a certain topic of inner meaning, so that even if part of his day needs to be spent on other things, he can still remain connected and deeply attached, on a soul level, to an inner matter. It may be a matter between himself and HaKadosh Baruch Hu, such as something related to prayer or emunah, or it may be an interpersonal matter, such as helping others in their spiritual matters or in their material needs. When this becomes part of one’s daily routine, one will be able to feel joy and enthusiasm when he starts each day, because he knows that he can look forward to getting true satisfaction for his soul each day.eng