Joyful effort, the fourth Paramita is a protective way to not become sour and angry in daily life. It means that we should go and follow the bliss and beauty all around us. It means we give others our best with our totality and that it is fun and joyful is a huge motivation. We can think of how children react most of the time with pure joy and amazement. We plant the seeds of love and positive energy when we choose to act in this powerful way. We diligently apply the Buddha Dharma in all areas of our life and the law of Karma takes care of the rest. This includes the parts of the 8-fold path of the Theravada way of right view, right resolve and right mindfulness.
If you want more joy in your life it’s easiest to bring it to others first. Buddhism is not magic it starts and ends with our actions. You don’t just go to a party and hang out with the most exciting person there hoping to soak up all their goodness and therefore be as good as them. We go to the party and be part of the group, we reflect the joy of others back onto them with extra joy on top. This magnification or multiplication of joy is the goal. And to be honest we needn’t do this only at a party, joyful effort at work and at home is equally as beneficial. I personally find joy when I am thankful, I consciously observe all things around me during my day. When I see something beautiful or inspiring I simply say “THANK YOU”. In this small moment, my heart fills with joy that I then pass on to those around me. This simple mirror-like reflection reminds me that the joy and beauty that I see outside of me are only possible because the same is within my mind and my being. Of course, some days are easier than others, and sometimes I can only think “oh how wonderful it’s amazing just because it can happen”. Even in this basic view of the universe, every experience can be a step along the way to enlightenment.