Everything that a human being does is only in pursuit of his joy. Joy is not about what you do and do not do. Joy is about how you are within yourself. If only your mind and emotion happened the way you wanted, if they were taking instructions from you, you would definitely keep yourself joyful.
The question is not about joy or misery; the question is just whether your mind is out of control or in control. If it is in control, you would definitely create a joyful situation within yourself. Only because it is out of control – it is happening in random reaction to external situations – it is not joyful.
You can manage external situations only to a certain extent. Outside situations happen your way only to some extent, never 100% your way. If your inner situation is happening in compulsive reaction to the external situation, being joyful is always going to be accidental. What you call as the outside is a million different ingredients over which you have no control. But inside there is only one “you.”
If you happen the way you want yourself to be, your choice is definitely to be joyful. The problem is just that your interiority – mind, body, energies and emotions – are happening accidentally, in compulsive reaction to the situations in which you exist.
As there is a science and technology to create external situations the way we want, there is a whole science and technology to create inner situations the way we want. If we employ this technology for inner wellbeing, the yogic technology to create your inner situations the way you want, being joyful or not being joyful is never in question because if you had a choice your intelligence would definitely choose to be joyful, not miserable.
So, in the race or out of the race is not the question. The question is whether your body, mind, emotion and energies are taking instructions from you or are they happening in compulsive reaction to external situations?