樂 (乐) has always been understood to mean joy or happiness.
Most people would never link 樂 with trials, tribulations, and difficulties.
However, later Confucians have a saying: You can cry and have sorrow, and yet still have 樂.
There seems to be a contradiction. But, I soon found greater depth in this word when attending a talk on Confucianism.
To the Confucians, 樂 does not mean joy. Rather, 樂 means contentment. While I may be going through a tough time, I can still be experiencing 樂 (contentment).
Holding on to 樂 is very important because it is essential in keeping one’s mind clear like a clear mirror or still water. By being detached from things, one can then be content with life, and be able to respond calmly to things/situations.