You're Not The Only One Trying to Figure Out Joy

On Thursday I facilitated a conversation with 20 women (and 1 guy!) in Scottsdale about life purpose. It’s the “sweet spot issue” the Halftime Institute helps people figure out. The energy in the room was palpable.

As we discussed how engaging in your calling is one piece of the joy God wants you to experience, the curiosity about the other pieces jumped a notch.

We didn’t have a lot of time left in the session when this came up, but I didn’t feel pressure to cram too much info into the last few minutes.  The components to joy are actually pretty simple – not easy – but simple. (My book, The Joy Model, takes you step-by-step through how to make these simple but not easy principles come to life.)

As an aside -  before I list out the principles -  I have a hunch some of you have already read my book hoping for joy and it still eludes you.  My only encouragement is to go back to the book and actually do what I recommend.  Joy is more about daily focus and intention over time than some simple trick that changes everything in an instant.

In my experience, most people don’t need to be taught -- just reminded. Here’s a quick refresher:

Get MARGIN in your calendar – One of the biggest joy sappers in our lives is busyness. The pace is not just draining you, it’s distracting you from taking the time out to think, dream, pray, and journal about what your life could be.

Spend more time with God – Use some of the margin in your calendar to ABIDE with God by reading the bible, reading books that can help you understand the true nature of God, praying, journaling, etc.  I can 100% guarantee you that as you gather the real facts about the living God of the bible, your joy will increase.

Develop a full sense of SELF-AWARENESS -  A question to wrestle with is “Once I understand who God and His Son Jesus are, what does that mean about who I am?” (Hint: If you decide to trust that Jesus is who He says He is, you instantly become His beloved child. Not that He didn’t love you beforehand, but now you can actually appreciate it!  You are free, forgiven, and eternally inseparable from God.  Let that soak in and blow your mind. Other things to noodle on: What am I afraid of and ashamed of? Identify those things and discover the false thinking that will free you of that fear and shame.

Take care of your TEMPLE – Your body houses the Holy Spirit and is God’s primary delivery mechanism of love to other people.  Are you taking care of it well enough to bless others? In general, doing what you can to stay healthy has a huge impact on your joy.  Check out my wife Michelle’s system for this at

Get clear on how God arranged money to work -  Having an understanding of your TREASURE, where it came from, and how it positively and negatively effects your life, is a critical step toward financial freedom.

Get ENGAGED in your calling – While the Halftime Institute coaches people through all elements of the Joy Model, this is their core competence.  You were created for a unique purpose.  A purpose that will bless you, bless others, and draw peoples’ attention back to the loving God of the universe. Don’t waste another second of your life NOT pursuing an answer to the question: “What is the most noble, leveraged and loving way for me to make a difference in the world?”     

Shore up, invest in and leverage your RELATIONSHIPS: Shore up by saying “Thank you,” “I forgive you,” and “Please forgive me.”  Invest in the people closest to you by creatively serving, loving and helping them. Leverage the people closest to you by seeking their help, insight, wisdom and accountability. Don’t use people, invite them to be useful to you.  And reciprocate for them.

That’s it.  Literally. That’s all there is.  The next step is to begin a life long journey of growing in these areas. If you lean into these areas, you may not feel the joy by next week, but I think you’ll be surprised at the positive condition of your heart a year from now. And three years from now you’ll be amazed… and full of joy.

Is the pain of your joylessness great enough to commit to this pathway? If so, buy the The Joy Model and dig in.

“God is close to those who are broken-hearted and near to those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 14:18

Jeff SpadaforaComment