What's Next? Hopefully Pain.

What’s Next? Hopefully Pain.

Thanks for the input last week on how to interpret the survey data. (For those of you who only interact with me on Facebook, you can see more of the dialogue at www.thejoymodel.com/blog )

Here are the two big takeaways I had from the data:

1.       First of all, how cool that 99% of the people who sincerely applied the principles in my book actually experienced an uptick in joy.

2.       Secondly, it's clear that even solid tools and ideas don’t help people change. Pain plus solid tools and ideas cause change.

What I mean by the second point is that people who are experiencing significant pain in their life (as a opposed to low-grade temporary joylessness) are more likely to endure the discomfort of changing habits in order to change their situation.

I spoke to this issue this week to a group in Kansas City and they resonated with it: If our life is “not-great-could-be-better-but-still-tolerable,” we aren’t going to fight hard to make changes. Sort of along the lines of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

It’s why people in prison, AA, and skid row so often have huge breakthroughs to spiritual reality and freedom.  They’ve got nowhere else to go, so they go all in with God. Moses was chased to the desert. Paul was stricken blind. David was hunted by Saul. Joseph was betrayed by his family.  

Suffering can take us down… or it can be the catalyst for change.

Those suffering from a mild case of middle class malaise will hedge their bets with a little bit of God’s way mixed in with a little bit of our way.  Not the best formula for joy, freedom and peace. 

The net of all this is that I don’t know what to offer next as a means for helping people experience more joy.  By far the most asked for resource was a personal workbook, but the survey says the original book (and the 15 Day Reflection Guide) is sufficient for someone who is serious about change.

Maybe I just keep writing Truth as best I understand it and trust that those who need it most will be the ones who apply it???

Let me noodle on this some more, talk to a few folks, and pray about it.  I’ll get back to you next week. 

Happy 4th of July.