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Setting Goals That Will Maximize Your Joy


I’m offering a challenge that will take you down a road of true happiness.

     We live in a culture that attempts to fill us with a sense of entitlement. “You deserve a break today”, “Have it your way”, “Do something for yourself”. For many, it seems the ultimate goal is a retirement that is filled with comfort and leisure; the ultimate payback for years of hard work and sacrifice. Images of luxurious golf courses, spas and massages, gourmet dinners by candlelight, lush accommodations, perhaps a second or third home, and world travel first class. Please do not misunderstand. I do not consider it morally wrong for anyone to enjoy the fruit of their labor. However…

     Research and experience teach us that the most fulfilling, satisfying, and sustained feelings of joy occur when people are making a difference and serving others. Typically, the unhappiest, frustrated, depressed folks are those who are bored and lack a significant purpose in life. Once they amass their creature comforts and meet their current desires, there is yet another desire for something else. Bigger, better…never enough.

     I want to challenge the idea that the ultimate success in life is having a challenge free self-fulfilled life of comfort, pleasure, and luxury. I believe that is a delusion, fraught with great disappointment and regret. The recreational happiness that comes from maximizing creature comfort with stuff is fleeting and shallow. A diet dominated with rich deserts ends in disaster. Serving and giving is the meat and potatoes of life. Our deepest sense of satisfaction comes in service and giving.

     I encourage you to set some goals that will maximize your joy; goals of service and giving in specific ways. Create unique and fun ways to bless and help others. Though it’s nice to take periodic breaks to enjoy some good things in life, the greatest sustained joy is in pursuing making a difference.

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