One spring break, my wife, Michelle, and I took the kids to Disney World. My mom and dad were with us, and we ran into a guy who had played football for my dad. My dad was a high school football coach in Massachusetts for more than thirty years. This former player, ten to twelve years older than I, was with his extended family on vacation too. So there we were, a gaggle of New Englanders all from the same small town unexpectedly bumping into each other and reminiscing. Somehow I found myself shoulder to shoulder with this man who had become quite a successful leader in his life. He told me, “You know, Jeff, hardly a week goes by where I don’t call on some wisdom that I learned from your dad on the football field or in the classroom.”
At that moment I had two emotions surge through me. First, I was proud of my dad and how he had dedicated himself to the lives of thousands of kids in our town. Second, I was starkly disheartened, like a dagger to my heart I felt, “If I keep up this life, I’m gonna be rich, but with the exception of Michelle and the kids, I’ll probably never have anyone say that about me.”
I knew deep down that if I put the same amount of energy into helping others and honoring God that I had been putting into making my life cozy, I’d be happier. I didn’t know what that meant financially or vocationally, but I was tired of letting fear hold me back.
What I now know in retrospect – and have witnessed in hundreds of people I have coached at the Halftime Institute during the last decade – is that I needed to do something different with my life, but I also needed to see my life – and God – differently.
These two points, what I call “The Doing and Being of Life”, is the foundation of the Joy Model.
What am I going to Do with my life? (Or as I like to say “How am I going to steward my Time, Talent, Treasure, Temple, and Tribe (aka personal relationships)?”
Who is God shaping me to Be?
Doing is practical and service-oriented.
Being component is spiritual and deals with moving from information about God to transformation by God.
Both are critical to pay attention to. Too much focus for too long on doing things for others and God without focusing on God himself can leave us tired and even angry. Too much focus on being in the presence of God and growing spiritually without ever sacrificially loving others and investing in their lives is the fast track to a faith without works that is dead. Lopsided focus in either direction leads to joylessness. I know this because I’ve camped on both extremes in past for seasons. I am sure you have, too.
The big breakthrough in The Joy Model is giving people a tried-and-true methodology for growth in both our Being and Doing. I call it the M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan.
A = Abide: Use a portion of that extra space to spend more time with God and His Word so that our thinking becomes intuitively aligned with His thinking.
S = Self-Awareness: Be brutally honest with ourselves about our strengths, weaknesses, dreams, motivations, fears, and brokenness.
T= Treasure: Manage our money with a biblical perspective of how money flows, how God provides it, and how it’s all His anyway; and Temple: Care for our bodies so that we can be healthy enough to distribute God’s love to the rest of the world. (see my wife Michelle’s ministry for more about this)
E= Engage: Engage in our Calling by applying our talents to the issues and causes we are passionate about.
R= Relationships: Be wise about managing relationships with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and our fellow man.
In my next post, I’ll give you some simple tools and steps to getting traction toward joy. If you can’t wait till then, you can order the book at your favorite retailer right now or subscribe to my blog at www.thejoymodel.com/blog
If you really want to dive deep, explore the Halftime Institute’s Fellows program. It’s the best, most comprehensive way I know of in the world to get your Being and Doing firing on all cylinders. Click here for more information on the Halftime Fellows Program.