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.

MMargin: Create space in our calendars to slow down and think intentionally and strategically about where we are going with our lives… and thethejoymodeln make the hard choices and proper adjustments

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.

TTreasure: 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)

EEngage: Engage in our Calling by applying our talents to the issues and causes we are passionate about.

RRelationships: 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

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.

Jeff Spadafora
Jeff Spadafora is a Master Certified Halftime Coach and a Lead Faciliator for The Halftime Institute. He spent 20 years as a leadership and executive development consultant for Fortune 1000 companies such as Ford Motor Company, Easter Seals. Compassion International, Compuware, Domino’s Pizza, Visteon, Northern Trust Bank, and Helene Curtis.

In 2005, Jeff was inspired by Bob Buford’s book Halftime and began his journey of discovering God’s true purpose for his second half. As he worked with his Halftime coach, it became clear that his calling is to help other people discover their calling.

He has coached over 130 men and women through the Halftime Journey and continues to make this a primary part of his ministry. As the leader of The Halftime Institute’s global coaching staff, he is also responsible for recruiting, training, and managing Halftime Certified coaches throughout the world.

Jeff served on the staff leadership team for ten years and was the lead designer of the Halftime curriculum and one of the primary facilitators of workshops for groups of people embarking on the Halftime journey. Jeff also writes and speaks globally about the issues of life purpose, joy, and kingdom impact.

His latest book, The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to a Life of Peace, Purpose, and Balance, is the result of a decade of personal growth, life coaching, coach leadership and study. WWW.THEJOYMODEL.COM

Jeff lives in Evergreen Colorado with his wife Michelle and has 3 children. He enjoys fishing, hunting, skiing, mountain biking and everything else the great outdoors of Colorado has to offer.

“Too many people focus the better part of their lives on the wrong things: the company’s agenda, other peoples’ ideas of success . . . money. Over time, this leads to frustration and emptiness. True freedom comes as a people discover their God-given design and pour themselves into service for others.” –Jeff Spadafora

Checkout Jeff's Articles:
The “Cowboy” Approach to Your Second Half Just Doesn't Work
What Should I Do With My Life?
I Lost My Heart
A Journey
An Ancient Halftimer

Listen to his podcasts:
Eternal Leadership - Coaches Corner
Eternal Leadership - Smoldering Discontent
Knowledge for Men
Theology of Business
Professional Christian Coaching Today
iWork4Him - Joy and Happiness