You might be surprised at the people who are bored, stressed out, or tired of their status quo.  Many of them have achieved the kind of success that we are all told to pursue in business school. They are running companies and filling up their bank accounts. Some have private planes and a few houses in all the right places. But, in spite of all that they have and achieved, the worry, routine and fixation on pursuing the American Dream just isn’t worth it any more. They’ve come to realize that life is more than comfort, entertainment, the next gadget, the next vacation, the next promotion, or the next deal.  Those things in and of themselves are not necessarily bad things— they’re just not as fulfilling for them as they used to be.

Does that describe you?

If so, maybe it’s time to do something about it.

The New Year is underway, and it’s that time when we make our resolutions. Let me encourage you to not wait another second. Do something now. Do something exciting, energizing, and risky… to be a part of something great and noble… to REALLY live… to make a lasting difference.

This new and rewarding life will begin and end with the seemingly counterintuitive decision to focus on others, and their needs instead of yours. Yeah, I know. Seems backwards, doesn’t it?

I had a Triple Whammy hit me recently (This past November) that really got me to thinking about this topic. First, I watched “Blood Diamond” with Leonardo DiCaprio. (Gut-wrenching.) Then, on Thanksgiving, my family and I cooked and served Thanksgiving dinner for 150 homeless people in downtown Denver. (Heart-breaking.) On Friday, I watched the documentary Human Flow.  (Mind blowing). The combination of the three shook me up.

I was reminded of the bumper sticker “If you’re not completely appalled, you’re not paying attention.”

My understanding of human nature is that trying to guilt people into self-sacrificial compassion never works. Preaching about Christ’s concern for the poor, sick, hungry, widows, orphans, and imprisoned won’t do it either. The only way I know that works is to expose people to what’s really happening in the world beyond our bubbles, ESPN, Wall Street, and network TV.

Most people aren’t hard hearted, they are just insulated.

Or perhaps they are paralyzed by the sheer scope of the undertaking. I encourage you to resist the temptation to do nothing because you don’t think you will be able to solve the problem.

Perhaps more important than solving the problem is to simply provide compassion for the people trapped in the problem. As Mother Theresa said “We are called to serve, not succeed.”

I’m not going to end this with simple ideas for pitching in. I’m not going to end this with shocking statistics about homelessness, the refugee crisis, or human trafficking.

I’m simply going to suggest that if you’re in a funk in life and trying to figure out how to come fully alive at last, take the counter-intuitive approach: explore the breadth of what’s going on in the world through movies, documentaries, volunteering and reading. Let your heart break. Find a cause you can’t NOT get involved in. Once that happens, you’ll know it and you’ll know what to do next. You’ll be amazed at how being selfless can be wonderfully self-serving.

“If you want to really live, die to yourself.” Jesus the Christ. (Luke 9:24-25)


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