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What Is Joy? What Is Happiness?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 3:57
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A lot has been written about happiness. How do you get it?  A lot of people are meditating, and trying to practice mindfulness.  I have seen groups form up that talk about “spirit” and other things.  A lot of what they are talking about is similar to what I was taught in Sunday School.

Of course, the alternative is not being happy or being depressed.  A lot has been written about that too.  A lot of people I know have committed suicide, or gotten divorced.

My friend Jeff Spadafora moved from Chicago to Denver a long time ago.  He and his wife decided they loved the mountains and wanted to be there.  So, they picked up and left.  Jeff was able to land a job before they moved.  His wife was always self employed doing lifestyle businesses, so she just started a new one there.

Along the way, Jeff got involved with a thing called Halftime.  Both Jeff and Michelle were Christian prior to moving, but Halftime really helped them find their faith.

Recently, Jeff started a blog.  It’s about finding joy.  The last post was highly interesting even for non-religious people.  I think it also would be interesting to people that are religious, but not Christian.  Jeff writes,

If I were forced to guess at the top three reasons why people don’t adhere to this truth, here’s what I would say:

  • The False Hope of Consumerism: We focus too much time trying to make money to buy things thinking the things will bring us more joy than solid relationships will;

  • The False Hope of Financial Independence: We think hitting some inflated, Wall Street-dictated number will bring us greater security than God’s provision

  • Seeking the Approval of People Instead of God: Too much time and negative energy is spent trying to prove to people that we are worthy, smart, beautiful, capable, successful, etc. — instead of simply focusing on what is pleasing to God.

Do you see any of these in your approach to life?  I most certainly do.

I remember one day when I first started trading, one trader said, “What’s your out number?”  That varies from person to person.  It’s a moving target.  He announced his out number was $4M at 5% interest rates.  If he could scrape together $4M in cash, he’d get $200k per year and be fine.   I have fixated on an out number.  That is the False Hope of Financial Independence.  Guess what, even when I was close, I wasn’t happy.  Then the market crashed.

I have struggled ever since.

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