Friday, June 30, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom--Find Your Core Joys: Some Father's Day Advice to My Grown Children--Part 3

Find Your Core Joys:  Some Father's Day Advice to My Grown Children - Part 3       

"God has blessed me with an amazing family, friends, and work colleagues that have been my joy, my support, and my sanity.  I don't know what I'd do without them."  Josie Loren  


Continued from last Wednesday . . .

Dear Children,
Over the past two weeks I've recommended that you create a written inventory of the activities that make YOU happy, and that you evaluate the quality and depth of happiness each of these activities gives you using "The Farnsworth Felicity Scale." (Remember, if you want to use different words or move the words around on the scale to suit your own personal lexicon, that's OK.)


This will allow you to apply the first two of three "stupidly simple and duh-obvious" principles that have the potential to greatly increase your overall happiness. They are:

1: Different things make different people happy.
2: There are different levels or degrees of happiness.

Here are the links for those articles in case you missed them:
In this week's article, I'd like you to consider how to apply in your own lives the third principle:
3: Life is sweeter when we share our core joys.
Once you've identified your "core joys," keep your list on the top of your mind. Pay attention to the Felicity Scale as you choose your friends and associates. Pray that God will bring to your attention those who share those same joys. And when you find those people, hug them and keep them close. Life is more fulfilling when you work with, play with, and live with people who find joy in the same things.
By way of illustration, I have a cousin who is a woman of adventure. That's one of her core joys. She has gathered a circle of close friends who share her love of outdoor challenges, and they are constantly hiking, camping, and exploring. From her photographs and stories, it is apparent that her happiness is multiplied as she and her cohorts enjoy their adventures together.
This issue is especially critical as you choose your life partner.  I recently wrote to one of my younger children:
I will suggest that seeking someone who shares your core joys will be one of the most important things you can do to have a sweet and joyful marriage. For example, one of your core joys (in my view) is being generous. It oozes out of you and brings great meaning to your life. You love to serve the elderly, the overlooked, and the less-fortunate. Now let's suppose you were "unequally yoked" to someone who did not share this as one of their "core joys." It's easy to see the kind of tension this would create in your family.
You can be on different pages in lots of ways that won't ultimately make much difference. However, if you are mismatched in your core joys, all the other similarities won't help that much.
I have thought a lot about why Marcie and I have enjoyed such a sweet, harmonious marriage, and I believe this issue is the key. In our early years, most who met us thought we were a completely asymmetric couple and many even expressed the thought out loud. I was a socially awkward farm boy from New Mexico who had never gone anywhere or done anything, and she was an outgoing Southern Belle with a much broader world experience. Our personalities were polar opposites.

But notwithstanding our outward differences, we just seemed to click from the moment we met. We found joy in the same things, and we were both very intentional about finding someone who shared those same core joys. As a result, from the beginning of our marriage we were close and supportive, and we have consistently remained so through the years. We have lived a joyful life together.
Thus, my formula for enjoying greater happiness in life is to understand and apply these three principles:
1: Different things make different people happy.
2: There are different levels or degrees of happiness.
3: Life is sweeter when we share our core joys.

The implementation of these principles is not extraordinarily difficult or beyond the reach of anyone. The ability to identify and prioritize core joys and surround ourselves with others who share them are essential keys to an abundant and rewarding life. Far beyond wealth, power, prestige, or material possessions, these steps will largely determine the quality of our time here on earth. 

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