Finding Joy in a Stressed Out World

Each of us has a mission field and each of us has a mission in life.

Your mission might be:

  • to be the best parent you can be.
  • to grow the best career you can so you can provide for your family.
  • to be the best friend you can be to the people who support you.
  • to be the best person you can be so you enjoy more of life.

Or any of a number of other goals you have for yourself. Because, realistically, your goals are also your mission. The goal which means the most to you is your mission. These are the things in life that inspire and drive you to do your best each and every day.

Without goals or motivation you’re stuck going around the same mountain day after day after day. Without a goal to drive your actions you become stagnant in your own personal development.

BUT, – and this is one great big BUT – when you’re life is consumed with caring for children, getting back and forth to work and dealing with your ex, how in the world is there room for more?

This might be exactly what you’re thinking. Getting up in the morning every day, just hoping you make it through in one piece, to get to bed again that evening. Why should you try to fit one more thing in your day?

But, without fitting this one thing in your day, every day, you’ll be stuck going around the same mountain again and again.

There can be joy in your life, but it’s up to you to find it. And, one of the best places to find that joy is outside yourself.

Again, you’re probably asking – but I do think outside myself when I care for my children and do my best at work. What else is there?

That “what else” that will feed your soul, drive your actions and provide you with more joy than you could imagine.


Doing something for someone that’s unexpected brings you unexpected joy and boosts that thing that motivates you to get through your day.

Your mission field, should you choose to accept it, is your own backyard. You don’t have to go anywhere outside your own neighborhood to find people who need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on or a helping hand.

Watch for the little places where you can make a big difference in someone else’s life.  Is your neighbor sick and need a meal? Is their little one sick and they need some Tylenol? Is your neighbor’s lawn mower broken? or do they need their driveway shoveled?

Is there a nursing home close by? Residents love visitors and your children will thrive on the positive reinforcement and guidance they get from an older generation.  If you don’t have parents in the city, you may want to ‘adopt’ a senior whose family is also not close by.

These connections bring you a gift you can’t reproduce any other way, and teach your children lessons they can’t learn from books, movies or lectures. It won’t matter how many times you talk about how to be good to others, your children learn how to be who they are by watching you and imitating your behavior.

A couple of weeks ago my youngest son came home from ball practice. He told me that a parent had come to the door of the coach’s office, where the team was meeting. After a brief knock, the man barged in and start yelling at the varsity coach that the junior varsity coach had kicked his son out of practice for mouthing off.

My son asked me why the man even bothered to knock because he didn’t respect the closed door enough to wait for an answer, and wondered why this father thought that yelling at one coach would change the mind of another coach about his son’s disrespectful behavior.

Children watch what we do. When we value our self and take time to grow personally, they notice. You might not think they notice, but they do. They will mimic your behavior as they grow and mature. You want more for your children than you have gotten yourself.

But, to get there, they have to learn to be the best that they can be. They have to be great people to get great results. And they will be great people when they put in the effort to become a great person.

They grow, they mature, they develop and they produce what they see in their parents. You have a chance to not only affect yourself, your own joy and happiness, but the future of your children, by choosing a mission in life to grow and become the best that you can be each and every day.

What you choose to do today, tomorrow and the next day affects your future, your children and the people you touch each day.

Consider looking outside your home for a mission field that will bless you, your children and your neighbor.


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