Connect, Lead, Equip: Are You Joyful?
The first step in dealing with leadership struggles, difficult situations, relationship troubles, and life challenges, is to recognize discouragement and the next step is to find inner joy. Setting an example of joyfulness will motivate others to do the same. On the other hand, when gone unattended, discouragement festers and leads to big soul problems. Below are some symptoms of discouragement.
- Emotional depletion
- Negative thinking
- Feeling overwhelmed
It’s safe to assume that if there’s one thing we all want, it’s to be happy. The pursuit of happiness drives us as leaders and generally in life. We pursue it in a variety of ways: money, relationships, success, etc. And if we can’t really find happiness we may fake it and put on a happy face. If we could buy happy head-gear, we might even try that. But, beyond happiness is something much deeper and more lasting — joy. There is a significant difference between happiness and joy.
Happiness depends on right happenings in our life and things going our way. In fact, the root word for happiness is “hap” which means a chance, lucky, or accidental occurrence. When we say things “happen” it means they come about by chance; without expectation or design.
So, happiness is dependent on people, things, and events outside ourselves being positive, pleasurable, and desirable.
But, if we’re only happy when things are going our way, we’ll be unhappy much of our lives. Especially in a leadership position, it’s crucial to form resilience in the face of change and disappointment. The reality is, we can’t align people, events, and things the way we desire and design. Things don’t always go our way. Look at three aspects of joy below that set it apart from happiness.
3 Facts about Joy:
- Joy is internal not external. It’s not dependent on things going right in the outside arena of life circumstances. Joy arises from within.
- Joy is an attitude. Happiness is an emotion (a feeling that fluctuates with our circumstances). Attitudes are under our control. We can and do choose our attitude and approach toward life.
- Joy is a spiritual quality of life. Galatians 5:22 says, “the Holy Spirit produces joy…” God wants you to have a joyful life.
Leadership filled with joy stems from the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. This joy, which is not based on circumstances, directly impacts those we lead. Are you surrendering your days and moments to the Holy Spirit? Are you joyful? What is the example you are setting to those you lead?