I think I have been “PUNKED”!

Personal Purpose: Figured it out.

Vision: Own it.

Mission: Off and running.

Joy: What the Hell?

According to the world’s experts on living a full and satisfying life, you need to find and own your purpose, mission and vision. Since I feel I have nailed the “big three”, why am I not bolting out of bed the happiest man on earth?

So, this morning I decided go looking for joy. I headed out the door to stroll along Mission Bay and then circle back along the Pacific Ocean boardwalk. If there was no joy to be found in this little circuit of heaven then maybe joy does not exist:

Here is what I observed:

  • People walking dogs: They seem like a joyful lot – or at least the dog is.
  • Stopping to pet a dog and start up a conversation: Confirmed my assumption.
  • Runners: Definitely pain (the anguished striving faces made me cringe).
  • Device consumed walkers: How do you measure joy in cyberspace?
  • Selfie: JOY in the narcissistic moment but PAIN with no Facebook “likes”.
  • Bikers: Pain – get out of my way or die!
  • Brief banter with a homeless guy: Funny/Joy (who knew?).
  • Dying bee on the sidewalk: Sad/Pain.
  • Freedom to beach walk on a Wednesday morning: Joy – do I need to explain why?

Rick Warren said it best. “Pain and joy are like to two railroad tracks running in parallel. Look far enough down the tracks they merge into one.” Taking a moment to observe my surroundings, and my associated emotions, confirmed the two coexist in every circumstance. The only question is, “which one is grabbing my attention at the moment?”

Being a Type A problem solver, I think I have a natural bent to walk more on the pain track. I’m like the runner, looking ahead at the hill of tasks and problems to solve, completely unaware of the joy that lies just outside my targeted focus.

The “big three” puts you on the right train in life but how you embrace the emotions of the journey are up to you.

My question to you: If I crossed your path that morning what would my assumption be about how you are embracing your journey?