I have a google document where I keep track of all the victories I’m experiencing and things I’m grateful for. I have it broken down month-by-month.
But for two months, I didn’t write in it. For two whole months, I skipped the habit I had been doing for years at least a couple of times per week. And those two months were the two worst months of the year for me.
For two months, I was down and depressed. Things were going on personally and entrepreneurially that had me in a real funk. I felt like the joy of life had been punched out of me. I was gasping for air and desperate for anything that resembled a sign of hope that I would recover.
Then…I remembered that I had a routine of practicing gratitude in the mornings – and that I was no longer following the routine.
With the weight of priorities, launches, and events I was in charge of for that month, I got off my slow-paced morning routine. I traded it in to rush and to get everything I needed to do done. I found myself not spending time with my son as much and speeding through my daily devotionals to hurry on to my day.
I was being robbed of everything that brought me real joy in the mornings, and I was paying the price the rest of the day… for two months straight.
Entrepreneurship Can Kill Our Joy
Entrepreneurship is a helter-skelter roller-coaster ride of emotions. We have problems we experience on the home front. We have people and business priorities pulling us in a million directions. This is a recipe for killing joy in our lives.
We’re all going to experience the ups and downs of business ownership, the question is whether we’re going to ride the roller-coaster with our hands in the air full of excitement and joy, or we’re going to close our eyes, cower down, cover our heads, and pray that the ride end already so we can jump the heck off.
How can we experience more joy on our entrepreneurial journey? What do we do to recover the joy we once felt? Where can we find the daily fill of joy we need to make it through the day instead of sputtering out.
The bible says
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9 NIV)"
What Paul the apostle is teaching the Christian church at Phillipi is that if there’s a secret to joy and happiness, it’s simply staying present to the moment. The more presence in the NOW, the more gratitude fills in, and the more joy comes pouring out.
You Must Rejoice to Experience Joy
Rejoice has the word “joy” in it. And it’s impossible to rejoice and at the same time be in a rush or hurry mode because the mind can’t experience both emotions at the same time. Rush and joy are incompatible.
When you rush through life, you’re saying to yourself that you’re willing to trade what you have right now for joy in the future and that you’ll rejoice later on with God once this current thing is all over.
But here’s the problem: it’s easy to give God your future because you don’t have it yet. The real sacrifice is in giving God our NOW, and sacrifice is where you experience the true metamorphosis into Christ-likeness.
Love and joy aren’t just emotions; they are fundamental states of being that God wants us to live in all the time and not subject to what’s going on around us. The more we rejoice with God in our lives, through the thick and the thin, the more we get to keep our happiness and joy in business.
Back to Mornings of Gratitude
So I got back into my morning routine of writing down my victories and things I was grateful for. Slowly but surely, the joy began to fill my heart again, and I climbed my way back out of depression and into hope.
I couldn’t believe when I opened up my Google doc that I had literally skipped showing gratitude to God for two months of my entire life. Those two months didn’t have to be as difficult as they were.
Joy isn’t a passing emotion, it’s someone God wants us to become in entrepreneurship through our becoming like Christ.
And joy, like love, isn’t compatible with the rushing and hurrying we Godpreneurs find ourselves in sometimes.
All we have is the right here and right now. This present moment that I’m sitting here writing to you with my son on my lap – this is a joy every lasting that I’m grateful for RIGHT NOW.
This moment we’re in, this pain we’re feeling in our business, this joy right now, this gratitude we experience, this surrender of our life – this is where God wants us.
God will take care of the past and the future of our business so we can experience more moments where we gratefully and slowly turn everything over to God. This is how we experience His joy everlasting.
Today, open up a Google doc and write down all the things you’re grateful for and all the victories God has brought you through. Take a moment to smell the amazing aroma of the coffee, the birds chirping, your child talking. Be present, experience His joy again.