What are five essential elements for living a joyful life and living life to the fullest. In this episode of the Calibrate Life Podcast David and Donna discuss how living with passion, pursuing healthy relationships, adequately resourcing our vision, staying healthy and energetic, and being productive really does lift us in our commitment to living a joyful life.

Continue reading for the rest of the article along with links and tools mentioned in the podcast. The time stamps are clickable and synced with the podcast.

We can live a joyful life regardless of our circumstances. The Apostle Paul writes in the New Testament about a contentment that is not contingent upon our circumstances, but anchors in a joy we can have in spite of our circumstances. [1:05]

Pressing through sadness and finding joy through a commitment and calibration. We are going to live a joyful life in spite of the circumstances. It is a choice, it is a decision, it is a commitment. [1:30]

    1. A Passion for What we Do — Mission
    2. Healthy and Meaningful Relationships
    3. Adequate Resources
    4. Health and Energy Levels
    5. Productivity

Several years ago I was introduced to these elements in the book, Well Being by Tom Rath. As we recently considered these elements in the context of leadership and living a joyful life, we realized that not only do these things contribute to a sense of well-being, but they work together to give us a sense of joy in life. [2:17]

For a spiritual leader these five things operate in the context of our spirituality. [4:00]

Donna and her family lived in Africa for a few years, and in the podcast she relates the story of a Nigerian family that lived just outside the compound and the life lessons they taught her. The family lived in what would seem to us very meager conditions, yet they experienced daily the joys of life and living.

It is not necessarily the quantity of each of these five things, but rather it is the presence of these things in our lives and their appropriate application. [4:15]

As Christ-Followers we can have joy in the midst of circumstance, we can live a full life in spite of the circumstances we are given. [5:53]

It is our of our perspective that we determine the levels and layers of the idea that we can live a joyful life regardless of our circumstances. As leaders we have a responsibility and the joyful privilege of calibrating our lives in these five areas and coaching, mentoring, and encouraging those we love and lead to do the same.  [6:32]

First, We Must Have a Passion for Our Core Pursuits [7:00]

We must find our passion points.

  • What are the things in your life that give you a sense of mission and that motivates you to keep moving forward?
  • What, in your day to day life, gives you passion?
  • Can you look beyond the routine and the mundane and identify your passionate pursuits?

 Sometimes there are things about our job or our circumstances that we do not like, but when we have a passion for what we do we are able to press beyond the parts of our job, or our life that we press through because of the things we get to do. For me it is credentialing processes and administration, but I find my passion in the leadership development part of this and the opportunity to speak into someone’s life on their journey. [8:28]

We need to understand the passions that motivate us in our day to day living. [9:48]

We will be hard pressed to live a joyful life if we cannot identify the passions that motivate us. Our passions are the “Why?” and our “Why” gives us great joy. [10:00]

Second, Healthy and Meaningful Relationships [10:05]

Are Healthy and Meaningful Relationships really necessary to live joyfully? Yes, because life is lived in the context of relationships.

In the podcast I relate a trip to the beach by myself. It seemed meaningless because I had no one to share it with. Emotional health and strength does enable us to experience joy when we are alone, but relationships are necessary to have a sense of wellbeing, and to ultimately experience the joy of living. If we live alone or are not around people a lot, we have to pursue opportunity for relationship.

The Nigerian family, though  they were greatly lacking in quantity of the material possessions of this world they found great joy in being with and loving one another. [11:00]

We need healthy and meaningful relationships. Dysfunctional relationships cause us harm and are to be either redeemed or avoided. [12:25]


Peter Scazarro’s books have impacted me greatly in the areas of emotionally healthy relationships. The Emotionally Healthy Church, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, and The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzaro

For us to live life to the fullest we need to have healthy relationships. Dysfunctional relationships cause us much harm and do not contribute to our sense of wellbeing and joy. [13:06]

We need to develop and nurture relationships with “safe” people, those who are supportive, functional, and build us up and encourage us rather than tear us down. In the podcast we mentioned the book, Safe People, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

#3 Adequate Resources [14:10]

The Nigerian family had adequate resources. What is adequate for one person is not adequate for another. Adequacy is a personal issue. Your call, your vision, what you are going after… these things bring perspective to our resources. [4:45]

We should work hard to get the resources that we need. We cannot take the excuse of saying that we need nothing, when that excuse keeps me from adequately resourcing ourselves and the vision within us to accomplish the things God has put in our heart. [15:40]

We must resource our lives. Whatever we are trying to accomplish requires resources. Whether we are trusting God to release the resources we need to accomplish his vision, or we are looking to resource the basic needs of our family, we need some resources to have a sense of well being and to have a fullness of joy that we are taking responsibility for the vision we’ve been given. [16:25]

Resources are an integral part of vision. No one else is going to be responsible to resource your vision. If you have a great vision, you must also take responsibility to seek the resourcing of that vision.

We must seek the resources for the life we live and for the life we expect or want to live. We are going to live the life we can resource. [17:00]

We need a vision big enough that God must help us, that we must be willing to risk, but there must be a releasing of resources. [18:00]

When we have a passion for a vision our passion will draw others in to have a passion to participate in the resourcing of the vision.

When we press into a ministry, leadership, or a lifestyle by faith we must also trust God for the resources. We have to come to grip with reality. If our passion requires sacrifice, that’s fine, we must look to God for resource, we must survey the landscape for our next steps, we may need to find a job to fund our passion (tent making). [19:20].

Do you really need adequate resources in order to live a joyful life? We must resource life, ministry, and family.

#4 Health and Energy [21:15]

A lot of people are not healthy and yet they live a full life. Why would we say that health and energy are essential to a sense of well being, and even relevant to joyful living?

When we mistreat our bodies they have a divine assignment to respond in a certain way. The way we intentionally treat our bodies and our health will affect the vision we are able to accomplish and the life we will be able to live. [22:00]

If we live a sedentary life by choice, sooner or later it will catch up with us. I have a vision that takes me at least to age 80 and I feel I must make an effort to stay physically fit in order to have the energy to do what God is calling me to do. [23:15]

Some are walking in health challenges they had nothing to do with, they are not to live in condemnation. We speak to those who do have a choice. When health deteriorates we can still live joyful and full lives in the season we are in, but we must give attention to our health so that our inattention does not disqualify us for something we were passionate about and lost through mismanagement of our health. [24:10]

Donna and I want to hike 10 of the major mountain ranges on earth before our energy and health starts to naturally diminish. In order to do this, we must do our best to stay in health, as much as it depends upon me. [25:27]

#5 Productivity [26:15]

What are the outcomes of our lives? We are commanded in scripture to be people who bear fruit. Apple trees produces apples, it is their purpose. A lot of people struggle to find their purpose in life.

We frame productivity in different ways. It flows of our uniqueness and out of our passions. [27:15]

Our joy and our sense of wellbeing and worth is connected to our productivity. The people who complain are typically those who are not productive. Productivity is connect to our joy. [29:00]

  • What are you trying to produce?
  • What do you feel called to produce?

 TOOLS For Leading and Lifting…  [30:00]

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What causes you to want to get up in the mornings?
  • What (or who) are the healthy and meaningful relationships that bring joy into your life? What will you do to nurture those relationships and make them your priority? Do you have dysfunctional relationships that either need redeemed or avoided?
  • What resources do you need to accomplish the vision in your heart? Where are you lacking? What steps do you need to take to increase the deficiency in your resource?
  • Are you attending to your health? Are you managing your energy? Do you regularly refresh and reboot? What commitments do you need to make today to lift this element of your life?
  • Are you productive? Do you feel your productivity needs to increase? What are some areas of your life in which you need to be more productive? What are some quick wins or some first steps you can take to increase productivity in just one area of your life?

Discover it and embrace it.