If given the choice to automatically acquire any character quality, I don't think most men would choose to be joyful. Joy feels like something that women read and write about. I think men would more likely choose to be "resilient" or "disciplined" or "confidence", maybe "grateful" but not "joyful."
I think one of the main reasons that we overlook joy is that we misunderstand it.
Joy is the destination and summation of all the character qualities that men normally go for. You need resilience and discipline and confidence and gratitude to obtain joy. Joy is the pinnacle of human life. it is living life to the full.
Joy doesn't mean that you become happy and bubbly all the time. That's annoying. Joy means that nothing in the world can shake you. It means that you can handle hard circumstances because in the middle of them you can still see the positives of life and never lose hope for a good future because you are so confident that God is good, that he is for you, and that he is in complete control of your circumstances.
If the whole reason that Christ said he came to earth was for us to live life to the full, how sad it is for a follower of him to wallow through their days with no zest for life and no sense of adventure.
I think becoming joyful and fully alive is the most beneficial work that men can do, even more so than finding their purpose.
Now let me share with you how the Joy Journal will help you cultivate joy.
1) We need to realize where joy comes from.
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit who proceeds to us from God the Father through Jesus Christ. We receive the Holy Spirit through prayer. The reason that Jesus was so joyful is that he was full, to the maximum fullness, of the Holy Spirit. And he was full of the Holy Spirit because he was always praying. Waking up early before sunrise and going off by himself to pray.
And as you read about his life in the Gospels, you will learn to live the way he did through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is why I included the Gospel of John in the Joy Journal. Studying the life of Christ in the Gospels is our GPS in life.
2) We need to contemplate and meditate on what God is telling us in our everyday life and what we read in the Scriptures.
That’s all that journaling is - it is contemplative prayer.
Stream of consciousness journaling is maybe the best way for us 21st century technology addicts to slow our monkey brain down and process what we are experiencing and learning in life.
Journaling is not keeping a diary, it is how you gain clarity on what you want in your life and what you don't want.
Journaling helps you see negative patterns in your life. similar to watching film of yourself after a football game or watching of video of yourself swinging a golf club. It’s hard to change what you don’t know you are doing wrong.
Beyond that, and I think even more beneficially, I think Journaling every day is the easiest way to build confidence, resilience, and grit as I mentioned before. When you make a commitment to yourself to show up to the page every day, regardless of how you feel and you keep it, it does work on your identity and you start to see yourself as a person who keeps his commitments - which is all that confidence is!
3) Prayer lists.
There is a whole section in the Joy Journal where you can keep track of what you are grateful for, of things in life that you can praise God for (which is simply the practice of being present), and finally a list where you can record your prayer requests to God and see how he answers them.
A prayer list is way better than simply recording three things that you're grateful for each day and turning the page. The whole point of listing what you are grateful for and praising God for is to see them all together and be overwhelmed by God's goodness to you - all of which increases your trust in him and fills you with Joy!