Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  (1 Corin. 9:24)

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a college student consumed by a single goal: he wanted to please his dad.   He stated that his every waking moment was spent mulling over plans that would increase the approval of an uncaring man.   The futility of his efforts left Rick broken at age 20.  His obsession to find happiness in the validation of his father, gripped him like quicksand -- the harder he tried, the deeper he sank.  His good grades, awards, community service and outstanding behavior were not enough. 

Tragically, Rick is not alone.  We live in a culture that compels us to find meaning in fruitless places.   We toil for the approval of others, amassing wealth, securing fame, maintaining control, achieving success and having fun; unfortunately, none of these things actually creates happiness.  Further, research asserts that the more we chase happiness (in these places), the unhappier we become.   

Our obsession for success and fulfillment drives us down any path that promises happiness.   Some, even make sense; “when you get the job you will be admired, look out for number one, money will solve your problems and effort will make you successful.”    Yes, there is value in these pursuits, but none will actually make you happy.   This is what an 80-year Harvard Study on adult development revealed.  Specifically, it found that social connections (caring relationships) protected the participants physically and mentally.   Further, their relationships anchored achievement and belonging, resulting in profound contentment throughout their lives. 

So, what worries consume your time, labor and passion?   Is it attaining a problem-free, highly regulated, better than others life?   If so, you are in for a long, painful journey.   Or, are you focused on forming transformational relationships with others and with God?

Where do you start?  

  • Be part of a small group that values your unique gifts. 
  • ​Participate in activities that focus on service and love for others. 
  • Practice prayer, meditation, or mindfulness daily. 
  • Share your story of transformation and your life’s purpose with others.

Being obsessed about happiness is not futile, as long as it is focused on relationships (not approvals), serving others (not being served), and about recklessly depending on God and others (not maintaining control). This is how we transform our spirits, minds and bodies... and “win” our most valued prize... happiness.


Jorge Perez
President & CEO