How to Find Your Joy

Maybe that title is a little misleading, perhaps not. But for me, it’s very simple to Find My Joy– get to work. Working with my hands. Digging in the dirt. Running for time and distance. Getting in my office, getting my outcomes set, and working like hell to accomplish them. Setting goals and achieving them no matter how small. These small acts lead up to larger, more impactful results. For me, the joy of life is in the journey, not the destination.

Making your bed, eating more healthily, meditating, completing projects on time, taking care of your household responsibilities, or cooking a healthy dinner AND cleaning the kitchen instead of ordering Chinese takeout. All of these sound incredibly boring, but they are the tasks that create momentum. Have you ever seen a company come out of nowhere and been like, “man, they just hit it lucky?” More than likely, if you look into that company’s history, you will see it’s filled with mistakes, setbacks, pain, suffering, and most importantly, hard work and a never-quitting attitude. I remember the first Zaxby’s franchise I saw and thought, “Wow, look at this new company. They must have some big-time CEO that came up with this idea after working in the space for years.” Well, I was wrong. When I looked up the unit numbers by year, plus the company’s history, it was nothing more that plain hard work and some luck. It was founded by two guys who went to UGA (GO DAWGS) and based their concept off another OG chicken joint, Guthries. They started franchising during the mid 90’s.

But I digress… Stop thinking, start acting. That’s the goal of this entire blog. And I must admit, I am a thinker. I frequently think when I should act, but I am working on that and getting better. A system that I use which helps with this is pretty simple: P.E.A.R.- Plan, Enact, Assess, Repeat.


  • Plan- Figure out your objectives, which should be based on your mission or goals, and make a plan to act on them. Set highly achievable and actionable goals. Build that goal muscle.
  • Enact- Once you have the 80% solution, GO! This is where everyone gets tripped up. All the thinking and planning in the world won’t matter if you don’t GOOOO! People spend 80% of their time trying to figure out the final 20% of the problem. Queue- the 80/20 rule.
  • Assess- After you’ve acted on your plan and make some progress, take some time to reflect. See what’s working and what’s not working and fix the things that aren’t working. This is where most people MISS THE BOAT entirely. They don’t assess. How can you know if you won if you don’t have a scoreboard? Take the time, it’ll pay massive dividends.
  • Repeat- Start back at the planning phase. We have to close the loop and repeat the process in order to spur more progress.

The thought here is you are NOT going to be right most of the time, but if you plan well and work that plan, you can at least see what doesn’t work and adjust your next plan. This is all based on what’s called the “Deming cycle,” which is simply a cycle of constant improvement. The theory is that if you constantly improve all of the parts of the system at hand, you will improve the entire system. William Deming was a brilliant statistician that helped lead Japan out of their post WW2 economic collapse.

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite time in the future.” – George S. Patton.

This is how we get stuff done in the restaurant business and service businesses. Tony Robbins says, “Execution trumps knowledge every day of the week.” When you get stuck, get back to the basics. Start with the easiest, smallest tasks and build from within. In those little wins, you will build momentum. And momentum breeds more momentum.

And PROGRESS = HAPPINESS. Nothing misleading about that…