The Secret to Sustained Happiness in Business and Life

Sep 3, 2015, Written by Sue Miley

How do we sustain our happiness?

I hate to admit it, but I can have a no-win attitude when it comes to my work schedule.  If I’m not busy, thoughts of scarcity enter my mind and I wonder if I am living up to God’s expectations in my work.  If I am too busy, I feel like I need time and space to really follow God and glorify Him in my life and work.

Of course, all of this is just nagging thoughts in my head, until now through this confession.

I shift into high gear if my schedule slows down and fill up my schedule.  I downshift, or even park for a bit, if my schedule is too crazy.  This doesn’t look too bad from the outside.  I have become more patient and trusting.   Yet, when I look from afar I still see the same, although smoothed, pattern.

I’ve been thinking about this lately as I work with other small businesses.  Of course, I notice it more in other people…isn’t that always the case!  I do like to practice what I preach though, and I believe in consistency.

As I have analyzed this habit or cycle, I realize that ultimately I am still measuring my worth based on the traditional success of my business.  It is more subconscious, but it is still present.

And I see it in others.  It is part of the human condition.

We naturally seek happiness and fulfillment in life.  We want to make a difference.

Why do we always fall short of sustained happiness and fulfillment?

Most Christians can state and believe that God doesn’t measure our worth based on the success or failure of our business or the busy-ness of our schedule.  I think most Christian business owners want to have God at the center of every part of our life, even our business.

Yes, we want to be happy.  Yes, we want to make a difference.

Is that so wrong?

I started re-reading Desiring God by John Piper.  Just in reading the introduction, I may have put my finger on why I can’t get right with my schedule, my happiness or my purpose.

He begins the introduction with the first lines of the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

The only way we will get true happiness and joy is in our pursuit of God.

I don’t want to mis-communicate, I am happy and grateful for my work, and I feel it is a true calling, not just a job or business.  I am actually so thankful for my family and our lives.

I just notice that many small business owners, including myself, are not satisfied if we are slow and we still aren’t happy if we are too busy, and it is rare, and not lasting, that any of us say that our schedule or level of business is just right for us personally.

I guess, for me…I need to consistently put my focus of life on glorifying God and enjoying Him and allow the world and my business to be the backdrop of this season of eternity, rather than focusing on achieving in this world, in the name of glorifying God.

Ultimately, John Piper came to the conclusion that it is biblical to want happiness and joy, it’s just that…

[Tweet “The only pursuit that will actually result in that happiness is our pursuit of God.”]

Reader Interactions


  1. R. Poey Bordelon says

    A friend linked me here , Sue. Good stuff , I say , good stuff.
    Agree that the introduction and chapter one of Desiring God are profound .How did Lewis say it [ quoted by Piper ] [well I looked it up]:

    “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis

    Keep reflecting and shining .


    • Sue Miley says

      Thanks for visitng Poey! I love C.S. Lewis’ perspective. As I read books I like to jot down my favorite quotes. In Desiring God, my notebook is filling up fast! Thanks again for the feedback. Sue

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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