By Dave Wine, President & CEO
One of the most difficult lessons for us to learn as human beings is that joy comes from taking full responsibility for ourselves. Ouch! That is not something we do well. We usually look for people, situations, and events to blame for our lack of joy. If only….If we just had….if that person would…. That is called projection – we project blame and responsibility away from ourselves and look for other things/people/situations to make us happy. Yet true joy and happiness can only come from within ourselves; and from our own beliefs, attitudes, and acceptance. When we fight against ‘what is’, we create depression, anxiety and fear. When we fully accept life as it comes to us, and accept full responsibility for our own feelings, beliefs and situations, that is really when we are in alignment and that alignment creates joy. It is a state of allowing or we could say, grace, or forgiveness. All of the great spiritual teachings point to this state of allowing as being “the God state” – that is, when our spirits are most aligned with God/Spirit, when we don’t look for happiness as coming from outside ourselves, but within ourselves which is when we are most aligned with God/Spirit/Higher Power – whatever words are most helpful for you to use. For me, personally, I call it Christ Consciousness – when I am most able to allow, forgive, express joy, and be loving and lovable.
We love our myths – Santa Claus, Fairy tales, the Easter Bunny. They are all attempts by us to find fulfillment away from ourselves and hope that “somebody” or “something” will shower gifts on us, give us what we want, reward us for behavior, make us happy, etc. The thing that really matters, however, is total self-responsibility that understands that it is our own state of mind (mindfulness) that leads to peace and joy. So we alone control our feelings, our thoughts, and our joy – somebody, something, or some situation does not control us or need to cause us to feel a certain way. Full responsibility is really freedom (because we own the control for how we feel) and so freedom is joy, but it is again the hardest lesson for us to learn. I am still learning it!!
David is the President and CEO of the MAX enterprise, having served in that capacity since its formation in 2001. He has forty plus years of leadership experience in the business and faith-based worlds, being an ordained minister, having been elected to the highest position in his denomination, and receiving numerous awards and recognition for his leadership in the insurance industry. He currently serves on numerous boards in the church and insurance sectors. His hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing as well as being an avid reader. David and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.