Monday, January 2, 2012

Joy’s Key Performance Indicators

The world of management statistics gave us the Key Performance Indicator, and there are two types relevant to joy—the lead indicator and the lag indicator.

Lead indicators help us understand what we may be doing now to provide for future joy. Lag indicators, on the other hand, help us learn as we look with hindsight at what has and hasn’t worked for joy.

Lead indicators are more positive than lag indicators, but both are meaningful.

Lag Indicators For Joy

Though we are tripped up by the mistakes we make we’re still provided great ammunition for learning.

Lag indicators to joy are things like complaint, or times when we let a spirit of disconsolation reside over our souls, perhaps from a waking moment. These types of indicators show us where we haven’t experienced joy, and under further investigation we’re able to determine why.

This is about learning from our mistakes so far as we allowed joy to escape our grasp. Yet, sometimes no matter how hard we try we cannot have that joy, because of some life adjustment, or the expression of grief for loss, and sometimes for inexplicable reasons.

The lag indicator can reveal successes, as far as joy is concerned, as much as failures. That might be the truest joy: to reflect on the essence of the significant achievement of joy; from the lag perspective.

A far more proactive way of measuring for joy, however, is via the lead indicator.

Lead Indicators For Joy

Everyone in management circles loves the lead indicator because it provides early warning of the performance we can expect to achieve at the lag indicator stage—yes, the best of circumstances are targets met according to the lag indicator!

For joy, our lead indicators are things like enjoyable activities and the realistic goals we set that are achieved. They are investments for good performance as soon to be revealed by the lag indicator. Converting opportunities into good results is simply wisdom.

We extract more joy from the lead perspective when we plan ahead, don’t covet things too much, give ourselves plenty of time to do things, and ensure we do our best to have things to hope for.

To focus on joy in the here and now, and a joy to be experienced in the near future, is to attend to the lead indicator.


The most salient indicator of joy is hope. Where we have hope it translates into a lived-out joy, and peace is consequent of that—the abundant life.

To gain grasp of joy, then, is to invest in a truth-borne hope, which is backed up by what life delivers us every day. The indicators of joy are merely the results of a quotient of hope we have both experienced and are experiencing.

One way to enliven hope is to focus on the joy key performance indicators.

Joy is outbound of our inner hope; a fervent indicator of our present sense of spirituality. When we work on our joy we increase our hope and that in turn helps us feel more joyful.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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