Joseph’s Destiny Adventure is a feel-good story about finding your purpose. Well…almost. This is, after-all, part 1.
The synopsis is:
Two weeks before his 18th birthday Joseph Keller gets an epic opportunity gift wrapped in an open-ended question; “What would you do if I offered you a million dollars but you couldn’t spend it on a house, car, clothes, or travel?”
Though the question ignites him to discover his purpose in life, it will take more than one good answer to find all the necessary keys to win the challenges and finish the game!
Are you ready to play?
To be honest, when I read that…I had no idea what to expect. Which is usually a good thing! I like not knowing everything. It makes me enjoy the story more.
The first chapter felt like a pep-talk. Coach Crenshaw discussed how we’re here to serve the universe…or at least, try! (If you are completely against God, this book is NOT for you. But I would still give it a read because it mostly focuses on morals than on God.) She explains that it’s not only important to know your “what” (what referring to our purpose in life) but that it’s also important to have a strong “why”. Now, I’m a huge fan of the word “why.” It’s why I read a lot of books! It’s also why a lot of those books tend to be extremely depressing. (However….this is not one of those books! As I mentioned earlier, this is a feel-good book.)
It’s an easy read. I don’t mean the wording is easy, but the flow and rhythm were smooth. It made topic-heavy conversations seem like water-cooler talk. My only issue is that it is very dialogue heavy (which isn’t bad) but there was no clear identification to who was talking. However, the exchanges were so well done that you figured it out within a line or two.
Let’s talk characters. There were 5 main characters: Joey (short for Joseph, prefers J), Ben, their Mom, Mr. Daily, and Jesse. Joey and Ben are twins. I like this relationship because they are extremely different in characteristics. The twins lost their father about a year ago. They both took it hard, but Joey took it harder. Joe’s personality is that of the teenage boy who thinks he’s an adult but is really afraid to grow up (can’t blame him…growing up is hard). Ben has an easier time accepting things and seems more graceful and mature. Therefore, it’s no wonder why Mr. Daily picked him for the game instead of the Ben.
Mr. Daily is the owner of Daily’s Dreams, the amusement park. Not what I expected when I read the title. My first impression of Mr. Daily is that he’s this wealthy humble man that doesn’t need to define himself by his riches. He drove a basic car and had a small office. However, although he is a humble man who is not defined by his riches; we later find out that he lives in an extravagant house and owns a lot of cars…so much that he can just give them away.
Mr. Daily pulls Joey into his office and asks him “What would you do if I offered you a million dollars but you couldn’t spend it on a house, car, clothes, or travel?” Joey, of course, answers that he’d just give it back because what else is the point? Mr. Daily then offers to take him on this field trip the next day if it’s okay with his mom. He gives Ben the day off, with pay…so his mom gets suspicious and tells Joey not to take any money from this man. Joey gets upset that his mom is telling him what to do so he decides to run away. However…Ben catches up with him. When Joey asks Ben the question, he said he’d most likely help his mom pay bills and probably help his neighbor get an air conditional and a ramp for her wheelchair. See, Ben is selfless.
Joey is convinced to go back home and he goes to apologize to his mom. He admits that he’s confused and is afraid to disappoint everyone. Unfortunately, his mom was asleep during this confession. His mom apologizes as well and their bond strengthens.
He has a dream that night, with his father, telling him about his dream and how he didn’t quite achieve it the way he wanted to…but he did what he could. He tells him he needs to find something he’s passionate about….and to trust your gut.
Mr. Daily takes Joey to his house. In his backyard is another amusement park. There is a chest with $200k that requires 8 keys to open. The keys needed to unlock the chest are spread amongst the park and each key holds a gold envelope with the clue for the next key. He has 40 minutes to find all the keys. He gives him the first clue, and a Bentley to drive around and find the rest of the keys. So that’s the game. Or at least…the first part of the game.
I don’t want to go into Jesse’s character because it might spoil a lot of the story. But she was critical in helping Joey figure out a good portion of the game. I also don’t want to talk about the game because that’s where all the fun is!
So….let’s change the topic to quotes!
“I hadn’t thought about the sacrifice people make that don’t involve money.”
I feel like this quote is the difference between immaturity and maturity. As a kid, I never saw all the sacrifices my mother made. I just saw how she treated me and what she bought me…and what she fed me. But once I left the house, I realized that she gave up a lot of her dreams as well. Her financial security. Her time. Her sanity. It’s not until that moment of acknowledgment that I really started appreciating my mom. It’s easy to take someone for granted when you’re a scared, confused teenager.
“It’s never easy feeling helpless but its worse feeling hopeless.”
I am no stranger of helpnessness nor hopelessness…but out of the two, I would pick helplessness anytime. The cure for helplessness is humility. The cure for hopeless is…well…hope. It’s far easier to get into a state of humility than hope, in my opinion. There is the euphoria of hope that comes and goes…but it’s still a feeling. Whereas humilty is more action based. It’s easier to control actions than feelings.
“Your talents will help you but your dreams will help others.”
This never occured to me before. I always thought dreams could only be achieved if you had the talent and discipline to do so. It never occured ot me that dreams aren’t tied to talent, but rather, to what you can offer….talent or no talent…money or no money.
“Instead of focusing on what could go wrong if you did it, think about what you would be missing out on if you didn’t. Which would you regret the most?”
Within this past year, I started living with this mantra…so it really resonated.
“You just need to learn how to listen. We’re all full of answers, but most of the time we’re not being asked the right questions. Everything in you can be brought out with the right question.”
I like this quote because I feel like I am filled with answers…but have no one to ask me questions. About three years ago, I realize that there was more to listening than just hearing what people are saying. I started listening to what people were not saying. This helped develop close relationships. It also gave people the opportunity to see that I did care about them, beyond surface level.
“You can’t expect your life to mean something unless you do something that gives it meaning”
This quote doesn’t require a response.
“Is a dream ever alive?”
This one requires context. Mr. Daily took Joey to the cemetery and asked him what he saw. He responded with a fence. Then asked him what he didn’t see. He answered “Life.” Then Mr. Daily asked him what was the point of a cemetery. He said it gives the world somewhere to bury dead people. Mr. Daily asked if anything living is buried. Joey was confused and asked why would you bury something that’s alive…to which Mr. Daily responded is a dream ever alive?
In my book review of “The Opposite of Lonliness” I mentioned a quote I heard of how the cementary is filled with riches because it is filled with potential. Potential that was never met. This is very similar. Is a dream ever alive? A dream exists…but when it’s alive we call it ambition or drive. If a dream comes true it becomes a reality and can no longer be defined as a dream. A dream is an illusion for those asleep. If we are actively trying to make our dreams come true…we are awake…we are alive…a dream isn’t a dream. It’s a “why”. Why do we do what we do…to make our dreams come true. Our dreams are meant to help others. The purpose of life is to serve.
That was the message I took from this book.