“Fear, you’re not going to win this battle,” I mutter as I peck out the words on my keyboard. You’ve no doubt heard the way to get over your fears is to do thing you fear. In committing to this blog, I’m facing one of mine. Although I’ve enjoyed writing since high school and authored several local articles, sharing my perspective feels vulnerable and even a tad risky.
But I came across this great quote that gave me a motivating jolt: “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” –Diane Ackerman
Ackerman’s sentiment reminds me that to realize the width of our lives, we must examine the way we’re living. We either live one of two ways: by default giving little thought to our ways or by intentionally designing our lives hopefully as God patterns. If you’re like me, you don’t want to just get by. You want to choose the quality of life you get to enjoy. The good news is you can. Even though I don’t always execute well, I know what camp I’m staking my tent. Ok God, blog it is. Are you with me?
With this awesome freedom God’s gifted us to design our lives, here are 5 things to consider.
1.) We must read God’s word to know His design for our lives. God created each of us with a unique sets of skills and abilities to accomplish His purpose. In order to become the person God created us, we must seek His blueprint if we’re going to enjoy the abundant life Jesus speaks of in John 14:6. What have you discovered today about His map for you?
2.) Carefully choose the people with whom you surround yourself. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with. 1 Cor. 15:33 says “bad company corrupts good morals.” For example, we can’t choose our families, but we can limit our time around family members that criticize or drain our energy. When it comes to our friends, their habits, attitudes, and behaviors influence us. Likewise, we affect others. How are you positively shaping your company?
3.) Get a vision and set goals. Often we live without thought as to what we want to accomplish and wonder why we didn’t end up where we wanted. Without a clear vision of our destination, we’re like a ship without a rudder. The Bible puts it more sternly relaying “without vision, the people perish.” The more vividly we dream and follow through, the greater chance we have at accomplishing those things that matter most. Jotting down our goals with pen and paper helps us commit and make it real.
4.) Embrace the D-word: discipline. We use discipline like it’s a dirty word, but some sacrifice is required for any worthwhile endeavor. For me, I forgo some extra sleep in the mornings (most days) because I value time alone with God before I go to work. It’s a small price to pay for the deepening relationship I want with God. What’s one thing you’re willing to give up to gain something greater?
5.) Pinpoint your motivation. The why of what you want to is fuel for the discipline necessary to reach your goals. Your goal might be to lose 10 pounds, but you won’t be jazzed to shed extra pounds if you don’t know the reason you want to lose weight in the first place. If you want to lose weight so you have more energy to play with your kids, then posting a picture of your younger, more svelte self engaging in an activity with them might just be the mojo you need to resist the donut in the break room. When you lose your way, return to your why.
If you didn’t wake up realizing what an extraordinary gift you’ve been given, now’s the time. It’s your life…seize your choice.
Which of these 5 considerations is easiest for you to follow, and which one might you benefit from applying? I’d love to hear your comments below and assist you if you struggle in any of these areas. If you enjoyed this content, watch for subsequent posts that delve deeper into each of these tips. Subscribe below for notification of new content released every other week.