It’s time to get personal and share with you some of my journey to redirecting my own story. Wondering about how to make a difference? Want to redirect your journey?
In Finding Your Purpose, by Regi Campbell, an eBook on his blog Radical Mentoring there is a simple analogy; “if your life is a dollar bill, what are you spending it on?’ The average person meets over 10,000 people during their lifetime. That’s 10,000 opportunities! It’s often small things that are done that accumulate to a big difference. Don’t overlook the little things!
Young or old, we all wonder if our life is going to make a difference? We all want to find purpose in life and make our lives count for something. But how do we find out where to invest our time and our money? It’s not enough for us to do our best. We need to figure out God’s plan for our lives and THEN do our best. But where do you turn to for insight?
God through the apostle Paul provides illumination
We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Did you know as Canadians we spend 99.6% of our income on ourselves? The average donation in 2010 was $260 on the average family income of $69,860. Worse only 23% of Canadians claim a charitable donation. That means 77% claim zero. Until 11 years ago I was one of them. I’d give a $20 at church here or there. Even a $100 thinking I was generous. But until you look at your tax return you have no objective means of analyzing generosity. It’s like learning how to be rich. Learning how to be generous takes thought.
This is thin ice I’m stepping on; after all as Canadians we pride ourselves in helping around the world. But I really want you to wrestle with this for yourself. Don’t think about an image that we project and protect. Think about reality!
How are you going to make a difference.?
The Bible speaks about training in this area of our lives as the apostle Paul wrote to his apprentice Timothy:
It is required of a steward (property and money manager) that he be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
“Faithful” – What does that mean?
Wondering and wandering, I’ve done both. Why am I here? What am I here for? Where am I going? Often feeling spiritually empty, I questioned my meaning and purpose in life.
Nobel laureate economist Robert William Fogel says, “Spiritual inequality is now as great a problem as material inequality, perhaps even greater.”
Spiritual emptiness is a universal chronic disease. King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived, warned us over 3,000 years ago in the book of Ecclesiastes about the futility of life “under the sun”. However, he also told us that God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart and our existence is beyond living “under the sun”.
Then in concluding the whole matter of life, Solomon said,
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
You can listen to a full message on meaning and purpose by Andy Stanley called Under The Sun.
Regrets, we all have them. Can you think of someone you wish you hadn’t met? An emotion you wish you’d have controlled? A job you would rather not have taken? A piece of cake, you should have left on the buffet table? Really, regrets are all around us. Some with bigger consequences than others.
Just so you don’t feel alone in any of your regrets, here are some statistics.
Personal fitness: 36% are obese, 33% overweight
Personal finance: 76% are living paycheck to paycheck
Personal relationships: 50% of all marriages end in divorce
The trouble is we only know how big some decisions are in the rearview mirror. In the moment we lack experience, focus, or discernment to really understand the consequences of our decisions. This lack of understanding leads to regrets.
Habits, discipline and results all begin with motivation. It’s widely accepted as the key ingredient for both positive and negative outcomes. Think about an elite athlete or a terrorist, they each have motivation. One for good the other for evil! How to motivate people is often the deciding factor for your success. As a parent, teacher, manager or politician you need to know how to motivate others, otherwise you’ll never experience success. Theories on human behavior and what motivation really is and how it works are unfolding based on new research and science.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink answers the motivation question!
“When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system–which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators–doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements:
Sometimes you need to look back to move forward. Looking back in history we uncover how people connected on the basis of their shared values and ideas. When they connected they started communities, companies, revolutions – they made a difference. What about BIG differences today?
Do you want to begin making a difference ?. Someone who has already made a huge difference is Seth Godin. Seth is an entrepreneur and the most popular business blogger in the world. He makes some profound observations about marketing ideas in this digital age. He often tells people “Go make a difference”. I wonder how to make big changes first in myself, then in people around me. All leadership starts with self, then leading others.
There are probably some things you believe in. We all have dreams, passions and desires. But how do you lead others to believe in your hobby, interest, business, or cause? William James said “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
Fear keeps most people from clarifying and articulating a vision for their lives. Looking around it’s not hard to see why. Surrounded by uncertainty at every level people are immobilized by fear. How can you move forward with a clear direction when circumstances are always changing?
Uncertainty is exactly why you need a clear vision for every area of your life. Regrets are many but looking back many people are sorry they didn’t have the courage to live a life true to themselves . Living without a vision has great consequences. In Proverbs 29:18 we read the often quoted …
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Relationship is the stuff that life is truly made of. Not the artificial relationships in schools or social and business environments where forced inclusion is expected. Rather, chosen and nurtured relationships.
How do true friendships and spheres of influence form?
Moving often as a child I found myself accepting the notion that friends are due to proximity. Geography not genuine concern defined my friendships.
We know friends are important because they impact and establish the quality and direction of our lives. Without friends we have no influence because no one’s listening. Leadership is influence.
We live in a culture where new is better. A rising tide of discontent for what is newer, shinier, thinner and faster drives most purchases. I would like to challenge your thinking….again!
In literature, newer does not necessarily mean better. Why shouldn’t we spend an equal amount of time, if not more, on “the classics”? Globally, there are an extraordinary number of books published each year. (2.2 million in 2012 alone) However, there are so many older “classics” I almost don’t know where to begin.
The question is which ones are worth reading? Many good books entertain us. To reach our full potential, we need to find the truly great ones that provide guidance for our spiritual journey through life.
“Go big or stay home!” You’ve heard it and you’re ready to take your success to the next level. How? Where’s the game plan for BIG ideas and BIG success. Are you tired of making little achievable goals because the epic, grand vision, blue sky thinking goals are too lofty?
Only 3% of people set goals. Fear of failure holds most people back. But wouldn’t you rather be the person who is brave enough to imagine possibilities at the expense of being occasionally disappointed? Someone thinking big and setting a big goal enabled the masses to enjoy electricity, light bulbs, cars, radios, airplanes, T.V., computers, cell phones, iPods……you get the picture.
Recently I saw a video that inspired me to write down my giving goals. This little girl wants to make the world a better place by providing 500,000 chickens for the poor. That’s a big goal for this little girl!
What’s your BIG goal? Where do you start?