Commitment?

I wish I could have more time and money. I wish that I could travel more. I wish I liked my job. I wish life wasn’t so hard. I wish that I could have x, y, or z. Wishing will never get you anywhere, and your life is a picture of what you are committed to the most deeply.

 

So what does this look like, and if it’s true, then how committed should you be to getting the things you say you wish you could have? This is a big topic. Let’s try to break things down a little and deal with one piece at a time.

What does it mean that “Your life is a picture of what you are committed to?” It means that you are responsible for what your life looks like. If you don’t like your job, you have a couple of choices. You can change your attitude, or you can get a new job. If you don’t do one of these things, then you show that you are committed to being unhappy at work. If the job you have just doesn’t pay the bills, again you have choices. You can get another job, or you can find a way to get paid more where you are through more hours or getting more per hour, etc. If you don’t do one of these things, ultimately you are committed to being broke. If you are overweight, you can change your eating habits, and exercise (this works outside of absolutely obscure medical conditions) to get healthier. If you don’t do this and instead are just jealous, or insecure, you are committed to being overweight and unhappy. Bottom line, to change your results, you have to admit that your current results are your responsibility and a matter of your own choices and commitments.

I’m not trying to beat you down or discourage you if you’ve made some bad choices in the past. We all have. But to someone who is committed to growth, it’s empowering to realize that we’re the ones responsible for the results in our life – because when we realize that, we then have the ability to change the person in the mirror!

So if you are trying to change your circumstances, how far should you go? To what level should you be committed? Obviously, bank robbery is not a good option for changing your financial situation, and cutting off the fat with a knife, while taking a lot of willpower, would not be the best option for healthy weight loss. Trying to start up a new business and putting so much into it that you cannot feed your family would be wrong and selfish.

But what about the simple idea of hard work? The idea that when you are trying to change something for the better it will require effort? It’s okay to run into a road block or two, or three, or four, and keep pushing through. To realize that to accomplish things that are worthwhile you have to put skin in the game. If you want to start a business, create a new habit, get out of a toxic situation, then you can’t give up when it gets tough. Seek God’s guidance. Pray. Look at what you are doing. Ask questions. Often people think that if they encounter resistance it’s automatically a sign that they are going the wrong way.

So how do you know the difference between resistance and a sign of being in the wrong place? Asking the following questions should help.

Does what I am pursuing agree with my values?

Is what I am pursuing morally wrong?

Does my continuing in this direction cause harm to others?

Will achieving my goal result in my life, or someone else’s being improved?

Would I be willing to stop if a harmful, or wrong condition arose?

Asking these questions can help you determine whether or not you are really going the wrong way, or if you are going the right way and doing the right thing is hard sometimes. What you are putting effort into needs to line up with God, with your values, it needs to make you or someone else better, and it needs to be constructive. As long as it is meeting these criteria, then by all means continue, and learn from the struggle. Grow through the pains

As I wrap up, the answer here is that, as you are pursuing change, new directions, looking to start something better for life, remember that how far you go is something only you can answer. Consider advice from trusted people. But don’t give up easily because others get jealous and ridicule, or because it requires more effort than you originally thought. Being healthy requires discipline in eating habits. Getting strong requires hard work in the gym. Being a Christian who knows God requires study even when you don’t want to, or people say you are wrong.

Don’t ever give up on being better and keep asking questions! Don’t work blindly. Do work with purpose. Be committed to life!

 

Are you not sure what direction to go? Do you want to be committed to something, but don’t know what that looks like? Are you willing to commit to being better every day? If any of these sound like you, then take the first step toward learning, growing, and being better by taking my FREE course here!

To Dream or Not to Dream? I Say Dream!

Why don’t we dream anymore? Why is it that as we get older, the ones who dream are called impractical and told to get a job like the rest of us? Where is our childlike excitement about being a firefighter, an astronaut, a racecar driver? Where does it go? Why does it slip away?

There are a few reasons. One, we limit ourselves, and then find ourselves limiting others. As a parent of young children, and also in growing up with 5 siblings, I’ve observed that when a young child says “I am a racecar driver,” or “I’m a football player,” people usually react with “You are? That is so cool! Show me how you do that.” But as children get older, the reactions of others change based on how they have limited themselves. The world starts expecting them to begin “living life,” but doesn’t teach children and young adults the skills of planning so that they can actually achieve the dreams that they have. Planning is key to getting somewhere big. And deep down, we feel that since we never became an NFL player, or made it as singer from our high school band, that those dreams in others are impractical and young people should just get a job and be practical. We likely resent the fact that things we dreamed of doing seemed out of reach, and so in a way, we sabotage the dreams of others in the name of practicality. We don’t allow them to dream because we did not achieve the things we dreamed about. Or our dreams changed and we took another direction, but it still isn’t what we wanted from life. As parents and adults, we need to help our children and young people around us pursue their dreams and put in the effort needed to get there. Not limit them by our own expectations, resentment, or inability to see beyond our own horizon, to see them becoming more than we are.

So what is the second problem and how can we overcome it, or help others to do the same? Lack of planning. A dream without a plan becomes an unfulfilled wish. A dream with a plan becomes a lifelong career/passion. Obviously, coaching pro sports, playing pro sports, going to outer space, climbing the tallest mountain, and being a big name singer are all real jobs because there are a lot of people doing them.

”Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” ~ Biz Stone.

What do these people who are “living the dream” have in common? They had someone at some point who saw a talent, fueled a dream, and encouraged them to make a plan and put in a lot of hard work to realize their passions. Talent without a plan gets you nothing but frustration. So how do you plan to do these things that seem like they are unachievable? Make a plan. What is a good place to start? Figure out how someone else got where you want to be, and do what they did. It almost seems too simple. But really that is all there is to it. It is not easy, but it is simple.

This is the third reason. Achieving your dreams is hard work and may even take years of not seeing the results you are hoping for. But there are ways to see progress that can help. Look backwards. Are you farther ahead than you were six months ago? See how much effort you are putting in. Are you doing the work, or pretending to do the work? And probably the most important, are you doing the right things. If trying to be a bodybuilder and you are eating like a cross country runner, you may not achieve the results you are hoping for.  You have to do the things that will make a difference to what you are trying to achieve. If you don’t know what that looks like, look at someone doing the same thing you want to do, and simply follow their example. It really works!

The answer to why we don’t dream is a simple one. We lose hope. We lose hope because we lose faith that God made us for greatness! And this is often lost because of people not encouraging us. BE encouraged! BE an encourager! BE the awesome God made you for, and work to live your dreams!

 

Do you want to dream again?! Do you feel like your dreams are being killed by practicality? If you want to dream, and need to learn the steps to achieving those dreams, then subscribe to my FREE course 14 Days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams by clicking here!