Earlier this year I got a new vehicle – I went from a sedan to an SUV. There were definitely some adjustments to be made. The simple act of putting the key into the ignition and turning the engine on was no longer one smooth move. It took me almost a week to get used to positioning my fingers and hand differently. Then there’s the gear shift. In my car it was on the floor, in my SUV it’s on the steering column. At times I still find myself grasping in midair for the stick.
As I changed careers and started building my own business, I found myself grasping in mid-air for things as well. Simple things like working outside of the standard eight-hour workday and catching up on my sleep at 2:00 in the afternoon, felt odd and at first produced massive guilt. And having worked for years in a highly professional arena, where the rules of deportment were clearly established and followed, it was a shock to my system that not everyone knew appropriate business etiquette (and didn’t want to). Slowly I learned to reposition my way of thinking – not to ignore or forget what I knew, but to adjust my expectations and learn how to shift the way I approached people and problems while maintaining my values.
As you pursue the purpose for your life, you should expect change to be a given. Don’t feel threatened or fearful. It’s not always about having to throw out your ideas or standards you value. Many times it’s just a simple adjustment in the way you approach things, a small change in the way you are holding onto something, or a new way of looking at people and their needs. It may be a bit uncomfortable and require a little bit of time (and practice), but you will eventually stop grasping the air and move into a new flow along your way.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making New Year’s Resolutions. A resolution is simply a firm decision, a determination to change something. Nothing wrong with that… but don’t leave it at that. Doing two simple things will take it out of the realm of mere intention:
- Tie your resolution to the purpose God has for your life. Fitting it into the big picture gives it a meaning and value that will take it beyond just the heady rush of the first week of the new year.
- Write down the resolution in the form of an actual goal. Use the SMART acronym to get it on paper and in your heart and mind.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making New Year’s Resolutions, but without a form to them, an actual reason and an actual plan, what’s the point? Be intentional. Burn bright.
Don’t ever settle for ordinary, average, unexceptional. I’m not talking about the scale, quantity, or fame of your achievement, but rather in the quality and influence of your purpose. Investing in people, building your confidence by stepping out of your comfort zone, and being bold will drive you forward and bring increase.
The value of your purpose is neither in its size nor in the acknowledgement of others. Feeding a family in your neighborhood, feeding the homeless downtown, feeding millions in Africa – which has more value? Whichever one is done with passion and out of compassion. Whichever one challenges you to step outside of yourself. Whichever one is done with excellence. And no one can really know this except you. How many you reach pales in comparison to the quality of your reach.
Even when you’re feeling small, or others think of you as small, don’t settle for mediocre. Taking the easy route will always leave you feeling less than confident in what you have to offer and keep you from moving onward and upward in your purpose.