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.
In order to fully pursue the purpose God has placed on our lives, we are looking at how to avoid self-defeating behaviors. Each week for six weeks we’re looking at one of the following:
To get out of you own way, you need to remember…
1. …your identity
2. …what you are doing
3. …your purpose
4. …the people
5. …to be strategic
6. …the outcome
REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE DOING
While your identity is not wrapped up in the things you do, your purpose is wrapped up in the things you do. It’s where (to use a very old cliché) the rubber meets the road. Every action you take is either moving you towards your purpose or away from it. Not allowing self-defeating behaviors to sidetrack you takes very hard work.
I have previous entries regarding this topic. The two most noteworthy are at the following links: It Does Take Work and It Ain’t Easy and A Change in Perspective or What I Learned from the Evil Baroness and Shirley Valentine
It’s important to establish who you are as separate from what you do. But realize it is what you are doing (not your personality, good intentions, or strategic planning )that propels you forward into your purpose.
“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
Next week: REMEMBERING YOUR PURPOSE
“The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.”
- When Person A was the only game in town they encouraged Person B to pursue their heart’s desire, knowing full well it was similar to their own. When Person B’s version of the business started doing well, Person A cut off all contact. That was even though A’s business was not diminished but was even promoted by B. Person A felt distinctly threatened.
- There is a writer who limits herself to writing small articles now and then. The reason? Too much competition. She says when she walks into a library and sees how many books have been published it discourages her that she’ll probably never stand out.
- K. doesn’t understand why their career never took off while watching enviously as other in the same field flourish. K. has much more talent than others I know in their line of work, but I’ve never seen them try to move forward. They keep waiting for people to come to them, and keeps growing in resentment as others hard work pays off.
I found myself similar circumstances recently. One of my friends was talking about preparing a book for publication – something I’ve been talking about for a couple of years. She asked for some direction and advice. As she talked excitedly about it I realized that I had been kind of slow – okay, okay, lazy – in my efforts in that area. I thought I had so far to go, but realized that I really was almost there. As I spoke to her I was surprised at how much I actually did know about it and how close I was to being ready to take the next step. It would have been easy for me to feel threatened by her coming close into my territory. I could have been discouraged that she was moving at a faster pace and could easily surpass me. I could become resentful that she is probably nearer our mutual goal than I am. I could see her as competition that threatens my existence.
Instead I decided that I to take this as reinforcement and inspiration – a kick in the pants, if you will. I invited her to the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association meetings and Writer’s Renewal. I gave her ideas of what to do next and suggestions for her to research. I want to encourage her as much as possible to pursue her purpose and to equip her for it. I also want to see it as healthy competition – not to be better than her, but to keep myself in top form as I pursue my purpose. To make sure that I am doing and giving my best towards my own goals, but with the realization that I am not the only game in town but am willing to help others succeed – even to a higher level then me. I want her to be successful. I want me to be successful. It can be mutual. In fact it must be mutual.