When I get to the end of my life, I don’t want to say the reason why I couldn’t love people or give them my time was because I was so busy. I don’t want my excuse to ever be “I’m way too busy”. If you were like me you would have gained a lot of your significance in being busy. I would say a good day was “I got this done, and that done, and this done and I even got that done”. I would feel like a day was wasted if I napped for a couple hours or just laid around. I can still feel that way if I am being truthful. I feel like society sells us the “more is better” motto. The busier we are, the better we are. The more we have, the happier we will be. When in all reality we can’t handle everything we are trying to do. We get caught up in being so busy, chasing everything and trying to hold everything together,
we forget who we are and why we are here. I hear it quite often how people after a while don’t even know who they are anymore. We get too busy to stop and realize what we are doing and why we are doing it. We can’t stop and think because we were afraid of thinking and being alone in our thoughts. At least I was. I didn’t want to stop and think that maybe something was bothering me, that I wasn’t alright and maybe I’m not even who people or I made myself out to be. I guess what I’m saying is I didn’t want to stop to let doubt and fear enter my mind. I didn’t like it. If I stay busy and build things like “a future” as some would say it then I would be significant to the world and that would be a life worth living.
But I’ve come to realize at an odd age of 28 that it’s just empty to stay busy so much all the time. We need to slow down to see the bigger picture and what we are really doing with our lives.
A couple things that help keep me focused on the right things are:
Keeping a dream book
I have a nice blank book that my region manager from my last job gave me 5 years ago or so. It was blank on purpose and he told me to write down my dreams in it. Anything I ever wanted, small or big. Out of the business and in the business. Someone challenged me to write down 100 dreams that I wanted to accomplish. I thought 100 dreams? Easy. Then I tried to write down 100. I tried and I came up with 56. But I made it a point to come up with 100 and by the end of the month I had my 100. I look at this from time to time (every couple months) because it’s a great reminder to me if I’m achieving dreams or just staying busy. I don’t want to just be busy. I want to achieve dreams not because my significance is based off of it but because it’s fun. I don’t know why but it means something to me. If I get to all my dreams, cool, and if not, ehh whatever. But it keeps me focused and it reminds me that time passes by quickly. If too many months go by and I don’t have any of those dreams crossed off or I’m not any closer to crossing any off, I know I’m just staying busy and not doing myself and others any favors.
My dreams also change from year to year. I don’t feel called to dreams I wrote down 5 years ago. Like becoming a millionaire is something I can care less about anymore. Buying 2 houses is something I don’t want anymore. It’s okay for dreams to change. As we grow we realize some things just aren’t important anymore to achieve. And plus, I have crossed off a bunch of dreams so I need to make more right?
Put goals around the house
This takes 5 minutes. Write down 5 goals you want to achieve this year and put them somewhere you will see them, like a bathroom, your bed room or home office, like I do. Make sure they are obtainable or ones you truly believe you can achieve them in one year, or don’t bother writing it down. They can be simple or small.
I also want to point out we don’t achieve things to become significant, we achieve things because we are significant. It’s okay to fail or to fall short. Things won’t always go according to plan, but we can have something to aim for and remind us why we are waking up that morning in the first place. It’s great to have goals but let’s not be defined by them either. God has better plans for us sometimes and it’s okay to change direction if it brings us more freedom.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to put a piece of paper up that reads “You ARE enough today, no matter what. God will handle your problems today.”
Giving myself 20 minutes with God every morning and praying
This is how I decipher if I want to achieve a goal or not. I run it by God, I check His word (The Bible). I like to ask the questions “Am I doing this for me, or am I doing this for God? Am I using the gifts or talent He gave me for His glory or mine? What is my motive behind this goal? And why is this important to achieve it? In the grand scheme of things is this worth the little time I have on this earth to go after? Am I doing this to try to gain significance when I already have it in Jesus? I am a son of the living God, I am loved not for what I’m doing but for what Jesus already did for me. And I don’t need to put more on my plate to just stay busy. So is this why I am doing this? To gain significance?”
Based on how I answer those questions I try to decide on how I should live my life and what my next steps are. If the goals are worth obtaining because the last thing I want is to be stuck in the “busyness” of everything else and just be white noise.
I want a life well lived and a life of purpose/direction. Praying puts things in perspective. Praying is talking to Jesus and seeing what He has for me and for me to fill up with what I seem to have lost in the world. I am more energized and so clearly focused after talking with the big man upstairs. He cares for me and he has plans to prosper me. I am not a distant son God discarded and doesn’t want a relationship with. He is for me and He wants to be with me. And He wants to lead my life and I’m going to let him. I’m not going to let busyness rule my life and tell me that I’m not good enough because I’m not overwhelmed. I feel people take pride in feeling overwhelmed, almost like it’s an achievement. I don’t want that. I want a life of fruitfulness, freedom and peace.