3 Keys To Discovering Your Mission

 

If you’re a person of faith, then the Easter Weekend that just passed had significant meaning to you, way beyond chocolate and bunnies. It’s a time set aside to remember and reflect on the significance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. For Christians, the most significant events in history.

crosses-1401681

Jesus Had a Mission

All throughout the gospels, Jesus gives clues to why he came, 2000 years ago.

“Let us go somewhere else- to the nearby village so I can preach there. That is why I have come.” Mark 1:38

“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” Matt 9:13

Jesus was very clear on why He came to earth and what He was to do while he was here. And he completed all he came to do.

Just prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion, Jesus prays, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4

What’s Your Mission?

Are you completing your God-given assignment? What are you doing to accomplish God’s purposes?

Ask yourself, “What will I do today to accomplish God’s plan? How will I move toward the mission He has given me?” Then you can experience true success.

Success is not what you’ve done compared to what others have done. Success is what you have done compared to what you were supposed to do. – Tony Evans

Consider the following:

  • Your Skills & Abilities: what are they? what comes naturally to you? what are you good at?
  • Your Personality Traits: are you creative, logical, outgoing, adventurous, analytical or verbal, do like to collaborate with others or work alone?
  • Your Values, Dreams and Passions: when do you feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment? what are you doing when time seems to stand still or pass by without notice? what do you lay awake thinking about? What do you stand for? What angers you? What principles guide you?

“God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kind of blessings.” 1 Peter 4:10

Your Mission Statement

“Your mission, should you choose/decide to accept it… As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck”

Those lines were first made famous (long before Tom Cruise came along) in the 1960’s Mission Impossible TV series. Secret government agents known as the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) received their missions. Each episode was marked by a similar exchange between the main characters and a mission; usually transmitted on a recording device that exploded or disintegrated soon after it was listened to.

Sometimes understanding our own mission is not so easy and straightforward. Unlike the TV series, none of us receive a self-destructing message that communicates to us what our mission is.

So how can we determine our mission? Where do we start?

I think a lot of us begin by looking at things we want to do, or look for the best job etc. But I suggest the best place to start to understand life’s big question like, Why am I here? is to look inside of ourselves, not in the Help Wanted ads.

When you identify your (1) skills & abilities, your (2) personality traits, and your (3) values, dreams and passions, you now have the basis for your own personal mission statement.

“God does equip us in unique and different ways. It was never His desire that we all be identical. Find your uniqueness and experience the joy of operating in that area of uniqueness. You may have grown up with the distorted idea that God is more pleased when we suffer and are miserable. However, it is clear that God designed us so that when we are fulfilling His specific purpose for our lives it will create an incredible sense of joy and peace. God will never quench your dreams and visions but rather He will enhance them, stretch them and give you the means to accomplish them.”   – Dan Miller

What’s your mission?

Do you have questions about your personal mission? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange an initial free 30 minute Discovery Call. Let’s talk.

Another Objection to “Living Your Best Life Now”

Last week I addressed a question that I was asked in response to my current series of posts titled, “Live Your Best Life Now.” The question suggested that pursuing our best life now, was a selfish pursuit. You can read more about it here.

Today, I’d like to raise another (legitimate) concern. In another conversation I had recently, someone asked if “all this talk about pursuing our dreams and setting long -range goals…” was an indication of discontentment. “Shouldn’t we just be content with who we are?” They quoted from the Bible to support their assumption, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6)

I think this is a great question and one to be considered carefully. Paul, wrote those words and also, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in want or in plenty.” (Phil 4:11)

Perhaps at first glance it does appear that pursuit of our best life now is at odds with the command to be content.

Contentment seems to be a mindset about our current circumstances, especially as it relates to what we have, or don’t have. Whether you and I have much or little, our contentment is not dictated by that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Content or Comfortable

What if contentment is an excuse for comfort (dare I say laziness). In the Bible, contentment appears to be an attitude rather than an achievement. It also is closely connected with money or lack of it. Contentment cannot be achieved with more money. The love and pursuit of money, is a result of a lack of contentment.

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” – Socrates

But does contentment in our current circumstances preclude us from pursuing goals, following our dreams and passions, or wanting to grow and change?

Divine Discontent

Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about the concept— “divine discontent.”

“I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in.”

“It is my belief that authentic vocational success is tied to our spiritual well-being—the identification of those inner gifts and talents that need to be used for us to feel fulfilled. Now I don’t want this to be so “spiritual” that we can’t find real application, but work has to provide more than just an income.” – Dan Miller

It’s Not About Getting More, It’s About Being More

What are your dreams and passions? What do you want? “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. ” (Psalm 37:4)

What are the skills and abilities you have been blessed with. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)

Pat Flynn says we all have an “unfair advantage” based on our personal experiences, our story and our abilities. What comes naturally to you that doesn’t for others? We tend to minimize the things that come easy or natural to us. We see them as unimportant or simply things that anyone can do.

Do you know your calling? (not your career or job) “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10)

The Lazy Servant

Jesus tells a story about three servants who were entrusted with a certain amount of money unique to each of them. The first 2 put it to work, but the third did nothing with it and was chastised for it. (Matt 25:14-23) Why? Because he was given something with which he did nothing! Was he content to simply hide the money until his boss came back? Or was he too lazy to put it to work? 

What have you been given? Time, gifts, abilities, health, relationships, work and our resources. How are you using what you have?

Maybe contentment is being satisfied with what we have (verses comparing what we have to what others have) but not an excuse for not pursuing what we can become.

The issue isn’t what we have or how much we have, but what we do with what we have.  

So what do you think? Are you content? Can we experience contentment and discontent at the same time?

Does contentment mean we shouldn’t pursue our best life now? Why or why not?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…leave me a message below.

 

If you have questions or would like to explore life coaching but you’re not sure where to begin, contact me to arrange an initial free 30 minute Discovery Call. Let’s talk.

5 Reasons Why The “48 Days To The Work You Love – SEMINAR” Might Be For You

Perhaps you’ve heard these from people you know or you’ve made them yourself. In any event, the following statements reflect the very reasons you will benefit from participating in an upcoming

48 Days To The Work You Love SEMINAR.

48Days_facebook

  1. “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” (I hear this from 20-somethings and 50-somethings)
  2. “I’m ready to start my own business…now what?”
  3. “I just lost my job.”
  4. ” My job search has been futile…I’m stuck.”
  5. “I don’t enjoy my job but I don’t know how to change directions.”

Do any of those resinate with you? Maybe someone you know or someone you work with? Statistics suggest the majority of employees are dissatisfied with their current work; maybe this is you too?

The 48 Days Seminar may be just what you are looking for to help you gain the clarity and direction you need to help you find the work you love.

In this 6-week seminar you will…

  • Understand what work fits your personality
  • Reduce stress and discouragement in your current job
  • Gain clarity about your calling and produce work that is purposeful and meaningful
  • Discover work that combines your passions, skills & personality

What can you do?

  1. Participate in the seminar. For more details on how you can be a part of this practical 48 Days Seminar click here.
  2. Share this link with someone you know will benefit from the seminar.
  3. Invite someone to attend the seminar with you.
  4. Fill out the form below if you have more questions about the seminar.

Is Pursuing Your Dreams Selfish?

Last week we wrapped up a 5-part series called, “5 Keys To Living Your Best Life Now” and I have received a lot of feedback, comments and questions. And today I would like to address a great question I was asked recently.

In my conversation with this particular individual I could see she was struggling with the basic premise of the series of blog posts I had written. Eventually she was able to ask the question that was troubling her,

“Isn’t it selfish to focus our attention on pursuing a better life?”

She went on to say that there seems to be a lot of attention (through articles and books etc) given to pursuing our dreams, living our passions and striving for more. “Everywhere I turn I see the same questions. Are you following your passions, living your dreams.” And to her, this seems to be a selfish way to live. And apparently my blog posts were adding to her frustration.

I think this is a great question. Is it selfish to focus our attention on what we want, who we want to be, and what we want to accomplish in our lives? Is is selfish to want to live your best life now?

man-at-work-1237421

To me it comes down to motivation. The why? Let me illustrate. A few years ago, after coming in from cutting the lawn, my son asked me why I spend so much time on cutting the grass. (I didn’t think I was out there that long).

I explained by saying that besides the enjoyment of working outdoors and working up a sweat in the sun (a pre-requisite to jumping in the pool) taking care of the things we have is important. We have a lawn so we should care for it; cut it, fertilize it and water it. (I have to admit I rarely do the that last one).

Stewardship

I believe that each of us is called to steward what we have. To mange it and take care of it. As a Christian, I believe God has given us specific things to manage during our lifetime.

  • I have a home. So we must care for it…which is why we put a new roof on it last fall (I didn’t want to but our home needed one).
  • I have a car. So I got an oil change last week as part of it’s regular maintenance. Why? Because that’s what a car needs to keep it running.
  • I worked out this morning. Why? Because I enjoy a measure of health and I don’t want to squander it by being sedentary. Plus, taking care of myself will impact the other areas of my life.

Stewardship Beyond Your Possessions

God has created us and uniquely designed us with our personalities, passions, skills & abilities, personal experiences, preferences, and aspirations. As we gain clarity around those things I think we have an obligation or better, the opportunity to steward them. So for me, pursuing my best life now is hopefully not a selfish endeavor but a matter of stewarding who God has made me to be.

In an earlier post I shared 3 reasons why we should pursue our dreams you can read about them here

Here’s the thing; it’s not about getting more or making more…it’s about being more. It’s about being the best version of who God created us to be. That may be a lifelong pursuit but for me it’s a most worthwhile one.

  • You are unique
  • Your life is meant to impact others
  • Clarity about who you are, will impact who you become
  • Others need you
  • Your life is not your own, but meant to be lived for the sake of others.
  • Striving to reach your potential is a never-ending journey that honours the One who made you.

A Different Question

Earlier I shared the question, “Is it selfish to pursue your best life now?” A valid question for sure, but I’d like to suggest another.

Is it selfish NOT to pursue your best life now?

If each of us have been a measure of, health, financial resources, relationships, work, and also skills & abilities, a particular personality style, passions and dreams…would it not be selfish not to make the most of them? What is the alternative? To simply accept where we are with no thought to how we can grow, get stronger or get better seems selfish to me.

If you are a Pittsburgh Steeler fan than you know who Martavis Bryant is. Martavis is a wide receiver for the Steelers and has incredible talent. He made one of the most amazing catches you will ever see, this past season. Unfortunately, he failed a second drug test and is now suspended for the entire upcoming season. I feel terrible for Martavis and I hope he gets the help and guidance he needs to change the direction his life is going currently. He has incredible skills and opportunities to display them on the football field. But some poor choices and personal problems will keep him on the side line.

It’s not about getting more, it’s about being more

What would it mean to you and those around you, if you saw your health, your relationships, your finances, your family and your work, as gifts and opportunities that need attention, to be cared for and developed? That’s true stewardship. That’s a worthy pursuit. That’s living your best life now.

So how about it?

Are you living your best life now? Or are you delaying making the changes you know you want to make?

What changes would make the biggest difference for you and why? What is stopping you from making those changes and making them now?

 

If you have questions or would like to explore life coaching but you’re not sure where to begin, contact me to arrange an initial free 30 minute Discovery Call. Let’s talk.

Simply fill out the form below and we can arrange a conversation. I look forward to it.

Are You One of Them?

I just came across another article suggesting that more than 80% of employees dislike their jobs, complain about their jobs, and would change their job if they had a clear plan to do so.

80%

That means that the majority of those you work with are unhappy or dissatisfied in their work. Perhaps the person sitting across from you, or in the next office. That means that the majority of people in your lunch room are possibly looking for a new job or at least want a new job.

What about you?

Are you reaching your potential in your current work?

Do you dream about making a career change but not sure where to begin?

Do you have dreams of starting a business but are afraid to take the next step?

Do you think there is work out there that is a better fit with your skills, personality and passions?

48_Days_workshop_square1

In this 6-week seminar you will…

  • Understand what work fits your personality
  • Reduce stress and discouragement in your current job
  • Gain clarity about your calling and produce work that is purposeful and meaningful
  • Discover work that combines your passions, skills & personality

Your seminar kit includes:

  • A copy of 48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller
  • 48 Days Personality Profile
  • A 260-page Application Guide to walk you through the 48 Days Process
  • Six weeks of Monday meetings with your 48 Days facilitator and a like minded group of passionate people on the same journey.

The seminar will run for 6 weeks  From May 2 – June 13 on Monday evenings from 7-9pm. (Not including the May long weekend) and we will meet at 216 Colborne St W Orillia, ON (Front door – Second floor)

I’m ready to love my my work and fulfill my purpose!

For more details on how you can be a part of this practical 48 Days Seminar click here.

Five Keys To Living Your Best Life Now (Part 5)

As I write this, it’s International Women’s Day (March 8) so I’d like to recognize the three most incredible women I know. My awesome wife Kathy, who has put up with me for over 26 years. My daughter Megan who amazes me more and more every day, and my mom, who raised me and has been my biggest cheerleader, faithfully through the good, bad and the ugly.

Years ago, while I was still living at home, I was talking with my mom about my future. Things like marriage, careers and families. I remember being concerned about how much it would cost not only to get married but to be married. My mom looked at me and said, “If you wait until you can afford it, you’ll never do it.”

Today we wrap up “Five Keys To Living Your Best Life Now” and ask the question, “What are you waiting for?” What is stopping you from Living Your Best Life NOW?

calendar-1568148

Key #5 Live Your Best Life NOW

My mom was trying to tell me that as long as I come up with excuses for not doing something, even something as important as getting married, it’ll never happen.

I think most of us are good at coming up with “reasons” why we can’t or won’t do something. But when it comes to living our best life…why not now? What are you waiting for?

Over the course of this short series, we’ve broken down the phrase “Live Your Best Life Now” by looking at each word, one at a time.

  • Part 1 – choosing to live rather than to simply watch others live
  • Part 2 – choosing to live your life, not someone else’s plan for our life
  • Part 3 – deciding to live up to our potential, rather than squander it
  • Part 4 – recognizing that all the areas of our life (relationships, career, health, finances etc) matter and are interconnected

“Teach us to number our days” Ps 90:12

When I think about the first 20 years of my life, it seems like they went on and on and on. When I consider the last 20 years, they seem to have passed by so quickly. Maybe it’s because I’m 50 and life seems to be flying by but I think that is all the more reason to choose to live my best life now!

Or maybe it’s because…

  • my dad died at 54 and I’m not much younger
  • this morning I discovered a close friend is scheduled to have quadruple bypass surgery in 2 days
  • my children are “suddenly” adults
  • I’ve been married for 26 years now and the conversation with my mom seems like yesterday
  • I meet people regularly who are overwhelmed and unfulfilled

What does it mean to “number our days”? I think it means, to evaluate the use of our time in light of the brevity of life.

What’s The Alternative?

Whether we have 6 months or 60 years yet to live, why wouldn’t we want to live our best life NOW?

What’s stopping you from making the changes you want to make in your life? Do any of these resonate with you?

  • When this busy season is over
  • When I save enough
  • I’ll start next month
  • I don’t have time
  • After my next promotion
  • I don’t know where to start
  • I’m overwhelmed
  • What’s the point, nothing will ever change
  • What if I fail

Are you living your best life now? Or are you delaying making the changes you know you want to make?

What changes would make the biggest difference for you and why? What is stopping you from making those changes and making them now?

If you have questions or would like to explore life coaching but you’re not sure where to begin, contact me to arrange an initial free 30 minute call. Let’s talk.

Simply fill out the form below and we can arrange a conversation. I look forward to it.

 

Five Keys To Living Your Best Life Now (Part 4)

I remember the day clearly. It was early 2006 and a severe winter storm was passing through so I bundled up to go out and shovel the driveway. I don’t mind shovelling snow most days, but this time was different. After I was done, I came inside and suddenly I could hardly breath, my head was pounding and my body hurt from head to toe. It hurt for days.

I finally just admitted that I was out of shape. I talked a with a good friend to devise a health plan including joining a gym, but I just couldn’t see how I could fit into my life. He said, “You have to make it happen.” Eventually Kathy and I both joined a local gym and committed to working out 3 times a week. We also began running trails and eventually even completing the 30km “Around The Bay Race” in Hamilton. (It wasn’t pretty but we crossed the finish line.)

A Clear Sign Your Life Is Out Of Balance

That day out in the storm clearing my driveway and the subsequent pain from it, was a clear indicator that something was wrong. My health was not what it should have been because I had neglected it. A reminder that my life was out of balance.

In Gary Collins book, “Christian Coaching”, Chris McCluskey, founder and president of the Professional Christian Coaching Institute describes a very interesting perspective on life balance.

In the diagram below you see a triangle with the words worship, work and play. Chris suggests that after accounting for utilitarian activities like eating and showering etc most of what we do each day can fall into one of these broadly defined activities.

Worship, is time spent at church, personal spiritual activities like prayer & solitude. It could also include volunteering or simply taking time to soak in a sunset or some other expression of nature that causes us to acknowledge God’s presence.

Work, is what takes up a large amount of our time. Work includes our jobs, paying bills, mowing the lawn or buying groceries. “Like worship, work should require something from us as well as something that we get back. It is satisfying to put in a good day’s work, to know the bills are paid, to see the freshly mowed lawn and to have the pantry stocked.”

Play, according to McCluskey is the final ingredient in a well-balanced life. What you consider play will be different from me but whatever it is, it will require focused time and effort and perhaps an investment of money. Whether playing on a hockey team, enjoying a hobby, reading or exercising, play, like worship and work requires something of us. “True play will always feed your soul.”

Where Do Things Go Wrong?

You’ll notice in the diagram that there is an arrow from one word to the other. This is to illustrate how things get off track. McCluskey says that “Particularly in Western culture, we tend to worship our work. That’s what we sacrifice to make the focus of our lives.  It’s where we derive our sense of security and our sense of worth.” We also turn play into work. We often turn play into competition. Winning becomes more important than playing. And when that happens, play stops being play and stops feeding us and fueling us.

I think that’s the main reason I don’t play fantasy sports leagues. There’s one for every major sport. But I never participate because if I did, I’d never be able enjoy another game, just for the sake of the game.

Chris goes on to suggest that we also then play at worship. It’s not a priority perhaps just an after thought. “Consequently our worship doesn’t allow God to fill us. We are starved spiritually.”

“When we worship work, work at our play and play at our worship, we are completely out of balance. Nothing is able to nourish us. Work reaches the point of diminishing returns and play and worship aren’t given the priority they need in order to feed us as only they can.” – Chris McCluskey

Key #4 Live Your Best LIFE Now

“Life balance is not about spending the same amount of time, money and energy on each life area equally. But rather giving each life area the attention it needs.” 

In part one of this series, we were encouraged to assess “every” area of our lives. To score them out of 10. To live your best life now, you need to consider your health, your finances, relationships, career, personal development and spiritual life. Success in one area while failing in another is not success, and not your best life. For example, if you are pouring all your energy into your work while ignoring your health, you are not living your best life.

A balanced life:

  • Allows us to be present; in the moment, free from distraction
  • Allows us to be fully engaged at work
  • Allows us to worship while not being preoccupied with work.
  • Allows us the freedom to play while not being distracted by things at the office
  • Places value on all areas of life
  • Is a result of clear values
  • Is intentional
  • Has a plan for every area of life

So are you living your best LIFE now? Why or why not? What changes would make the biggest difference for you and why? What is stopping you from making those changes?

If you have questions or would like to explore life coaching but you’re not sure where to begin, contact me to arrange an initial free 30 minute call. Let’s talk.

Simply fill out the form below and we can arrange a conversation. I look forward to it.