Web Site: God-given Treasures
Forget Resolutions in 2007...Go For Your Dreams!
I often encounter people who complain that they are simply not content with their life’s work. Consequently, I wasn’t surprised by a Wall Street Journal survey that revealed an 80% job dissatisfaction rate among the general population and a 50% dissatisfaction rate among executives.
Many people have settled into a particular job simply because it’s comfortable and it pays the bills. Like a hamster on a wheel, each dreaded Monday morning begins a new cycle of the same old mundane routine. Some have even raced to the pinnacle of their profession only to find that their view from the top was of little significance. This eye-opening experience has led some people to abandon their traditional ideas of success and to get in touch with their innermost desires. They have learned that true fulfillment can only be experienced when one has discovered, and is walking in, his God-given calling in life. By exploring their true passion, they are open to new, fulfilling possibilities─their own uniqueness and creativity.
Tama Kieves, author of “This Time I Dance” was a Harvard lawyer on track to becoming a partner. Tama grew up with dreams of becoming a poet, but her family convinced her to get a “real job”. One day she decided to give it all up to pursue her heart’s desire, which would not allow her to settle for a life of rationalization, when a life of inspiration called.
Are you living on purpose or simply going with the flow? Only a remnant of the population has discovered a passion that transcends rationale. Refusing to be satisfied with the status quo, they’ve determined to live life on their own terms by following the God-inspired path that leads to their own self-expression.
Here are five keys that will help you to unlock your passion and unleash your dreams:
Get clear about your purpose in life. Don’t allow the word “purpose” to intimidate you. Your life’s purpose doesn’t have to be something as life changing as finding a cure for cancer. It can be as simple as bringing joy to others. There are some people who naturally change the dynamics of a room just by their mere presence. They have something unique that not everyone possess. What’s unique about you?
In your quest to clarify your purpose in life, take time to look within your spiritual self. Get quiet enough to listen to your heart. Reflect back over your life and jot down the three accomplishments that have given you the greatest sense of fulfillment. What was the common thread, or essence, of those experiences? What do people typically complement you for?
One hint: your purpose in life is not about you, but rather your service to others. Scripture reference: “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37 ESV)
Discover your gifts and talents. Your gifts will point you in the direction of your purpose and passion. Most people don’t realize how multi-gifted and talented they really are. In fact, most people only explore their full potential out of desperation─the loss of a job, divorce, etc.
You have certain skills & abilities that you do with ease. You likely have other gifts and talents that need to be discovered and developed. Many times other people see more in us than we see in ourselves. As you seek to discover your gifts and talents, ask the people close to you to share their observation of specific gifts and talents you display.
Your gifts & talents should not conflict with what you enjoy doing. For example, if being around kids drives you bunkers, then teaching children is not your calling! Scripture reference: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 NKJV)
Commit to your dream rather than to your reality. Decide that you’re going to pursue your dream. Don’t consider how you’re going to do it. Trying to figure out the details can be overwhelming and cause you to give up on your dream.
Take out a sheet of paper and on one side write down where you are and on the opposite side write down where you want to be. Which side are you more committed to?
Set long- and short-term goals. Write out a timeframe in which you expect to accomplish your goals. What do you expect to accomplish within the next thirty days, six months, one, two, five years?
This is the most critical key to realizing your dream. You must decide to become more committed to your dream than stuck in your reality. Many dreams are aborted at this stage because of a lack of courage to make a commitment. You can begin thinking about the “how?” and “what if?” and turn back in defeat. Make the commitment and move forward. Scripture reference: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct] your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
Don’t let fear stop you. If not confronted, fear is an emotion that will paralyze and stop you dead in your tracks. Psychologist, Dr. Susan Jeffers, notes that everyone feels fear when stretching themselves to new levels of personal growth and achievement. She advises that we should feel the fear and move forward in spite of it. You might be surprised to know that the people you admire for having achieved great success are also confronted with fear. What makes them distinct is that they use fear as a positive adrenalin booster to push them to new levels.
The next time you’re confronted with fear, don’t allow it to stop you from pursuing your dream. Understand that fear will always be present when we charter new territory. When we forge ahead in spite of our fears, we gain greater confidence in ourselves for future challenges. Scripture reference: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NKJV)
Take action. Whether your dream is big or small, the important thing is to take action in the direction of your passion. Your dream can look like a mountain when you’re viewing it at a distance. But the key is to take one step at a time and follow the path by which you’re being led. By so doing, suddenly, your challenges won’t seem so insurmountable.
When you make a commitment and take action, you will begin to see the hand of Providence moving in your behalf. But as long as you’re sitting on the fence undecided, nothing will change. Scripture reference: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23 NKJV)
We were all created for a unique purpose, and endowed with valuable treasure within. But until we unlock this precious cargo and unleash our passion, we will not walk in the fullness of our God-given calling. As we enter the holiday season, my challenge to you for 2007 is that you will forget the resolutions and go for your dreams!
Rebecca McClain is living her dream of becoming a writer and speaker. She is the author of Manifesting Our God-given Treasures: The Stewardship of Life & On the Road to Freedom: Journey to Becoming Debt Free. Contact Rebecca at rebecca.godgiventreasures.com. Web site: www.godgiventreasures.com. Rebecca resides in Atlanta
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