Is life really about “he who dies with the most toys wins?” Are we really here get the nicest things in life just to leave it to someone else? The world offers and advertises a life of entitlement and success that can be a big trap. I’ve yet to see a hearse puling a U-Haul so why is everyone worn out, stressed and having a life of chaos? I recently met a guy that has ran a successful business that he started as a kid and worked his tail off to succeed. It did. It grew steady and with time he cornered his market. In addition, lifestyle grew and more investments made. Marriage and family became more a responsibility as the kids grew up and required more investment. The problem became that the life of success, parenting and investments became a overwhelming. The life he dreamed of wasn’t being ran by him, it was running him. The external circumstances were daunting, haunting and fear based nightmares that trapped every thought. He began to wonder if there was ever going to be any “peace” and if there was any “hope’.
Similar to a hamster being on a wheel running non-stop so it seamed this guy was going to collapse from trying to keep it running or things were going to have to change radically.
This story isn’t far from my own story because I too lived through it. By God’s grace. However it was some of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned. The reason I wanted to share some of these truths with you is because it doesn’t have to be this way. One more thing, add to this story me being a “creative person”. Everything is even more illuminated and heightened. Everything matters more it seems when looking at it through an artistic eye.
The fact is this: Life will never be “easy”. Retirement will never happen for me. I’ve never planned to. Life isn’t about working hard, making money, buying security and then coasting to death. I was defining my identity on what the world was advertising rather than living with a perspective that has eternal fruit that is long lasting. How could I take a life of “success” and trade it for a life of “significance”?
There are 4 truths I’d like to share that have been techniques I’ve had to write, post and tell myself constantly.
You are Not Alone- So often we live in our own minds and believe random thoughts both good and bad. However, the moment I realized those thoughts were also being seen and heard by God it made a huge difference. I’ve never been alone. In addition, I have had amazing people put in my life to help encourage and build me up in truth. You are what you hang around. Having a couple people you can be honest and truthful with is priceless. Being your true self and disclosing these fears and hopes is amazing with someone. Having someone who can speak confirming truth into your life to remind you who you really are and your true identity is amazing. It protects you against blind spots and focuses you on the areas that matter.
Your Actions and Behaviors are based on What you Believe- If you are focusing on the truths and not dwelling on the negatives you will again start to live out that in your behavior which then become habits. The key is the root: The “Thought”. It starts with what you believe.
You are Not in Control- You never have been and you never will be. However we spend a majority of our time convincing ourselves and others that we are in control: Control of outcomes, the kids, marriage, money, sales, what others think. It’s one thing to hand God the remote control car and surrendering control. However, it takes even more to hand over the remote too. Just think of all you can do with the time not tweaking on the business outcomes, results, sales etc. knowing your job is to plant and dig. He takes care of the results. Key point: Most brands and people think this is a weakness but I’ve always seen it as a strength to “trust”.
Have a Book of Truths- Truths regarding who I am and many true identity are important to have stored in my phone. There are certain triggers that set off and try to derail me. I have certain bible verses and things friends have told me written down. In addition, my wife knows me better than anyone and has the most specific truths that are enforced by how God created me.
Transitioning to a life of significance will not happen by climbing ladders of success for the sake of a dollar. Dollars are a mere way to underwrite the main goal of impacting the world and loving on others. This produces fruit that is long lasting. However it is totally counter cultural to what the world offers.
what are some of the ways you’ve ;earned to be still in the chaos of life? How have you shifted your thinking from success to significance?
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