Are You Living for the Right Thing? How to Make Smart Choices

March 30, 2023
Are You Living for the Right Thing? How to Make Smart Choices

Are you living for the right thing? Most people never take the time to ask themselves this question.

Too many people spend their whole lives working jobs they hate and never really take the time to figure out what they’re meant to do. They miss out on a life of significance.

You have the opportunity to do it better.

Are You Living for the Right Thing? How to Make Smart Choices

Adopt a vision that’s worthy of your time and effort. With such a vision, you can be sure to leave a mark.

In the 1960s, the Americans pursued their vision of reaching the moon because they knew it would significantly advance their technical knowledge of computers, satellites, and space travel.

Likewise, you should shoot for a vision that enables you to enjoy a meaningful life. Adjust your vision as necessary using the following filters.

Adjust Your Vision to Leave a Mark

Filter #1: Does Your Vision Reflect What You Truly Want?

Does your vision reflect what you genuinely want to accomplish with your life? Looking back 20, 30, or 40 years from now, will you feel you have lived your best life? I want you to wrestle with these difficult questions because, to quote self-help author Robin Sharma, “Nothing will fill your heart with a greater sense of regret than lying on your deathbed knowing that you did not live your life so as to realize your dreams.”

Ensure you are not just coasting through life, doing what is easy or what you think you should do. Run your race — one you can look back on with pride. Run the race that makes you feel good about yourself. And remember your core values. Is your current life vision congruent with them?

I have struggled with this filter. I am an ambitious person and want to live a successful life. I have gotten caught up in work projects that were important to the company. But when I took time to reflect, I realized that my work did not contribute to improving my community — which was even more important to me — and it was not something people would remember ten years from now. It was a job like many others. Often, I was busy being busy, caught up in details that didn’t matter. I questioned whether this was the best use of the talents God gave to me.

And then I asked myself, “What would I do if money didn’t matter? How would I spend my time?” As I reflected on these two questions, a truth dawned on me: Jesus said, “You can’t serve God and be enslaved to money,” but I was basing my decisions on a poverty mindset. Trapped in fear of lack, I accepted jobs to get more money to pursue vain things, not to serve God’s purposes, which I wanted to do.

Apply this filter to your life: does your vision reflect what you truly want? If not, consider revising your vision or adopting a new one for your life.

Filter #2: Are You Passionate About Your Vision?

You may spend 40, 50, or more hours a week at work pursuing your vision. To live a spectacular life, your vision must thrill you. So, ask yourself, “Am I passionate about what I do?”

For many years, I played music in the music ministry at my local church. We even had the opportunity to write and record new songs. I felt blessed and enjoyed the time I spent practicing with the other members. And then, for some reason, my excitement began to wane. I continued to play with the group, but it became something I had to do to serve my church. Over time, I realized that by doing something I was no longer passionate about, I was not living up to my full potential, so I left the music ministry.

A short time later, I began coaching other group leaders. That role appealed to me more because I could help other leaders who then, in turn, would use this knowledge to teach their groups. I felt I was paying it forward — an essential part of my vision.

Visions change. And we change, too. So, ask yourself, “Am I passionate about my vision? Would I get up in the middle of the night to work on it?” Big visions require hard work. And they ask for enormous sacrifices. You need the added power of passion for your vision to make it to the moon.

Filter #3: Is Your Vision Big Enough?

The self-help book, The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, is based on the idea that the biggest mistake most people make in life is not setting goals high enough. Playing it safe may be easier, but it will set you up for a lesser life. In the words of Cardone, “Most people don’t like having big goals because they don’t like setting themselves up for failure and disappointment.” The opposite is true: you need to have a big vision to achieve big things.

And surprisingly, a big vision is often easier to achieve than a lesser vision because it engages you more intellectually and emotionally. When President Kennedy visited the Cape Canaveral Space Center, he met a man in overalls who was sweeping the floor. The President asked him, “What do you do for NASA?”

“I’m helping put a man on the moon,” the janitor replied.

Planning a moonshot was a vision big enough to fire up that worker and the entire country.

People erroneously believe that too high expectations lead to unhappiness and stress. Cardone disagrees. “It’s not unmet expectations that create unhappiness. Rather it’s not living your life to a high level, it’s not actually taking extreme action and watching yourself succeed. You have to dream big to accomplish big things.

The Americans chose a colossal vision. Going to the moon before the end of the decade seemed unlikely, if not impossible. And yet, I argue that Neil Armstrong and his colleagues managed to get to the moon because of that audacious vision.

Filter #4: Are You Following God’s Vision?

God wants you to have big visions and to glorify Him with your efforts. And He promises to help you, too. To quote Paul: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory.” With God, you can do far more than you can imagine doing on your own.

To open yourself up to God’s big vision for you, I encourage you to recite this prayer by Sir Francis Drake, a sea captain, naval officer, and explorer: “Disturb me, Lord, when I’m too well pleased with myself, when my dreams have come true. Because I have dreamed too little, when I arrived safely. Because I sailed too close to the shore.” As a kite surfer, I know it’s safer near the shore. But the real action — the exciting stuff — takes place out at sea.

When following God’s vision for you, you must do it for His glory, not personal satisfaction. As Paul reminded the Colossians, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” And with Him, all things are possible.

When Jesus was arrested, Peter denied three times that he was one of Jesus’s disciples and made plans to go back to his trade as a fisherman.

But Jesus had a much bigger vision for Peter. “Feed my sheep,” the Messiah told him. On Pentecost, Peter fed Jesus’s followers by preaching the Good News to the crowd in Jerusalem, saying, “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter accepted God’s calling. According to Luke, “Peter’s words pierced their hearts,” and allowed thousands of people to hear the Good News.

Because Peter followed God’s vision for his life, he received God’s help and was able to accomplish amazing things.

The Takeaway

By filtering your vision for your life through the lens of God’s Word and aligning your goals with His will, you can live a life of purpose and make a lasting impact on the world. And that’s how you unlock profound meaning and significance in your life.

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