There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.               – Proverbs 23:18

Hope Proverbs

 

Many years ago, I heard a Pastor at our local church say this phrase and it stuck with me. He said, “Faith is believing, even if it’s not, so that it might be.”  None of us knows what will happen in the next hour, the next week, the next month, or next year.  And if fear is involved, the road ahead may look scarier than it will actually turn out to be. At the bottom of it all, all we really have is faith. If we truly believe in who we are and that what we are doing today matters, there is a really good chance our dreams will be realized. Good actors practice and rehearse for roles they may never get. But they rehearse like crazy anyway, believing they will get the part. Faith and belief are the fuel and spark that light the fire on dreams.

What are you believing in today, so that it might be tomorrow?

BelieveInSomethingThatsNot

In my book, Your Ultimate Life Vision, I talk about three circles. They are the three aspects of reality in terms of what we do for a living. Their proximity to each other can make life amazing or make it miserable. Here they are: 1) What do I like to do? 2) What am I good at? and 3) What can I get paid well to do? More often than not, two of these three intercept, but that doesn’t get you to your ultimate life.  I want to do what I love, be really good at it, and get paid well to do it.  This is the sweet spot where the three circles collide.  I’ve been operating in one or two of these circles for a lot of years. I’m now taking bold steps forward to pull those three circles together and step right smack into the middle. I’ve learned the circles don’t magically come together by chance, pure luck, or fate.  To get them to overlap, they need intentionality, a plan, and a lot of hard work.

How are your circles lining up?

3Circles

I’m navigating through stormy water right now career wise, steering my life into the direction of the future. Going through turbulence is just a fact of life.  It stinks, but there’s not much we can do about it but keep putting one foot in front of the other and focusing forward. I’m reading a great book right now by Bob Beaudine, called The Power of Who.  I’m finding encouragement in his book as he talks about bad weather (unforeseen circumstances) might blow you off course temporarily, but as soon as possible, you reestablish the correct heading.  He goes on to say, discernment is the ability to see things deeply – beyond the obvious and below the surface.  If you’re going to successfully traverse the unpredictable, often rough and treacherous waters of life, you’ll need the ability to read the currents below.  And this is my favorite part… “Take hold of the wheel, you’re closer than you think.”

TaketheWheel

Proverbs 14:15 says, “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”  In this age of receiving messaging and information from so many sources, believing everything we hear without giving it thought is simple, but not prudent.

Octopus

 

Run like others or be different?

One day a hare met a tortoise. The hare said to the tortoise, “Why do you move so slowly? Why don’t you try to run like other animals?” Thus, the hare laughed at the tortoise for his slow pace.

The tortoise said, “I know that I cannot run. But I can beat you in a race.”

“Then come, let us run a race at once,” said the hare.

The race began. The hare ran very swiftly for some time. Then he stopped and looked back. He saw that the tortoise was far behind. So he said, “Now I can take rest. Let the tortoise come here and then I shall run again.”

So the hare sat under a tree to take rest. But soon he fell asleep.

The tortoise went on slowly but steadily. He did not stop for a moment.

Suddenly the hare woke up. He saw the tortoise very near the goal. He ran as fast as he could. But alas! The tortoise had already reached the goal.

From the book, The Tortoise and the Hare, an Aesops Fable story.

Slow and steady wins the race every time, in every area of our lives.

Slow and Steady

Fish3b

 

 

Failures in life are described in surfing terms as wipeouts.  You catch your wave, you’re cruising along, feeling confident, and things seem to be going well. Then something happens. An issue comes up with a family member, something happens at work, or you made a decision that didn’t work out the way you had planned. Often times when this happens the word failure (wipeout) comes to mind. We all have failures of some sort or another throughout our lives. If we don’t learn from them, there is a good chance we’ll repeat them. It’s natural to beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. But instead of beating ourselves up, what if we looked at them as a new skill.  Successful people will tell you they’ve failed many times. The difference is they view failures as lessons they’ve learned which helped propel them forward.

Famous surfer, Laird Hamilton, puts it best this way, “Wiping out is an under appreciated skill.”
Wipeout

Have you ever been in a job or relationship where you’ve worked hard, hustled, tried to see things from different angels, and put enormous amounts of energy into it in an effort to move the needle only to see very little or nothing change? Most people have. I’ve certainly been in my share of those situations over the years. I love this quote by Warren Buffett, “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” 

After you’ve tried everything else, sometimes it’s best to just change boats.

Change Boat

Helen Keller said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Boy is this statement true; be it in love, lost jobs, broken friendships, or business deals that didn’t pan out the way we had hoped. It’s hard to make the turn and face forward when pain and disappointment is holding us back to that other thing.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future….”

Looking forward and trusting that there is another door that has opened for you, or will open for you, is a little scary, but well worth it to move out of the painful past and into a hopeful and beautiful future. It’s ‘a-boat’ time we moved on!It'sA-BoatTime

Proverbs 25:19 says, “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble.” When we decide to make changes for the better in our lives, whether it’s getting fit, getting out of debt, or making career decisions, who we talk to matters.  The Bible says seek wise counsel.  If you just talk to your friends or family who don’t have the experience, insights, or vision for what you want to do and who you want to be, you’ll get frustrated. Some of them will even tell you you’re crazy or you’ll never be able to do it.  Find people who you see are doing the things you want to do and reach out to them. Ask them to lunch, coffee, or go on a hike.  Most times they’ll be flattered and willing to help.  Read, read, read.  Read books about people who have overcome obstacles and are successful in spite of their upbringing, failures, and struggles. The stories will sink into your mind and motivate you.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is exactly what the Bible tells us not to do – rely on people who have proven to us they cannot be relied on. There are so many smart, compassionate people in this world who are working hard to make it a better, safer place. Let’s tap into those minds and build relationships. Those are the people who can actually help us achieve the vision we want.

Boat3

Art

Art by Christine (Parrish) Barker. © Christine Barker. All rights reserved.

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© Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision 2017. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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