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The unknowns in life are scary.  Will I make the right decisions?  Am I happy where I am?  What can I do to make my life better?   Will I be better or worse off if I… move, take that other job, start my own business, say no, say yes, do nothing?

You have to start down a path to find out where it takes you. You might be pleasantly surprised along the way.

APath

Yesterday, a new acquaintance said to me, “If people can’t see that we are living in heaven on earth, then they need to take a good look around at the natural beauty found all over our planet.”  I think this starfish is a great ambassador of the earth to we humans. Let’s pay attention.  We need to be aware and intentional (everyday) that the footprint we are making is not putting what is naturally amazing on our planet in jeopardy.  The good news is that millennials seem to be getting it.  Let’s make sure little guys like this don’t go away. Starfish(paulshaffner)

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

 

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

Author Elbert Hubbard once said, “Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal.”  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.”

When I was in ‘the lab’ back in November working on choosing specific words to be the foundation of my Vision Quest 2017, I realized something new.  Instead of just writing down goals for the six areas of my life, I also needed to write down principles that I would live by, while working towards the goals. The before structure was made up of a specific main goal, followed by points of tactical action steps to get me to the goal. This year I decided to consider those tactical steps as principles to live by, rather than tactical action steps.  With the new structure, I’m incorporating those former action steps as a part of my daily, weekly, and monthly lifestyle. And not just doing them when there is a particular goal to reach.  Once I reach the goal, I want to maintain that goal, not stop doing what I was doing to reach the goal, so I need to be sure to make the activities are part of a lifestyle, not temporary.  I think this is why so many people fail at weight loss programs. Once they reach that magical number on the scale, they go back to doing what they did before.  Below is an example of goals and principles in the financial category of life. 

principles

It seems everyone I talk with thinks about what they do for a living and question it.  Not only do they question it (in a million different ways), they also wonder if there is something else perhaps they should be doing, which would be more fulfilling yet still pay enough so they can pay off debt, save, and live a decent lifestyle.

As the new year gets underway, maybe you are thinking about starting your career, changing careers, or want confirmation you are on the right career path. Here are some questions that come to mind which will stir up the thought process.

Should I get a college degree? How much should I spend? What school should I go to? Will I get a good return on my money?  Is it a degree in an industry where there is good opportunity? Which industries are thriving now, in the future? Am I doing work I enjoy? Do I feel good going to work every day? Am I good at it?  Am I or can I get paid well to do it? Are there growth opportunities in my current organization? Am I a curious person who likes to figure things out? Am I willing to do whatever it takes to do a job well, with excellence, even though I may not receive the recognition or pay I feel I’m worth? What would I do for a living if didn’t have to worry about money?

What are your answers to these questions?  What are they telling you? What do you feel in your gut?

If you are looking to change careers or get started in a career, but not sure what the perfect path is yet (maybe you can’t even see the path), there are some good books that will help.  I recommend Dan Miller’s book 48 Days to the Work you Love, and Jon Acuff’s, Start, as a couple to get you going.  Dan’s book helped me to get my thoughts aligned and begin moving towards clarity.   Both are available on Amazon.

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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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