ew years ago, I penned an article where I boldly proclaimed, “You are a sandwich”! I explained that there will always be someone who is much better than you are, and there will be for consolation, someone who is going to be always worse than you are. That article was inspired by a jogger who zipped past me as if I was walking yet I thought I was posting my personal best. I had to do the article to console myself. Later on that week, I also had a chance to zoom past someone else and I got to know how it felt. I can tell you that it is pretty inspiring. It makes your jogs purposeful to say the least, but I digress
Today, however, I am not equating my life to that of someone else. All I am doing today is to look at a different kind of a sandwich. It is, I believe, one of the most potent ways of taking a look at your life. There are three things about your life that will always be constant, until the day that it comes to an end:
Much as we can learn from the past, and much as we can project and aspire for the future, the present is the time where all the changes can be made. So we cannot waste time whinging about how yesterday could have been. That is not being purposeful, but wasteful. We cannot waste emotions replaying how hurt we were and how many chances we missed. [ictt-tweet-inline]Great strides are made in life when we have the capacity to know that we cannot change the past[/ictt-tweet-inline], but we can learn from it. [ictt-tweet-inline]The degree of being purposeful is directly proportional to how quick we shift from yesterday’s disappointments[/ictt-tweet-inline] to chart a new course.
Neither can we spend our days living in utopia, dreaming of how things will be. For the dream to come true, someone said that we have to not only wake up, but get up and go to work it out to fruition. It is powerful to dream, much more than you could ever imagine. [ictt-tweet-inline]Yet the most powerful time is the present, because it is the factory of our dreams.[/ictt-tweet-inline]
Well, as much as NOW is the most potent and powerful time to make a change, it needs information from the other two seasons. You see, I have always contended that there is nothing as torturous in life as activity without insight! In order for us to be purposeful, we need to take some time and sit back, taking stock of both our past as well as our futures. Therefore, let me introduce to you the two most powerful ingredients of a purposeful and cutting edge life:
Jim Rohn famously said and I agree,
” A life not reviewed is not worth living”
We go through life and it passes before we know it. Then, we bring to life our offspring and take them through the simple cycle that we went through ourselves. If someone takes some time to find out the purpose for our being, the reason for our existence, the why of our survival, it will change the perspective. If we do not take stock of how impactful we have been in the few years we have lived, say the past 5 or 10 years, chances are that we will not find any fodder today to work with. Remember today is the most powerful day we have, yet it is as useless as yesterday if we do not have insight of what kind of activity we should engage in to make life better and richer. We can become purposeful by looking back and drawing conclusions. Few weeks back we talked about our personal stats, it would be great to review these stats of our past. I will share shortly 7 things that we need to review.
I feel so powerful when I talk about the vision. I have however met people whose visionary stance is a marvel. One of them is Gary Skinner, the founder of Watoto Church. Each year, the man amazes me with what he sees in the future. Vision imparts life and puts some kind of good pressure on us to make the most of the present. If someone lacks vision, they will not see the importance of today. They will have the illusion that so much time is on our side. God himself works with visionaries. Inf act, the only way God participates in our lives is to the degree that we choose to be visionary. He says,
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all THAT I COULD THINK OR IMAGINE…”
In other words, without my imagination, God has no materials to work with! Isn’t that interesting? So let’s dare to take some time and look in the future, dream, envision and draw our desires. Then, let’s wake up and choose to be purposeful today. A man with a vision for the future knows that today is as critical as ever to make that vision a reality.
So as you are balancing your life looking back and going forward at the same time, there following things are important to give you clues of the kind of balance that you need in life. Looking at these 7 things will make you a purposeful person who is developing a cutting edge of purpose and productivity in life.
Your life was meant to be productive. I mean, take a look at the intricacies of your body systems: Respiratory, nervous, reproductive, sensory, digestive, blood circulatory and so on. Why do you think we are made that intricate? It is because we have to fulfill a purpose on earth. So at Review Stance, your question would be looking at what were your major achievements for the past 5 or 10 years. Now, if you find this hard to come by and write down, it can only mean that you have not been living an intentional life in that duration of time. So therefore, you get a chance at visionary mode to decide what would be your major achievements for the next 10 or so years. If this won’t give purpose to your day, I don’t know what will.
So how many people have felt the impact of your presence in life since you were aware of yourself? I think one of the sorriest thing in life is to live only for ourselves. On the flip side, I think the highest form of existence for any human being is to be impactful and useful to someone else. Once again, if you never were impactful to one or two people the past 5 to ten years, it could only mean that you were not intentional in the first place. Now is the time to dream again and decide how you will choose to impact someone daily. This should not stretch you, because you can easily do that with your gift and talent. You can also do that with care and love. You will always have someone to care for. Let this be in your psyche.
No matter how many people I impact each year, I can always be better the next. I can always improve. As a matter of fact, the day I stop improving, that is the day that I start dying. If you think that is far fetched, take a look at the people in your community that “retired” 5-10 years ago. How many of those are still alive? Personal change and improvement has to be tracked. Again, if you cannot see any area in which you changed and improved, it means that you were not intentional. So today is the first day of the rest of your life. Get intentional to improve in a particular aspect of life. See how you could be in the future…and start on it today.
Growth is the paramount thing in life, just like change is. I can always be better or improve in a new area in my life. If I choose not to deliberately grow, then I have chosen to die slowly. Growth will cost you and me something. It will cost us resources and time. It will cost us luxury. But we need to learnt to do those things that we must do in order to have those things that we desire. If you cannot look back and see any way in which you grew, you were not intentional about it. Get intentional and visionary today and go for it.
Growth and improvement is in taking risks. I am currently reading a biography of Elon Musk and I am amazed at the level of crazy daring activities and projects that are in the life of this visionary. Risking means getting our of our comfort zones and betting on that which we believe matters to us. I am not talking about gambling and betting. I am talking about being bold and daring enough to bring to the fore that which we feel so strong in our hearts, no matter how crazy it seems to the world right now. Plan to risk it. Dare to bring it to life. Probably, that is the very reason why you are alive and were born. Probably, the flip side of it is the reason why Myles Munroe says that the richest place is the graveyard, because people just don’t risk. It is time.
Failing forward is cliche these days. However, the amount of failure and disappointments in life are an indication of the amount of life in you. If you do not have any regrets in life, well, good for you. The thing that must be done with regrets however is to purpose never to let that disappointment master you again. This is when you switch to the visionary mode.
“If I were to go back, how would I live my life?” If you do not have an answer to this all important question, chances are that you have been sleep waling in life. I have written an complete article on this subject alone. You can find it here.
Over to you now…be reflective, be visionary!