Solomon wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish. . .” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV)
What he says is so true. I cannot reach a goal that I cannot clearly define! Life languishes without a dream.
Several years ago I was asked to do a simple task the rocked my world. I was to state my dream in one sentence. I couldn’t. Then I almost panicked! My brain raced back and forth to discover why I couldn’t write out my dream in a simplified statement.
If they had asked that question a few years earlier I could have stated my dream with ease and been quick about it. The problem was that I had achieved my dream. I had accomplished my plans that I had laid out to reach my goals.
I had succeeded! After reaching my dream, life seemed wonderful. At first, I didn’t even notice that things had already begun to change. My responsibilities were as great as ever. Challenging tasks and significant opportunities filled my schedule. I led groups and accomplished a lot. Yet, a great change had occurred that I missed.
I was coasting on the achievements of the past. I lost track of where I was and had assumed that I was making good progress.
I wasn’t! I had not redefined my new dream. Don’t get me wrong, I was as busy as ever. Work was being produced. People enjoyed what was happening, but not me. As I considered my new dream, it became very frustrating. I struggled to find an appropriate foothold from which to relaunch.
Redefining my dream meant I had to go back to some core definitions. These were the things that were of vital importance to me.
These 4 questions helped me reestablish my dream.
1. How do I define success?
At the end of my day, month, year, or season of life, what do I want it to look like? I took the time to work on this for awhile and develop a clear picture of the future I want. I spent time in Bible study, prayer, and consulting with godly counselors before writing my final definition.
2. What personal values must I maintain in order for me to consider myself successful?
Personal values are critical. Values light my fire and keep me engaged. Everything I do becomes meaningless when I belittle my personal convictions and attempt to make things general. Compromising my beliefs or abandoning a value to reach a goal is not a success.
3. Does this definition of success belong to me personally?
Borrowing the definition will not work. I can use the framework of what someone else says, but I must rework it into my personal definition. I am strongest when I am living life to meet a definition that fits me.
4. Do my goals reflect my desire to reach my definition of success?
Goals are great, they measure progress. My progress needs to go the right direction. Any goal that does not help me reach my definition of success, I need to drop or rework.
These four questions helped me redevelop my dream. Now, I am aware of the trap of coasting and know that I need to regularly update my goals and dreams. When I am nearing the fulfillment of one dream, I need to have another ready to go!
I don’t want to miss the opportunities that God gives me in life. I want to set goals and reach dreams.
I hope these questions can help you avoid ever being in the panic dreamless state. May they help you navigate out of being busy to be purposeful and productive.
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