I’ve changed a lot over the last few years. Most of the changes are really good things that I have been actively working toward. Like being more outgoing, being more generous with my time and money, and working on my negative self-talk.
But there is one thing that’s changed that I’m not sure I like yet. Before we moved back to our hometown, I was an avid list maker and goal setter. I had a very specific life plan written out in steps. And every December, I would sit down and edit my goal sheet with new goals, print it out and hang it on the wall.
But I haven’t done that in a while. Now that my faith is growing, I find that I don’t make life plans anymore. And that kind of bothers me.
It’s not that I don’t believe I control my life, I do. But I have also seen how God just takes over and leads us places where we need to be. He has brought me to things that I never included on my life plan. So I guess I’m just wondering, how much time should I really spend on planning out the future. I haven’t given up completely, I mean, I feel like I make pretty positive choices most of the time. I’m working on my doctorate, snowballing debt, and opening a business.
But I guess my philosophy has changed from following an explicit premeditated plan to something more along the lines of this quote from The Alchemist:
“If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.”
I’ve just been working on changing the way I think and trying to have a more positive attitude, which is not a very specific or measurable goal.
A while back, I read in Becoming a Person of Influence, by John Maxwell, about Disney’s theory of the 3 types of people:
- Well Poisoners-discourage others and stomp on creativity
- Lawn Mowers-have good intentions but are self-absorbed (keep their own lawns mowed but don’t help others)
- Life Enhancers-people who reach out to enrich the lives of others
When I read this, I stopped immediately. I was obviously a lawn mower. I created extensive to-do lists and made sure to cross off each thing. But it was all selfish stuff like working out, cleaning up the house, cooking, or reading.
That day, I made the decision that I no longer want to be a lawn mower. I want to be a life enhancer. But with that decision also came a decrease in all my goal setting.
Now that Josh and I are starting our CrossFit box, I just worry that I still need that goal setting skill. But I guess it’s just like anything else in life. Balance. It’s pretty much like do your best and let God do the rest.
I wrote this much of my blog before heading off to chapel on campus this morning. It was one of my favorite speakers, a pastor here in town. Her message today was about letting God use us to be successful. She quoted Romans:
Romans 12: 6-8
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
But her point was that we HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN. We each have a gift to offer and we have to make a plan for how we will use it.
So I guess I got my answer…I’ll be updating my goal sheet this week.
“It is we who nourish the soul of the world, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that’s where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”-The Alchemist