Doing The Math

8 07 2012

There’s a common saying in self-development that goes like this: “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”

Axiomatic.  But it doesn’t always register.

My wife and I are laying out our long-term goals—as individuals, as a couple, as two people created by God with certain bents, acuities, desires, abilities.

And destinies.

Currently, our radar has my Master’s degree, my wife’s education in the graphic arts and a return to the pastorate in our sights.  The sale of our house and a move to another city is not far off as well.

One of the phrases we’ve used in recent years is “do the math.”  We’ve used this on ourselves.  We’ve employed it when guiding our children.  We’ve shared it with friends.

If you are passive.  If you don’t have goals.  If you don’t expend the effort to find out what your purpose in life is, you will spend your life working for those who do.  They have plans of their own.  And they are working to see them realized.  If you don’t chart your own course, you will spend your life fulfilling the plans of people who’ve charted theirs.  Why, they will even let you.  And what do they have planned for you?  As Jim Rohn has said, “Not much.”  Passivity exacts a terrible price.

Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

Doing the math means taking an honest appraisal of things—what you’re currently doing with your God-given skills, who you work for, the relationships you have and summoning the courage to see that, without being proactive, things will stay as they’ve always been.  The status quo blissfully undisturbed.

  • Girls, if a guy’s a bum now when you’re dating him—lazy, abusive, possessive—he’s not going to change if you marry him.  You’re better than that.  Move on.
  • If your company keeps you at low pay even after repeated promises of wage increase, you’re probably not going to get the raise.  Or if you do, it will be modest.  Update your resumé, pound the pavement and find something better.  Or go into business for yourself.
  • If the people you run with are pessimistic, complacent and perennial comfort zone inhabitants, they are affecting you.  If you spend a lot of time with them, you will become like them.  That is a law as certain as gravity. Modify your circle.

We’re excited to say the least.  There’s so much more ahead of us.  We are doing our dead-level best to own up to this reality: If we’re in the same spot in our growth in 5 years, we have only ourselves to blame.  Not God.  Not friends.  Not the economy.  Not the President.  Not our employers.

Challenge:  Write down at least 10 very specific goals for the next year as well as 5 years down the line.  Include a definite process for attaining them.

Then go!

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