Axiomatic. But it doesn’t always register.
My wife and I are currently laying out our long-term goals—as individuals, as a couple, as two people created by God with certain bents, acuities, desires, and abilities.
Oh, and destinies.
After a year of unsuccessfully trying to sell our home, we’ve chosen to settle in the region we’ve occupied for most of our marriage (over twenty-five years). We have business plans, educational paths to chart, places we want to visit, new experiences we want to enjoy, new relationships we wish to cultivate and proven friendships we want to nurture and enjoy.
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 then 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. They will even let you! And what do they have planned for you? Not much (as Jim Rohn has said). 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 then 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 or whiners, 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. I double-dare you. Include a definite process for attaining them.