Have you ever hit a season of massive introspection? Maybe it’s something that comes slowly with age. Maybe it’s a personality thing. Maybe the desire to self-reflect comes as a result of life events. Or maybe it’s a combination of all the above. My first round of really looking deep within came as a result of my 25th birthday. I felt as if I were having a quarter-life crisis, and that phase of self-reflection is what led me to leave Corporate America and try my hand at working for myself.
My next round of soul-searching came right after I had my son, as I turned 30. And it came with a bang! I had just reached a massive milestone in my career, hitting the top of what some people considered the pinnacle of success. But after a nice little phase of feeling ecstatic, I felt extremely empty shortly thereafter. And that feeling of emptiness led to unrest…which led to a week that changed my life. I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since that one epic week, but I’ve since learned that we don’t need to be in a life crisis or hitting a major life landmark in order to take an accounting of where we’re holding on our Life Journey.
It’s been said that you become who you are from the books you read, movies & media you ingest, and the people you associate yourself with. If you believe in God, He tells us in his Book that our days on this Earth were predestined long before we ever arrived, and that He knit us in our mother’s womb for a very specific purpose. As I’ve processed the mind-blowing implications of those two thoughts over the years, I developed a deeper hunger to be powerful in each day, in each moment for two reasons: First, if God included a specific purpose for me in His Master Plan before time began, I can only hope and believe that it would be an important contribution to His Work. Not that He needs any of me to fulfill His Plan—but how awesome that I get to participate! Secondly, far be it from me to miss out on blessings simply from sleep-walking through the journey instead of showing up for duty.
Now, before we jump off the theological deep end, I say all of that to communicate this point: if every single day of our life is accounted for, how many blessings and true joy have we missed out on so far just from being too busy to pay attention? And perhaps an even more important question is: how many more blessings are we going to let slip through our fingers, because we’re too caught up in the rat-race to accept and enjoy them? Am I saying that we should all quit our jobs, give up our businesses, and move to a commune to meditate on life? Of course not…although the thought of it does make me laugh. God didn’t put most of us here to live and operate in solidarity. In fact, He mentions numerous times how much he values hard work and laboring at the tasks before us, while functioning as contributing members of our community. So, my guess is that truly living life to the fullest would put us somewhere between the extremes of sleepwalker and monk. But, how do we get there??
How do we shift gears from living on autopilot and going through the motions of life into truly living, fulfilling our God-given dreams and goals and achieving the life for our families that we know they deserve? How do we buck the system and break the mold that has confined us for so long? If only we could press the “pause” button on life to allow us to get caught up on a few things, then we could make time to focus on our list of goals and dreams, right? Well, I haven’t found the pause button yet, but I have found a solution has served me quite well for the past decade, in spite of all my life craziness. It’s a way to take that feeling of unrest…that feeling of being called to a new season, and structure your introspection in a way that brings you out on the other side with an organized plan of action for your new level of life. I’ve been fine-tuning and tweaking it since 2008, and if you’d like to use it for yourself, I’ll tell you all about it next week. Until then, thanks for Digging Deeper with me!