In recent weeks, I have written about my personal purpose story and how we can know the purpose for which we were made. This week, I am addressing the third part of the series, Living our Purpose.
I believe everyone would agree that it is great to know our purpose; however it is a pity when people know it but aren’t living it.
Is this you today?
We all have heard stories about people not capitalizing on their God-given abilities or talents. We read about how people have given up on their dreams and goals multiple reasons. Have you ever witnessed a friend, family member or colleague spinning their wheels in the mud of life while wondering why they cannot escape “the cycle”?
Why weren’t all the hopes, dreams, goals, desires, ambitions and noble pursuits of people lived out?
Where in their live’s did people face obstacles that keep them locked in the status quo?
Has this happened to you?
How many times do you have to be knocked down before you finally just stay down on the mat of disappointment?
These are all questions I have asked myself, in one way or another, about my own life. One of the main reasons I write this blog is because I know that there are others out there like me.
What about you? Where are you in your life right now? Would you say you are living out your life with purpose?
In his book, “The War of Art”, Stephen Pressfield calls anything that stands in our way as we try to make a positive impact – “the resistance”.
This book, an easy, fun and engaging read, has helped me put my “bumps in the road” in perspective. (Thanks Michael Hyatt for the recommendation, by the way!)
I believe living out your purpose will make a positive impact and because of that you will also have many appointments with the resistance.
We face the resistance, writes Mr. Pressfield, when we attempt to do things that will make a difference.
- Write a book or start a blog
- Lose weight or build muscle
- Study for a test
- Go to bed earlier or get up earlier
- Give money without expecting repayment
- Have the “money talk” with your boss
- Start a business
- Change the culture of your church or non-profit
- Confess a sin to God
Pressfield calls “the resistance” the most toxic force on the planet. Tying it into spiritual terms, Pressfield continues “We must declare this resistance evil”.
In my life, I often think of the resistance as the things that hold me back like pride, fear, anger, anxiety, selfishness, worry, doubt and a lack of understanding. These are no doubt a molotov cocktail of toxicity.
My encouragement to all of us is that once we know our purpose and we begin to live it out, we will face “the resistance” with not only a defense, but a potent offense.
As a believer in Christ, I look to Jesus and His purpose story in the Bible on how to handle the resistance we all face.
I believe God’s purpose for sending Jesus Christ to this world can be summed up in a few words:
He was born to die.
Jesus was born of the flesh and lived on the Earth as a man. God’s vision was for Jesus to lead the people, both Jew and Gentile, back to Himself. God’s mission was to use Jesus to begin and grow a ministry that would accomplish that preferred future. Jesus accomplished his goals in such a way that have had profound impact and are referenced still today! In fact, they are eternal.
The purpose that God provided Jesus was clear and it was accomplished in the way the book of Hebrews tells us. During Jesus’ mission, He offended the powers in secular government (the Romans) and those of the religious establishment (the Pharisees, Sadducees and the like). Jesus was and still is the bridge to God that mankind needs. He made many friends, but acquired powerful enemies.
Scripture goes on to say that if Jesus, both the son of God and the son of Man, faced the resistance then we will also! Knowing our purpose is not enough, we must actually live our purpose out in spite of the resistance.
Here are 3 ways to overcome the resistance:
1. Create a Vision & Mission Statement for Yourself and Your Family
When I speak to audiences, I like to reference “VMG” each time because it guides everything we do in life. The Vision and Mission statements and Goals will guide you also. Click the links to get more insight into VMG.
Andy Stanley’s book, Visioneering defines vision as a “a preferred future”. This is something that you and I work towards and every day counts.
I love how Dan Miller in his book, 48 Days to the Work You Love describes the heart and soul of a mission statement. Mission statements represent your skills, personality traits, values, dreams and passions.
2. Establish Annual Goals
At a minimum, we should establish annual goals.
These bite-sized visions build up over time to help us achieve the vision! Goals have specific, moderate, actionable, results-driven and time-sensitive parameters.
This S.M.A.R.T goal setting provides an effective framework for achievement.
3. Belong to an Accountability Dream Team
This is a must. This is an inner-circle or a personal board of directors.
These are the people with whom you share your vision, mission and goals with as necessary. They are your crew on the boat of life! This dream team can be made up of your spouse, friends, life coach, mentor or family members. You may also include your accountant, doctor, investment professional or even the executor of your estate or health care surrogate.
Obviously, these are people with whom you place your trust and have your permission to speak into your life, regardless if its to catapult you, hold you or rescue you.
We all face “the resistance”. It impacts us, no doubt. However, it will cripple us if we give it the power it craves. Have courage to put the resistance in its place and let’s encourage each other to win the daily battle to live out our purpose!
I am cheering for you!
Question: Do you have VMG in your life? Do you have an accountability dream team? If so, let me know. If not, what are some things you can do TODAY to get them? You can leave a comment by clicking here.