Whether you are an early boomer or a late boomer, I think it is a fair assumption that we are a generation looking back and wondering how we ever got where we are today. Some of us hang onto our hippy roots and others have suited up and left Woodstock far in their past. No matter where you have been, it is the now that matters the most. Even as we contemplate our purpose and life-vision for the retiring years of our lives, it is what we do today that will make the difference in our tomorrow.
Solomon writes about his life journey—the riches and success he gained only to be left feeling empty. He tried pleasure-seeking, only to become more distraught by the lack of joy in his life and the rut he now found himself living. I mean this is the guy who worked hard at finding happiness and yet he still struggled to find happiness in his circumstances. He had it all, and still he felt as if he had nothing. Ever feel that way? I know I have.
I have had professional success in my life. My career went well and I achieved more than I ever imagined I would. That was pretty easy though given that I had no goals, no purpose, and no real inspiration for my life. I was driven primarily to make a good living and eventually to be noticed for my brilliance and skill as a leader. In the area I live, I would be measured by the title I had, the grade/position I held, the money I made, and the zip code where I lived. All of this, I was led to believe, would bring me joy.
What I see now as I look back is that girl who put herself first. Oh I talked about providing for my daughter but really behind it all was my quest for a positive external perspective. As a single woman in the market-place, I had to work harder to get what I wanted. That meant I had to cultivate relationships that were based on what I could get out of them to reach my professional goals. I fought the good fight and managed to impress a few people along the way. Thankfully, I also managed to build some true friendships that have lasted into retirement.
Having and setting goals is a good thing in the proper context. As a coach I think that having a vision and setting goals are necessary tools to move us forward. However, as Dr. Gary Collins writes in Christian Coaching, we need to consider why we are doing what we are doing and that starts with making sure our goals align with those of our God. If rather than seeking our own pleasure we seek to measure our success by living out God’s dream for us, I think pleasure and real joy will naturally follow. Allowing a Higher Power to influence our motivation for our goals is more likely to provide us with a greater sense of satisfaction in the heart of our being.
So let’s commit to stop chasing the wind and that which brings little meaning to our lives. Let’s get out of the trappings of the business world in which we lived and get back to being those people who saw a need to put others first. Let’s find new strength in standing together and causing lasting change for the generations that follow us. Let us be a wind of positive change that is influenced by the powerful source of God-inspired living.
Ask yourself today:
- What things are most important to you?
- How do you align your actions with your values?
- What one thing can you commit to doing today that will begin to bring you closer to visualizing your future and your higher purpose?
I suggest you start a journal to capture your thoughts. I would encourage you to start this process by reading a scripture and then letting those words sink in as you pray about the direction for your day.
Blessings on your time.
Inspired by The Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapters One and Two.
Collins, Gary R. (2002) Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential into Reality, NAVPRESS