Spring Refresh : Purpose and Authenticity

SO. MANY. DISTRACTIONS.  The lives we lead have us constantly like. . .

Squirrel

Checking the FB twenty times a day to be greeted by eight notifications that friends-of-a-friend left a comment on the same picture you did. . . parties to plan. . . sweat sessions to keep your booty in shape. . . the endless list of to-dos that helps you to feel like you accomplished something in the day. . . tummies to feed. . . episodes to watch. . . people to see. . . distances to span. . . Carpool Karaoke. . . dust in the ceiling fan. . . family drama. . . “Wait. What day is it? AH! I have to bake something to take to the meeting tonight! Maybe I can pick something up on the way.”

You know the rhythm. It’s anything but routine. Almost every LifePlan I facilitate starts out with an overall objective: I would love to find balance.

Dig a little deeper and it doesn’t take long to see that Purpose is the root of Authenticity. If we know why we’re here, the driving force getting us out of bed each morning, then the break of day is refreshing and we can breathe deeply as the stars shine brightly in the night sky. The “balance” we seek is really about investing our time, energy and resources in the things that align with our Purpose and letting go of the rest.

After drawing up my Four Helpful Lists for this quarter, I shone a spotlight on my Purpose. This. This is why I want to bring all of me to the work I do. This is why I want to get involved. This is why I take time to refuel, renew, explore and grow. This is why I love on the people in my life.

Recently, I let my Purpose fade to gray. I was distancing myself, curling into a ball and preparing myself for any emotion that might accompany a cross-country move. Surely a heartfelt investment in this Colorado life would make the goodbyes more painful. Was it the right response? I can say with great confidence, “no,” but it’s how I responded. Now that we know we’re here to stay, it’s time to lace up the proverbial running shoes and get after it again. It’s time to shake off the things that hold me back.

When our Purpose is intact, when we have a deep-seated understanding of why we were created, it simplifies things. It boils everything down to what truly matters. In the end, the things that are no longer important don’t deserve a single line in our script. Paul makes it plain:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sad down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

Why get caught up in the things that limit us, that paralyze us from living a life on purpose? Comparison is an ugly trap that leads down a dark, dark path. Procrastination doesn’t get the work done. Self-doubt drains every ounce of energy from our veins. Chasing after the mediocre and mundane is exhausting. Pride makes it all about us and leaves a disastrous wreckage of hearts in our wake. A lack of discipline hinders true growth. Fear accomplishes absolutely nothing. If we don’t understand the why, our being is calloused by everything that holds us back.

On the contrary, “going confidently in the direction of our dreams and living the life we imagined” (thanks, Thoreau) frees us to run hard after what matters most, to foster relationships that are rich in love, to come alive in our work, to see the beauty that surrounds us each day, to laugh deep belly laughs, to serve those in need, to be a voracious student of knowledge, to value physical health, emotional well-being and spiritual maturity.

Before another day of 2016 passes by, seek to understand your Purpose. As you live it out each day, you might be pleasantly surprised at how little effort is required to be authentically you!

LifePlan Toolbox

Now is the perfect time to update your Life Dashboard.

  1.  Starting with your Life Pathway, familiarize yourself once more with your Life Purpose, Vision and Strategies. This is where you’re headed! Don’t lose sight of what’s on your heart! If there is something that needs to be changed, this “GPS” is not written in stone. Recalculate your route.
  2. Move over to the Vital Signs. Do these still make sense? If not, change it up! Once you know what needs to be full for you to live out your Life Pathway, assess where you are today. Is each item a green (healthy, thriving, doing well), a yellow (caution, needs attention) or a red (bleeding, not healthy, shriveled and in need of immediate attention)? How “full” is that dot? Is it optimized or depleted. Move it to the correct spot on the spectrum.
  3. How about those things that can hold you back? Distractions. The things that will stop you in your tracks, leaving you paralyzed. Do the items on your Risk/ Obstacle Pyramid still make sense at this time? Make the appropriate updates and do a “gut check” on the red/ yellow/ green status of each.
  4. If you’re not checking in with your LifePlan Dashboard on a daily basis, get back into the routine! This simple panel is so rich and will help to keep you on track as you live out your beautiful purpose!
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