What am I even doing with my life? What have I accomplished so far? How did I get here? Why am I so dissatisfied with where I am right now? Sound familiar? These are questions that many of us wrestle with on a regular basis. While the frequency might change, from once an hour, to once a minute, to once every 10 seconds, these are questions that we are forced to deal with.
Attached to each of these questions though seems to be some baggage. Unfortunately, we are not able to deal with these questions in a vacuum, and what ends up happening is that in the midst of wrestling with some very real questions we also end up planting a seed of self-doubt, which allows a foothold for deception within ourselves. Here's what I mean by that: Every time you try to address these questions openly and honestly in an attempt to move forward with your life, you are undoubtedly confronted with reason, after reason, after reason why you are failing, why you are not good enough, and why you will never amount to anything.
In a single moment, your memory is flooded with past decisions and difficult choices and you start re-hashing each and every one of these choices, second guessing yourself, basically putting yourself on trial for everything that you have ever done. Can I let you in on a little secret? Your worst enemy is you. Always has been.
We are wired for risk aversion, well most of us anyways. We naturally are drawn to the path of least resistance. We want to ensure our survival, and make sure that we minimize pain... meaning, we are predisposed to avoiding conflict & pain.
IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO SILENCE THAT VOICE
Whether or not you are exactly where you want to be you you have discovered something just as important. You have discovered WHERE YOU ARE NOW. It is impossible for you to move forward or to create a plan if you fail to recognize your current location, which for the purpose of today we will call our starting point.
How about this, why don't we treat your life like Google Maps. Now that we understand your starting point it is time for you to decide on your destination. Oh... are you screaming at me through your computer screen because the entire reason you are asking these questions is because you have no idea what your destination or end point should be. Good to know. You have just clarified your starting point.
You have a blank slate in front of you. The world is your oyster (what a terrible saying, oysters are gross). Insert additional cliche statement here.
IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO STOP FREAKING OUT
Life is not one big decision. Life is made up of a lot of small decisions. Every day you are making a choice, every day you are choosing your own adventure. Occasionally, you need to make a big choice. You will need to pick your adventure. But until that moment comes I would like to propose a different question. What are you doing with all of those small decisions? We like to write off or discount these small every days decisions as just every day life, but the truth is, each one of those every day decisions says more about you than the occasional big decision. In fact, I would go as far as to stay that those small decisions have a greater impact on your life direction than those handful of big decisions. Each and every small decision acts as a course correction. Every time you make a small choice you are steering your life, and adjusting the direction of your life.
You arrive at a big decision as a result of the sum parts of every small decision that you make. So what if decided to change the script and what if we started thinking like this:
- I AM GOING TO BE THE BEST PERSON THAT I CAN BE EACH AND EVERY DAY.
- I AM GOING TO MAKE THE BEST POSSIBLE DECISIONS THAT I CAN EACH AND EVERY DAY.
- I AM GOING TO TRUST JESUS IN EACH AND EVERY DECISION THAT I MAKE.
- I RECOGNIZE THAT MY LIFE IS NOT MY OWN.
-I RECOGNIZE THAT JESUS IS NOT ONLY THE AUTHOR & PERFECTER OF MY FAITH, BUT THAT WE ARE WRITING MY LIFE STORY TOGETHER.
So stop freaking out and start living each and every day to the best of your ability. Recognize that every day, every moment, and every decision is valuable and important, and realize that by making great decisions every day you are positioning yourself to make really great "big" decisions moving forward.
In my next post I want us to look at some of the lies we tell ourselves about finding purpose and direction your life!
Brett Esslinger is a Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Pastor, Speaker, Leader, Writer whose life goal is to help people unlock their potential and fulfill their life's purpose.
Follow Brett on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @brettesslinger and of course over on Snapchat at: brett.esslinger