Working Harder Isn’t the Answer

Often times we find ourselves, myself included, in a place of frustration and stress. We worry about the bills. We worry about work. We worry about school, about our parents, our friends. We worry about what other people think about us. We worry about projects, jobs and our dreams. Will they ever come true?

One of the greatest mistakes I’ve made is setting up my dreams as accomplishments instead of a lifestyle. We list our dreams as goals, as destinations. There is nothing wrong with goal setting. I think it is a great motivator and a way to measure growth, but goals should be secondary.

Make LIFE the dream.

When the destination is the dream we often allow our peace and happiness to hinge on arriving there. So, we’re not really satisfied or happy until we’ve achieved the goal. Our joy becomes circumstantial. It doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t be.

When the destination is the dream it can turn a labor of love into work, into a burden we carry around instead of simply enjoying the work of our hands. Haven’t most of us said “If I could just (fill in the blank) every day, I would be in Heaven.” Then, we find ourselves actually doing what we always hoped to be doing, but because we’re not as far as we want to be we’re not happy. We’re on the path, but we’ve not arrived at the destination.

Seek first the kingdom of God. Notice how Jesus said seek the Kingdom, not get to the Kingdom. He says get on the path towards the kingdom. It’s about the journey, not just the destination. In Matthew 6 Jesus tells his disciples not to worry, instead he tells them to seek first the kingdom of God. Don’t worry, seek the kingdom. Instead of spending your time worrying about things, go looking for the kingdom of God. Instead of starting your day wondering about everything, go in search of God. The kingdom of God is where God lives. It’s where the Presence of God is. So we seek his Presence through prayer, quiet time, praise and worship, however you connect to God. There, with our awesome, loving Father, we find peace and joy.

A lot of this really comes down to perspective. Change the way you view your dream. You don’t have to change your dream. You’re just changing the way you define it and the way you look at it. Do this: COPY AND PASTE THE SCRIPT BELOW and write down what your Average Perfect Day looks like. It’s a great starting place to help to turn your dream goals into a Dream Lifestyle.

I love the way The Message translation puts it, “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.” And later “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” He only has good for us. You don’t have to wait to be happy and have peace, you can start having it right now.

THE AVERAGE PERFECT DAY

These questions are meant to help guide your mind through an Average Perfect Day. This is what your life would look like after you’ve won the lottery and have already done the big, awesome things. This is what you dream of your day-to-day life looking like. Start at the very beginning with waking up, end with your head hitting the pillow.

 

Morning

(What does waking up look like? What time would you wake up? What would you do in the morning? What would you have for breakfast? What time would work start? What would you do for work? What does the first half of your day look like?)

Afternoon

(What does your afternoon look like? Where would you have lunch? What would you have for lunch? Would you have it alone or with someone(s)? When does your workday end?)

Evening

(What do you do after your work day? Who do you spend your time with? What’s for dinner and with whom? What do you do for fun and/or relaxation? How does your day come to an end?)

MY AVERAGE PERFECT DAY


Here is my own personal Average Perfect Day to give you an example if you’re struggling to figure out your own.

Morning

Wake up rested and invigorated

Quiet time with God in prayer, Bible study, reflection and praise

Enjoy a delicious and energizing breakfast

My “spot” preparing for the day

Afternoon

Meet with clients, partners and organizations

Share lunch with someone

Exercise with a friend

Visit and network with community

Evening

Enjoy dinner with friends and/or family

Relaxing evening with a good book, movie or conversation

Plan and prepare for next day

Evening walk or bike ride

Thank God for the day

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