As mentioned at the beginning it is important to have an aim, because if you aim at nothing you're sure to hit it every time. This does not mean we have to have every detail of our lives sorted out, but we must look beyond today and decide what general direction we'd like our lives to take. Then at least we'll know that each step we take is in the right direction. The questions in Worksheet 4 give us an idea of the type of questions we should be asking ourselves.
Remember, you have to live with the consequences of your actions. Life is like a rollercoaster ride - you can choose the ride, but you can't get off once the ride is in full motion - you have to "ride it out"!
Who would you like to be in control of your future?
Remember the movie Forrest Gump? One day Forrest decides to just start running. He runs and runs and runs and runs - all over the US. People want to know why he's running but he doesn't answer - he just runs. Eventually people start to follow him. He draws a huge cult following. One day he stops. His followers and the media all wait in eager anticipation for him to speak some profound words of wisdom and inspiration - but all he says is that he's going home.
The key is to build your life with a clear sense of mission and purpose and a well thought out set of values.
As Sean points out; If a tree is rooted deeply enough, there is very little that can shift it. Gordon McDonald uses the illustration of a boat. You can focus all your energy making the boat look as good as you want above the water line (ie. that which is visible), but it is the underwater weight that counts in a storm (that which is not visible). A boat builder must ensure that the part of the boat that is below the water is strong enough or the boat will simply capsize at the first sight of rough seas. Gordon has been through many rough seas and made some bad choices in his life - some that could have destroyed his career, and yet they didn't. His roots where deep enough, and the underwater weight strong enough to keep him from being blown completely off course. Your values, mission, and purpose will help to keep you on the right track if they are well established before hand.
If you have a clearly defined sense of mission/purpose/values then even so-called "failures" (bad choices) can be seen as opportunities for growth. Those who don't have a well defined sense of mission/purpose/values will see failure as a set back and it will very often destroy them. As Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, you do better". But, as Sean reminds us, we need to make sure that our ladder is leaning against the right wall. Do you know where you're going to or are you just climbing a ladder in the hopes that it gets you somewhere - you may find it's leaning on the wrong wall and all you effort is wasted.
Once you have a clear idea of where you'd like to be (and who you'd like to be) then you can break the end goal up into bite size chunks. These smaller goals should be realistic.
And then . . .
"Lieutenant, would you please deliver this envelope for me."One last thing, before we move on - don't do it alone.
"I'll do my best, sir."
"No, I don't want you to do your best. I want you to deliver this letter."
I'll do it or I'll die, sir."
"You misunderstand, lieutenant. I don't want you to die. I want you to deliver this letter."
Finally the lieutenant caught on and said, " I will do it, sir."
We must surround ourselves with people who can support and encourage us. We are beings in community. We are not designed to go it alone. And, it is much more rewarding to take people with you to enjoy the elation when you achieve your goal. Imagine reaching your destination - alone!
Worksheet 5 is deisgned to accompany this lesson.
If you would like to find out more about discovering your purpose/mission/values check out the excellent worksheet The Great Discovery in Sean's book or, if you live in the USA call 1-800-952-6839 and ask for additional worksheets of The Great Discovery
Are you ready for the final chapter?
Come on, take a risk . . .