Accomplishing anything of enduring value in this life requires discipline including knowing where you are going and how you will get there. On the face of it, that supposition seems logical perhaps even simplistic, but in all candidness is that where you find yourself right now?
Let’s be honest with ourselves–we are easily distracted, chasing after worthless pursuits or at least putting in an extraordinary amount effort into furthering ordinary matters. Much of that has to do with personal prioritization–we often go after the easy stuff and spend too much time on things offering a limited return.
The goals we want to reach in life do take considerable effort. Certainly, outside forces can hinder or require us to modify our path, but those are temporary delays or diversions and can’t stop us from reaching higher unless we allow them to.
What are some examples of goals deferred perhaps canceled due to matters that have arisen in your life? Have they forced you to change course or settle for something less, perhaps much less than what you wanted in your life?
Recently, I began to examine my own goals to determine whether I was still on the path I set out on many years ago. Admittedly, in my younger days those goals were not all that clear, but I can say in midlife that they have sharpened in focus, are alive, and I remain eager to see them reached.
My personal inspiration comes from the Bible, but I realize that God and scripture don’t carry the same weight for some people. I think that is too bad because without a strong foundation and a clear purpose, important goals are not reached or perhaps pursued for all of the wrong reasons.
That being said, I want to offer some examples of challenges you may be facing and offer tips on how to move past what could very well be temporary diversions or setbacks.
Loss of Employment — Losing a job, especially one that you loved can be devastating. But dwelling on that loss can keep you from moving forward. Grieve what you have lost, seek counseling to help you put things in perspective, and begin laying plans to move on. Eventually, you will find meaningful work, perhaps allowing you to move in a fresh, bold direction.
Major Illness — Getting sick is one thing; contracting cancer is life challenging. Kay Yow, women’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, but kept coaching and inspiring others even when things grew grim for her. In 1988, she won gold for the U.S. Women’s Olympic team and managed to rack up more than 700 wins before passing away during the 2009 season. Yow is an excellent example of someone who kept her eye on the prize even when life’s challenges loomed large.
Family Matters — If you don’t have problems at the family level, you will. At least if you acknowledge what is apparent to everyone else. Not all problems lead to marital separation or divorce nor does it mean that your children will rebel and never talk to you again. What this does mean is that as people you love transition through various phases of life such as starting high school, leaving a job, moving away or those tensions can thwart your own plans. But they don’t have too as “this too shall pass,” giving you pause to remember that plans can stay on track.
How about you? What problems are holding you back right now? Maybe it is time for you to talk with someone who can help you refocus and get back on track. Your dreams may be deferred, but they certainly are not required to die.
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