By Dr. Jim Bailey
Do you ever get frustrated, discouraged, or even depressed because you have a deep sense, a gnawing in your heart or gut, that you were made for more? I do.
I recently read a great book, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and only five pages in the main character says, “I always thought it was what I wanted: To be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I’d love to be known.” Her statement stopped me in my tracks. That kind of personal insight is something so many of my friends and clients long for, yet very few are given the gift to know what they truly want.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to my initial statement – “You Were Made for More.” What exactly do I mean?
I believe that our society, and possibly our world, has traded the full weight and meaning of your life and mine for less meaningful and less significant things. Your work means more than the way you take care of financial and material needs. Your identity and value as a human being aren’t based on what you do or whether you’re important or currently trending in your small circle. You were created for so much more – to have a life that has a significant impact on, and meaning in, the world.
Unfortunately, most people blindly accept the world’s minimizing definitions of what their lives are meant to be and can be. They accept lesser definitions of their potential impact and meaning then settle for the watered-down aspirations and goals these definitions allow. Until, that is, something within them recognizes they were made for more than a plain oatmeal life and begins to kick back and demand more.
So, how do you KNOW what your “More” should look like? You start by taking an honest look at your life and asking yourself hard but important questions. You ask yourself things like:
- What kind of man or woman or person am I, and who do I want to be?
- What sorts of relationships do I have, and what kind would I like to have?
- What do I do to earn a living, and how would I like that to be different?
- What am I doing to enjoy the life I’m given, and how can I do that better?
- What kind of legacy would I leave if I died today, and how would I like that to be different?
You’re not just asking yourself about the things you want for today or tomorrow; you’re asking about what you want to be true about you when you are 65 years old (or 10 years from now if you’re already there or older).
Begin by writing down the answers to the questions above. It may take a while, AND those questions may not be enough. You may want to add to them by defining what you want in specific aspects of your life. The point of the exercise is to help you start defining what kind of life you want to have so you can move purposefully toward it, rather than letting your daily circumstances determine your direction.
Defining your “More” is a first step toward establishing the targets you want to move toward in your life. On my website, I’ll talk about how we establish the mindset and actions that help us reach those targets. Establishing a vision for your life is just one of the ways I help Career and Business coaching clients take steps toward the work-life they want.
Dr. Jim Bailey, an East Tennessee native, has a passion for helping others maximize their lives and make positive impacts through career, business, and leadership coaching and in mentoring and serving in local youth and UT ministries. He can be reached at DrJimBailey.com.