Earlier this week, I was reminded several times about how much I enjoy my career. In each instance, the voice in my head said, “That proves this is the right career for me.” Crazy as it sounds, I actually had that thought each time.
You can love what you do and still have some areas you’d like to improve. While I may grumble every now and then about the increasing bureaucracy I have to deal with, I undeniably enjoy what I do. Without improvement, there will be no growth. Without growth, I’d be bored.
Is this the right career for me?
Before, during and maybe even after college, you asked, “Which career is right for me?”
Eventually you landed in what you’re doing now. You decided this job was what you were going to do. It was right for you at the time.
Is your career still right for you?
You probably see co-workers leave for other opportunities all the time. Obviously the career was not right for them. Does that mean you’ve made a bad choice? Should you be taken those opportunities like your friends have?
You won’t change until the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.
In other words, until the unknown of that other opportunity is more appealing than the known of your current job, you’re going to stay where you are.
So how can you judge the unknown and the known? That’s really hard to do.
Here’s what I would do instead. Think about the things you like about your current job and decide whether that would also happen or be available in the other opportunity. Also, you’ll want to figure out what would be better in the new opportunity than in the current. Be sure about it.
Let’s look at the positive side of that equation. What do you enjoy about your current job that would make you say, “This is the right career for me.”
The Right Career List
Complete the following sentence in as many ways as possible and write them down.
This is the right career for me because…
Below are several of the reasons I’ve come up with for my career. Some of them might mirror your ideas. Maybe you’ve never even thought of them and now you realize you do enjoy that aspect.
This is the right career for me because:
- My clients view me as their trusted advisor.
- It makes me smile to talk with certain clients.
- I consider most of my clients as friends.
- Instead of shaking hands, my clients give me hugs.
- It makes me feel good to help my clients solve problems.
- It makes me feel good to help my clients brainstorm new ideas.
- My clients’ families feel like members of my family.
- I’m good at what I do.
- I enjoy what I do.
- I enjoy experiences here another opportunity could not guarantee.
- I get to help others learn.
- Leadership opportunities present themselves frequently.
- Building relationships is at the heart of my job.
- I get opportunities to speak.
- I get opportunities to write.
- I get to work with different people.
- I get to work in different places.
- I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule.
- I get to travel.
- I work with people smarter than me.
- I get to work out of my comfort zone which helps me grow.
- It allows me to learn new things frequently.
- There is no opportunity for boredom.
- It pays well so I am able to provide for my family.
- Something good happens every day.
- I thrive under pressure.
- It allows my Christian virtues to shine through.
- I impact others’ lives.
- I choose to make it that way.
Of course there are things I don’t like about my job too (a.k.a bureaucracy) but they do not outweigh what I love about my job. Some of the things I like are also things I don’t like.
For example, traveling is a fun part of my job. However, it’s difficult traveling like I do because it takes me away from my wife and daughters. I like it but I don’t too.
Stop Straddling the Fence
If you are on the fence and keep looking to the other side and all you see is green pasture, remember than it will be green wherever it is watered. Start watering your side of the fence and see how green it can get.
Today, I want to challenge you to critically think about the good parts of your job. Make a list similar to what is above. Determine now if you’re in the right career for you. Don’t wait.
Life is too short to waste our time in the wrong career. It’s too short to not be happy. You need to work to provide. You probably even want to work. So why not do it and say, “I’ve found the right career for me.”
Have you achieved everything in life that you envisioned when you were younger?
Do you dream about traveling the world or having certain life experiences but don’t know how or if they will ever happen?
We all have goals, aspirations and dreams. Reaching those goals or achieving those dreams is where we get stuck. Isn’t wishing for something enough?
Nope, it’s not enough.
You can believe in it. You can pray for it. You can talk about it.
Positive thinking is great. Regardless of what some say, no one achieved anything by just positive thinking.
Achievement requires action
A business takes intentional action to accomplish its corporate goals each year; you need to take intentional action too.
Notice that the actions you take must be intentional. Random actions will rarely get you where you want to go.
Action is extremely important and so is intentionality.
The intention of your actions comes from having a plan. In this article, I’m going to show you how to create a personal development plan so you can experience the growth you desire.
First Step to Create a Personal Development Plan: Brainstorm
Before you can create a personal development plan, you need to figure out your goals, aspirations and dreams. To figure them out, you need to have a serious brainstorming session.
If you are married, you might want to have this brainstorming session with your spouse. Here is an article that will help you have a productive brainstorming session:
The purpose of this exercise to identify all your potential dreams for your life. These should include all five areas of your life discussed in that article.
Write down as many potential dreams and goals as you can. For this exercise, there are no bad ideas. Come up with as many as possible.
Do you want to travel to certain countries? Maybe you want to travel to all the countries of the world. Write it down.
Do you want to watch your favorite sports team in every professional stadium in the country? Write it down.
Again, there are no bad ideas.
Step Two to Create a Personal Development Plan: List 100
From your brainstorming list, identify 100 items to put on your “bucket list” for your life. These are the dreams and goals you will work toward and review regularly.
Some of the items on your List 100 need to be crazy and almost unreachable. You want some items on your bucket list to take creativity, hard work and maybe even some luck to achieve.
Besides the “almost unreachable” items, you want other items on your list that you REALLY want to achieve. Maybe they have been life-long goals. Whatever, you need to be personally vested in reaching these goals.
You will likely discover that your initial list from Step 1 was too short. That’s okay. Creating this List 100 is a big process. It’s simple but not necessarily easy.
If you can’t get 100 items on your bucket list, take time to come up with more. Do not move on to Step 3 until you come up with 100 good items.
Step Three to Create a Personal Development Plan: 5 Areas of Life
The third step in creating your personal development plan is where intention and strategy come into play. Until now, you’ve been dreaming.
Now we will put feet to your faith.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve read Why You Need a Personal Development Plan, go back and read it and get familiar with the five areas of life a personal development plan should include.
You want to identify two items from the List 100 for each of the five areas of life. If you can’t find at least two items for each of the five areas, go back and revise your List 100.
For example, for the area of Health, maybe you have items on your List 100 of 1) Running a marathon and 2) Getting back to your pre-marriage weight.
These are two great bucket list items related to Health. If we left it at such a high level, though, it is unlikely you will ever reach these goals. That’s where Step 4 comes in.
Step Four to Create a Personal Development Plan: Smaller Goals
High-level, hard-to-reach goals will not be realized just by writing them down. Instead, you need to determine your plan for reaching those goals.
Your plan needs to be comprised of small steps so you can experience the joy of small wins upon your journey. Therefore, you’re going to turn each of these 10 items into more specific goals on which you will focus your intention and action.
One of the big struggles people have with goal-setting is getting overwhelmed with the process or not setting enough short-term goals to recognize success. Without small wins, you will likely not continue with your plan.
Make these step-by-step plans for each of the 10 items. If 10 seems too overwhelming, just do one for each of the five areas of life. At least you will be growing and improving.
Let’s break down the goal of getting back to your pre-marriage weight so you can see how to perform this step.
Most people know what to do to lose weight and regain their health. Eat better and exercise more right? Basically that is all it takes. But those two things are not easy.
Let’s look at just losing weight and then you can apply these processes to exercising more.
The most important thing to realize is that losing all that weight is no longer the goal you want to focus on every day. Maybe you’ve put on 50 pounds since you go married. If you just think every day about losing 50 pounds, you are going to get discouraged.
Break that down into smaller goals. First, set a goal of losing one pound per week. If you do everything else addressed below, you’ll likely lose more than that. Once you experience wins in losing one pound a week, increase that goal.
Losing weight is the goal, not the plan. What is your plan? There are several things you can do to help you succeed.
An often overlooked step in losing weight is having an accountability partner. Maybe you and your spouse or your best friend take this challenge on together. You report successes and failures to each other. You ask each other how everything is going. You’re accountable to one another.
My wife and I did this together several years ago. She wanted to lose weight she had gained while pregnant with our last child. I wanted to do that as well, even though I couldn’t use being pregnant as an excuse.
Over a period of six weeks (I think), we prepared our meals together, ate the same food, kept each other accountable. I could not have done it without her.
At the end, I had lost 27 pounds. She had got back to her high school weight. We experienced great success.
The best part is that we have maintained that weight loss. We stay right where we want to be with our weight because we made it a life style. We didn’t go on a diet. We changed how we look at and react to food.
Since that time, my wife has gone to school and become a Certified Health Coach. She now helps other people make these life style changes and serves as their accountability partner.
Hiring a health coach is another great mini goal to losing the unwanted weight. I know the benefits of a health coach because I live with one.
You may question whether you can afford a health coach. If hiring a health coach will increase the quality and length of your life and reduce other health-related costs, can you really afford not to do it?
If you want to reach out and talk with my wife to see if the two of you should work together, contact her at PurdyYourImage.com.
Now that you know my weight loss story, let’s get into setting those smaller goals and creating the plan.
Of course, you will reach your goals faster by going cold turkey on certain things. Stopping bad habits you’ve been doing for years can be difficult. Instead of cold turkey, maybe your goal should be to reduce the consumption of certain foods and then quit altogether down the road.
Here are a sample of items you should have in your plan to lose that weight:
- Stop consuming soft drinks (diet or regular). You’ll see huge gains from this if you just stop this bad habit.
- Drink more water.
- Eat more non-starchy vegetables.
- Eat whole foods instead of processed foods.
- Remove dairy from your diet. Replace milk with a nut milk such as almond or coconut milk.
- Eat less wheat and grains.
- If you need seconds to feel full, only eat vegetables for your second serving.
- Drink a high quality, natural protein shake. It is probably best to stay away from whey protein.
- Eat a meal before you go grocery shopping.
- Throw away all sugary sweets in the house and don’t buy more.
- Don’t eat any food after 8 p.m.
Step Five to Create a Personal Development Plan: Celebrate
Now that you have a plan for each of the 10 goals from your List 100, put them into action. Remember your goals should be small. If you find it difficult to achieve a small goal, maybe you need to make it smaller.
When you accomplish a small goal, such as losing one pound that first week, celebrate it!
Celebrating should be filled with positive self-talk and talking with your accountability partner. A celebration of losing a pound of unwanted weight should definitely not be having a bowl of ice cream before bed that night.
Step Six to Create a Personal Development Plan: Review, Revise and Replace
Review your 10 goals on a daily basis.
It would be great to add that review to your morning routine. That should encourage you at the beginning of each day so you can be strong each day.
Read them in detail each day. You may get to the point that you have them memorized. If you can recite your goals from memory, that’s great! Remember to review not just the primary goal but each step in the plan.
If you discover you haven’t done so well on one of the steps, it’s okay. Refocus and move on. Don’t dwell on it or view it as a failure.
Revise when necessary.
As stated a couple of times above, you may need to revise your goal or the individual steps in the personal development plan. If you need to revise something, go ahead and do it.
The purpose of creating a personal development plan is to help you be better. If you keep working toward a goal that needs to be revised but you don’t revise it, you won’t be the best you.
Now, close your eyes and imagine the day when you accomplish one of your List 100 goals. Won’t that be a great day!
You’ll be able to scratch out or delete the individual steps in the plan and the List 100 item. I wish I could be there to watch you do that!
Replace the goal you reached with another one.
Don’t stop with scratching it off your goals list. Replace it with another one. You always want to be working toward goals. If you achieve one, replace it with another one.
You’ll have to go through the first five steps of how to create a personal development plan when you do that and that’s okay. You’ll be making more progress toward living the life you want to live.
What will you do?
Are you committed to living a life at your full potential or do you want to continue trudging on the course being jealous of the lives of others?
Earlier today, I read a post on Facebook from one of my “friends” in which he was whining that he was tired of seeing all the posts of his friends on their vacations. He said he’s worked hard for many years and has yet to take a vacation.
I wanted to add a comment telling him to stop whining and do something about it. If he wants to take a vacation, he can. He probably just doesn’t believe he can. Of course, I chose not to comment.
You have so much to give to the world. You deserve to live the life of your dreams. It’s up to you as to what you do about it. Will you create a personal development plan and become the best person you can be?
Question for you: Will you take the first step in changing your life by creating a personal development plan? If you need help, reach out to me.
Growing companies require their employees to have professional development plans to aid in their career success. If employees succeed in their careers the company will too.
Professional development is important but progressive businesses also encourage each employee to have a personal development plan.
A professional development plan will focus solely on your role within the company and what you can do for that company. A personal development plan, however, will help you be happier, more focused and more productive in all aspects of life – including your job.
A personal development plan can include a plethora of goals and related action steps. It could be so complex that nothing gets accomplished. The key to a personal development plan is making it simple and focused.
Let’s look at the different areas of your life that should be included in a personal development plan. We are multi-dimensional. By that, I mean we have so many aspects of our lives that are interrelated.
If one aspect of your life is out of balance, it will affect the other areas of your life. That’s why it’s so important to have goals (or a plan) for every area of your life.
The Five Areas of a Personal Development Plan
I believe there are five areas of your life to include in your personal development plan. They are as follows:
Being at peace in your spiritual life is the most important aspect of this personal development plan. Without inner peace, which only can come from a close relationship with God, the rest of your life will feel meaningless and unfulfilled.
How can you become at peace with your spiritual side? There are several ways to build that peace. Each takes intention and work. Nothing comes easy.
Here are several actions that will help you:
- Attend church regularly
- Read the Bible regularly
- Pray regularly
- Spend time with those of like faith
- Stand up for your faith
- Help others in need
Besides your spiritual life, your family should be the most important part of your life. You can say and truly believe that you work so hard and so much to support your family. You say your family comes first and you’re providing for them.
Guess what…your family wants you, not what you can provide. I made this mistake in the past.
When I got married, I had been in the workforce for a little over four years. Prior to being married, I could work late into the night, early in the morning and all day in between. No one would care. It was my life.
Once I got married and had children, I still worked like that. I worked all the time. I’d get into the office early, work all day and stay late. My reasoning was that I was doing it for my family. I had to work that hard to keep my job and provide the life I wanted my family to have.
It took me about 14 years to finally realize that I was putting my desire to work in front of my desire to spend time with my family. I even had convinced myself that I had “balance” if I attended major family activities such as kids’ sporting events.
I was fooling myself. But, I wasn’t fooling my family. They knew where my heart really was…with my work.
I had to be intentional about spending time with my family and making it quality time. It took a lot of internal turmoil, tears, talks and “tough” decisions before I finally was able to break away from the workaholic mode.
If you don’t take care of your health, you won’t be able to take care of anything. Too many people, Americans especially, focus too much on everything but their health.
Walk inside about any store and estimate the percentage of patrons who appear to be fit. The percentage is low. Health is not all about weight. I’m not saying it is. There are skinny people who are not healthy too.
You are in control of your health.
You control what you eat. You control how often you exercise. You control just about everything about your health.
Since you control all of that, it is simple to improve or maintain your health.
Don’t be confused. Simple does not equal easy. You’ll see in the personal development plan just how simple living a healthy life can be.
If you have all the other areas covered, maintaining mental clarity should be fairly easy. There are certain practices you can implement to improve that even more.
What does mental clarity mean? It means knowing what you want and why you want it. It means intentionally making choices for everything you do rather than just letting life happen to you.
Your mental capacity deals with how well you are able to learn from what life throws at you, how you will react, what you will think, what you will say.
Being clear and purposeful with your life will lead to more enjoyment, better communication and healthier thoughts.
Do you have daily practices to build your mental muscles? A good personal development plan will help you.
Why does a personal development plan include a piece about your profession or career? Because that is part of your life.
We need to stop looking at life and work as two different things. They are one and the same.
You have to work so you can live. Make it a part of your life and you’ll start recognizing the enjoyment work can bring.
First, you need to realize that you are not your job. You are so much more than just what you do for a living.
But, since working is part of living, we need to include your profession in the personal development plan.
Now that you know the five primary areas of a personal development plan, what do you do next?
Create the plan of course!
In the next article, we will look at all the steps to creating a personal development plan. We’ve covered enough in this article so far.
Until then, though, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I serious enough about my future to take intentional actions to get what I want?
2. Will I make 10 minutes in my daily routine to improve myself?
3 When I improve myself, do I expect my relationships and overall happiness to improve?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you are ready to put together your personal development plan.
I was lucky to discover my mission in life at an early age. In fact, I found more than one mission of a lifetime.
You may use the word “purpose” instead of mission. It doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters is that you have a mission and that you do everything you can to work toward and achieve that mission.
What is your mission in life?
What is your purpose? What are your goals? As Simon Sinek says, “What is your why?”
Why are you here on this planet? Is your desire to just live a mediocre life and never experience true joy or fulfillment? Or, are you here to make the world a better place?
Watch the video below and listen to Simon Sinek explain how our “why” impacts everything we do:
You can be truly happy without living a mission-based life. Some of the happiest people in the world are in third world countries and live without all the modern conveniences we cherish. So happiness is truly achievable by anyone.
Happiness and fulfillment, though, are not equal. You can achieve happiness fairly easily. However, ending your life feeling fulfilled is a totally different story.
I hopefully have another 50 or 60 years until my life ends. When that day comes, I want to know I did everything to live a life of purpose.
Will you end your life feeling fulfilled or have a deep hole knowing you didn’t do what you could have?
Let’s take a look at my missions in life. I don’t go over these to say I’m a great person and deserve a pat on the back. Instead, I tell you of my life’s missions to hopefully encourage you to find your purpose.
My Number 1 Mission in Life
Imagine what it was like in 1991. (Everything I do) I do it for You, by Bryan Adams, was the number one song. Cheers was the most popular show on tv.
I was 13 years old and in eighth grade. I was a tall, skinny nerd back then. Okay, some might say I wasn’t too much different than I am today.
In the break between classes one day, I was walking to my next class and talking with my best friend. The halls were filled with young awkward teenagers, me being no exception.
Down the hall ahead of us, was this absolutely gorgeous girl. She had this air of perfection around her. There was nothing awkward about her. And, I only saw her from behind.
I asked my friend who that girl was. He was astonished I didn’t know. “That’s Denise; she’s the hottest, most popular girl in school. How do you not know who she is?”
I had never seen her before. I guess she hadn’t been in any of my classes. She couldn’t have been; I would have noticed her.
“I’ve never met her before but I’m going to marry her one day,” I exclaimed.
Then my friend laughed at me.
He had every right to laugh at me. I was a nerd. She was smoking hot. I had no chance with a girl like that. To this point in my life, I had never even had a girlfriend, unless you count the girl from kindergarten who I still dreamed about.
Then, Denise turned around. She looked back down the hall toward us. I don’t know that she looked directly at me but I believe she did.
I saw a sparkle in her eyes that was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Her smile automatically made the school a brighter, better place. She was an angel disguised as a teenager.
Yes, I was going to marry that girl one day. It became the first big mission in my life.
The Definition of Insanity
Since it was so long ago, I don’t remember how we ended up meeting. We must have had a class together. Regardless, we met and we quickly became friends.
In fact, we became best friends. Was it plutonic? Maybe for her but definitely not for me. I wanted to be more than just friends.
We shared secrets with each other that we wouldn’t tell anyone else. We wrote notes to each other every day (remember, this is before cell phones so texting was not an option). In fact, we wrote notes to each other multiple times a day.
Because my mission in life was to marry her, I did everything I could to get her to “go out” with me. I asked her to be my girlfriend over and over again. And, over and over again she said no.
I was insane. I kept doing the same thing but expected a different result. No matter how many times I asked, she said no. In fact, I remember at least one occasion that it made her cry that she had to tell me no again.
She just wanted to be friends.
We were too good of friends for us to be together.
That didn’t stop me from dreaming of being with her. I would continue to suffer from insanity. I kept asking.
Thankfully, my insanity did not ruin our friendship. We grew closer each year.
Thankfully I didn’t just sit around and grovel all the time. That would have driven us both mad. Instead, she had boyfriends. I had girlfriends. But, I would have dropped any of those girls in a heartbeat if she would have said yes.
Looking back I actually feel guilty about that. How could I have a girlfriend but know someone else would trump her? I don’t know but I did.
She was the one for me.
We were such good friends that we shared lockers three of four years in high school. I continued to ask her on dates (and sometime she accepted) even though we went as “friends.” Anytime I could be close to her was good enough for me.
Then, we walked together at high school graduation. This was the happiest day of my life. I clearly remember walking down the football field and reaching down to hold her hand as we walked. She looked over at me and smiled.
It was a crazy, brave move for me. Her college boyfriend was in the stands. My girlfriend (who went to a different school) was in the stands. It didn’t matter to me. I was holding hands with my soul mate.
Unfortunately, we went our separate ways after that glorious day of high school graduation. I went away to college. Denise stayed home and played softball in college.
We led our own lives. We didn’t talk for probably three years.
Still, if I knew she would say yes, I would have dropped everything to be with her. She was what mattered most to me then and for my future.
Not that long into my senior year of college, I received an email forward. For those of you who don’t remember, forwards were the popular means by which to send interesting stories or jokes. This was before Facebook and cell phones.
In this forward, I scanned the email addresses of its recipients to see if any of my friends were included. To my surprise, I saw an email address that might be Denise’s.
On a whim, I sent an email to that address to verify whether it belonged to Denise. To my surprise and delight, it was!
We then started emailing each other and instant messaging each other through AOL. We rekindled that friendship we had for so many years before. It was like we lost no time at all.
We would see each other when I came home from school. We were just friends of course. That’s what she wanted. I still wanted to marry her though.
Nothing would stop me from marrying her one day.
The Moment I Dreamed Of
After graduation, I moved back home with my parents. I wasn’t beginning my accounting career until late that upcoming July. So, between graduation and my start date, I lived it up.
Late one night, I was on the computer and checked AOL and Denise was on-line. We started talking and I asked if I could just come over to see her rather than instant messaging each other.
It was really late when I got to her house. She had to get up and work the next morning. The time didn’t matter because we talked for hours. It was the best conversation we’d had in years. Then, it happened.
I kissed her. She kissed me. It was the best day ever!
I knew right then that we would be together forever. She would marry me just as I had dreamed.
Focus on My Mission in Life
I won’t go into all the details here but our path was a little rocky. But, I followed one course until successful – FOCUS. Again, I didn’t take no for an answer. She was the love of my life whether she recognized it or not.
Eventually, we became serious. She realized friendship mattered in relationship and fell in love with me. Then I popped the question…and she said yes.
Eleven long years after we first met, she agreed to marry me. My mission in life was coming to fruition.
Two years later, we said “I Do!”
For those of you who may not believe my story of love since 13, I want to prove it to you. Remember how I said we wrote notes to each other all during high school? I kept every one of them.
Yes, i had shoeboxes full of notes from our high school days. I even kept all of our email correspondence from our first email exchange to the last one before our wedding day.
I put all those notes and emails into a binder and gave that to Denise as a wedding present. I wanted to prove to her, in case she didn’t already know, how seriously in love with her I had always been.
My Mission in Life Was Not Complete
I dreamed of marrying Denise for 13 years. If she would have married me when we were 13, I would have done it.
I was so naive that I thought marrying her was my mission in life. It wasn’t. My true mission in life was to make her happy for the rest of her life.
My mission in life is truly a life-long mission. I still want to make her happy. I still strive to make her happy. That is a great mission in life.
Second Mission in Life
When I started my career on July 31, 2000, I had no idea what public accounting was. My education at Harding University prepared me well for the technical aspects of accounting.
However, the practice of public accounting was a mystery to me. I accepted the job but didn’t know what to expect.
I decided on accounting as a college major and a career because of my introvert personality. I wanted to sit behind a computer all day and not talk to anyone. I was pretty much the stereotypical accountant.
Public accounting forced me out of that shell. From day one on the job, I had to talk to people. It was very uncomfortable for me for a while.
I had to communicate with co-workers but also CEOs and CFOs of our clients. Talk about intimidating to a 22 year old kid.
As soon as I discovered I liked the people aspect of the job, I knew I wanted to be a partner in my firm. It would be a long and challenging road but I was up to the task.
Focus on My Mission in Life
Year and after, I did more to develop myself into someone who would be suited to be a partner. I modeled myself after the partners I worked for. I accepted every assignment I could.
Becoming a partner was truly my focus and mission in life. Until I got married in 2004, having a singular focus of being a partner was okay. After I got married, I needed to make Denise a priority.
Making her happy was my primary mission in life.
Unfortunately, I messed up a lot in my quests. I worked too much and was not home enough. Even after having three kids, I followed the course I thought I needed to so I could become a partner in the firm.
I sacrificed my family for my job. Shame on me!
The Tough Decision
Denise was patient and supportive. Eventually, though, she had to say something. She finally did. I had to change. You can read about what happened by clicking on the following link:
It was in the best interest of my family that I leave public accounting. I needed to put my family first. For too long I had lost the more important mission in life to achieve another, but less important, mission.
Thankfully, I refocused my energy and talked with people and decided to stay in the industry I loved. My focus, though, was no longer going to be on my career and mission to become a partner. It was going to be my family.
The interesting thing is that when I changed my focus from work to my family, my productivity and success at work increased dramatically.
It taught me one thing in particular. A well-rounded person is better than a person solely focused on one thing. It’s one of the reasons I’ve coined the following phrase:
“You can’t work too hard; you can only work too much.”
It’s been right at a year since I made the decision to stay in public accounting and continue to chase my dream of being a partner.
With a renewed mindset, the year has flown by. In almost every way, the year has been a success.
I reached personal bests in sales of services for the year, thoroughly enjoyed working with my team, spent much more time with my family and worked fewer hours and weekends.
The only thing missing from this year was being elected as a partner. That’s okay. It’s frustrating but it’s okay. There is always next year.
Focus on My Mission in Life
I thought marrying my wife was the achievement of a mission. It wasn’t. It was just the beginning of a mission of striving for true happiness.
Similarly, I know making partner will not be the final accomplishment in my career. It will be just the beginning. After becoming a partner, I will want to achieve even more important things and have other professional goals.
Until then, though, making partner is my focus in my career.
The Third and Most Important Mission in My Life
The first mission in my life became apparent when I was 13 years old. The most important mission in life appeared when I was baptized at 14.
That mission in life was to lead the life of a Christian. Literally, I wanted to be Christlike.
I was raised in the church by Christian parents. I had great Christian friends and I had a God who wanted me to love him.
While I have not led a perfect life, my life-long (and it truly will be life-long) mission is to lead a Christ-centered, sacrificial, service-based life.
I’ve done fairly well in my life from a spiritual perspective. Fortunately, I understand I can be better and do more.
Do you know what the happiest day of my life has been?
What is the happiest day of your life? Was it your wedding day? Maybe the day your first child was born?
Those are tremendous and happy occasions and should be celebrated. Those are close to the top of my list but they are not number one.
The happiest day in my life was the day my wife was baptized into Christ. Why is that more important than the day I was baptized? It’s because with her by my side as a Christian, I know my daughters will grow up in a Christian household, with Christian parents and will learn what God’s will is for them.
A Christian’s mission should be to help make other Christians. I pray my daughters will follow in our footsteps.
Missions Is My Mission
Since Christians should be focused on helping make other Christians, I wanted to do something special to help others do that too.
The church is the most important institution in my life. My church family is a great influence on me, my family and our local community. In fact, because of the missionary work my local congregation supports, we are a tremendous influence on the world.
What could I do that could also influence the world?
I discovered the answer to that question around the same time I reset my attitude and rediscovered my passion for life. It’s amazing how clearly we can think when we remove negativity from our thoughts.
My answer to the question of how I could influence the world was to make it easier for other Christians to do mission work.
I am not a highly knowledgeable Bible scholar, am definitely not a professional preacher and do not particularly enjoy talking with people I don’t know.
That wasn’t going to stop me from helping make it easier for others to do mission work.
The Birth of ObedientFaith.com
When I was speaking at my alma mater, Harding University, in October of 2014, I approached the Chair of the Accounting Department about the potential of using students to help develop an online business.
My original thought was to use this as a case study so that students could receive college credit for working on the project. We couldn’t get that worked out through the school but we did figure out how to create and fund a small scholarship so we could at least pay some students for their time.
Beginning in the second week of the Spring 2015 semester, Dr. Phil Brown, three Harding University students hand-picked by Dr. Brown and I started working together.
Each week of the semester (except during Spring Break) we had a 45 minute conference call to take my idea and create an online company.
These students were amazing. Their ideas were amazing. Their energy was amazing.
These three students were so focused on helping grow the church by making other Christians that ObedientFaith.com had to be successful.
After weekly conference calls, hours working between conference calls and a collaborative in-person Saturday meeting on campus, ObedientFaith.com was born on June 10, 2015.
What is ObedientFaith?
The mission of ObedientFaith.com is:
ObedientFaith.com is an online resource for Christians seeking to grow spiritually while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. We provide unique and practical how-to content to help the church grow.
We want to help others live faith through action.
While we eventually want ObedientFaith.com to be an online resource for everything related to church growth, we began with a focus of mission work.
Missions Is Our Mission
The ObedientFaith team developed three tiers of products to help people be more effective in their mission work. You can view the products at obedientfaith.com/store.
We are also in the midst of developing mission-related resources for every country in the world. Each country page contains specific data and links to other online resources specific to that country.
The most exciting facet of the site is the blog where we have missionaries from around the world writing about their mission-related experiences. Each article that relates to a particular country will also be included on that country’s resource page.
Through the site, we want to help everyone, even you, be encouraged to do mission work. Mission work does not mean going to Africa or South America. You can do mission work at home, your school, anywhere.
Your friends and family need to know the Truth just as much as the people in third world countries. We are all responsible for doing God’s work.
My Missions Continue
You’ve just read about my three missions in life. They truly will be my focus for the remainder of my years.
I vow to continue to love my wife and increase her happiness, work my hardest to provide the most value to my clients (and thus achieve success as a partner) and be Christ-like in every aspect.
What Are Your Missions in Life?
Have you discovered your mission in life? Maybe you’d rather call it your purpose. Have you found it?
Living a life of purpose is the only surefire way to feel fulfilled when life ends.
No one dies regretting having not spent more time working. Instead, people regret not spending time with loved ones, enjoying the experiences life has to offer and living their purpose.