It seems that life often turns out in a different way than one thinks it’s going to. The other day I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in more than four years. The last time I saw him his youngest son was literally the star pitcher of his youth baseball team. The boy was poised to move on to high school and have an impact at a higher level. It looked like all the ducks were in a row and a wildly successful baseball career was on the horizon. That was four years ago.
So I asked how the boy’s high school baseball career had gone. To my surprise he said that he dropped out of baseball. The kid grew tall, and thin, and sat on the bench…a lot. So he took up golf.
I told my friend we had a great deal of catching up to do, and that we should get together soon. He agreed, and had to be on his way.
It got me to thinking about just how often it is that peoples’ hopes, ideas, and very life sometimes don’t turn out the way they envision it all will. Baseball dreams take a left turn to golf. Dreams of being a doctor take a right turn to a career as a medical assistant. Dreams of motherhood make a u-turn to adoption.
Sometimes it’s the result of uncontrollable or unforeseen circumstances. Finances, friendships, or fear can become obstacles or hurdles that bar hopes and dreams.
But it doesn’t always have to be that way. A will and a plan go a long way toward finding the fulfillment of a dream.
I have recently run across some resources that may be helpful to you in dreaming, planning, goal-setting, and strategizing. These items may help your life follow the direction of your dream and give meaning to your vocation. The first is free; the others are relatively inexpensive. Take some time to dream, plan, find purpose, and follow a definite direction.
- Creating Your Personal Life Plan, by Michael Hyatt. This is a free resource that you can get simply by subscribing to Michael’s blog. I’m currently working on it. It is simple yet highly profound in terms of impact on one’s life. It consists of thinking through and writing down outcomes, priorities, and action plans. It provides true direction and great accountability to accomplish things in life you dream of having accomplished.
- Linchpin and Poke the Box, by Seth Godin. Linchpin was for me a life-changing (no hyperbole) book. It shows how to be an essential building block of a great organization. Poke the Box is impetus to be an instigator, create initiative, and seek discovery. You will thank me after you read these two books.
- The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp. Twyla Tharp is one of the world’s great choreographers. But you can have two left feet and still gain a great deal from this book. With exercises like “Where’s Your Pencil?”, “Coins and Chaos,” and “Do a Verb,” Tharp shows anyone how to make creativity a habit and use it to advance both your career and your life.
- The War of Art and Do the Work, by Steven Pressfield. Both of these books give tools to overcome what Pressfield labels “resistance.” Resistance is the inner force that prevents most anyone from accomplishing what needs to be accomplished. Two must reads.
- Quitter, by Jon Acuff. The jacket cover says that Quitter is about “closing the gap between your day job & your dream job.” It’s not a book just for people who want to quit their jobs and find something better. It provides methods to recover your dream, work toward your dream without blowing up your life, and methods to use for finding real direction in your life (all from a Christian perspective).
What resources can you share with me for better planning, goal-setting, and accountability for moving forward?