Last week I had the pleasure of attending an event geared towards Christian women in Business and Ministry, and three guest speakers shared their thoughts. I just have to laugh thinking back to it because what they shared was exactly what God had been already teaching and showing me and making me reflect upon 🙂 . Although the focus was on business and ministry I have picked out three key lessons and adapted them so that they focus on living abundantly everyday. This topic is particularly important to me right now; on Saturday I received news of the death of an uncle who to me is one of the nicest and kindest people I know. In addition to this, I have lost two other relatives in the space of the last two weeks. These deaths (all stress related) tell me that I should value every single day, living life to the max with no regrets.
Living life to the max lesson 1 – Know thyself
Knowing who you are is so important that even businesses value it, too many times we allow other people to shape and form our identity so that we end up being what other people want instead of who we are. The more we live our lives for others, trying to please them, encourage them, support them and make them grow the less time we spend getting to know ourselves and doing things which strengthen, encourage and make us grow. A good example of this are mothers who are left with an empty nest. When the children go, and they no longer have anyone who needs them or takes up their time, they often find themselves feeling depressed and not knowing what to do next. In addition to this, the common question of ‘who am I?’ is asked. These thoughts herald the first signs of an identity crisis.
But identity crisis happens to nearly all of us at some point in time, maybe because we are tired of a job, have lost a loved one or face a health crisis. The question of who we are is fundamental to living a life full of purpose, intrinsic worth and joy. The more you know who you are the more you can act according to your knowledge and so your life takes on a property of purposefulness. The key here is to stop pretending to be someone your not, stop living your life through or for others and start to discover your uniqueness, you do you best!
Living life to the max lesson 2 – Take action
What is the point of knowing something when you never take any follow through action? Finding out who you are requires two things:
- reflective communication with God and
- experiential learning,
this will result in the increased ability to take empowered action.
Most of the time we don’t take action due to fear, fear is one if not the most disabling of emotions but guess what? God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear!!! The Spirit of the Divine is within us, that means that we have the spark and power to take action and work for God. Alongside this we each have our own unique spirit; our spirit is dynamic by nature (John 3: 8) which means that it is geared towards action and movement. Elijah’s spirit enabled him to perform miracles; Moses spirit also enabled him to judge Israel for forty odd years. Our spirits are geared to take action, but most importantly our spirit knows exactly what action to take because it knows exactly who we are. The key here is to reflect and then take action, learning everyday from our experiences until we begin to understand more of who we are.
Living life to the max lesson 3 – Small steps are best
I personally know how hard it is to take action particularly on those days when just getting out of bed is a struggle. But you know what? Sometimes the best action to take is a small step. Most people have 3, 5 and 10 year plans and we are told to think of our short, mid and long term goals. Most women spend ages writing to-do lists which hardly if ever are completed and the end result is frustration, depression and even feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Imagine how much simpler life would be if we just down-scaled! How about instead of looking years ahead, we just focus on 1 day, 3 days or even a week ahead? Yeshua said that we should not worry about tomorrow as today has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6: 34).
If there was one thing that you would want to do today what would it be? That should be your goal for today. It might seem strange but when you simplify your day into achieving a specific and tangible goal you will automatically prioritise, putting the most important goal for you first. Plus, you are more likely to be filled with a sense of satisfaction, achievement and happiness on completion. This in my eyes is the definition of a SMART goal! Does that mean you can’t do anything else in the day? Of course not, you can work other things around your smart goal, but the emphasis should be on completing that goal. The key here is to focus on achieving one thing that means the most to us every single day.
Why not try to implement at least one of these keys and see the effect it has on your quality of life, if you find any benefits I would love for you to come back and share them with me.
NB: This week I will be linking up at Come to the Table, so why not pull up a chair and come and join me…