Sometimes life presents more questions than it provides answers. Yet it’s often the questions of life that help us to make changes for the better.
Each day I become more aware of wanting my life to count for something. I dream big, remain hopeful, and continue to believe that both are important. As a husband and father I want to love and lead well and see my wife and our four children succeed to be the people they’re capable of becoming.
I want to impact others — to inspire and encourage. My growing desire is to influence positive life change in anyway possible. One day at a time. One dream at a time. One life at a time.
But as I get older (gosh that sounds like something an old man would say, doesn’t it?) I’m learning that life is to be discovered, that we all take different paths, and that each step is shaped by our world-view and experiences.
So here are three questions I ask myself that I think have the potential to radically impact your life if asked and answered with consideration and sincerity. Have a look for yourself and see what you think.
Who in my life really knows me?
We all long for relationship and thrive best when part of community in which we’re able to give and receive. Yet sadly, the reality for many of us can be quite different.
We can feel lonely, isolated, and far removed from anything remotely related to genuine connection with those who know and care for us. And I’m not talking about Facebook ‘friends’ or Twitter ‘followers’ — they don’t count.
I’m talking about people we feel comfortable to share our fears, hopes, aspirations, successes and failures with. Those we’d shed tears with, openly acknowledge our weaknesses to, and with whom we can simply be.
Where in my life am I still learning and growing?
From an early age we’re like sponges. We soak in everything around us and have an insatiable appetite for learning new things. Our surroundings intrigue us, and we find most things exciting. But as we get older and the responsibilities of life take hold, we can become settled, lazy, or fail to recognise the value of learning (note I didn’t say education!).
Hands up, I’ve been guilty of this — and it wasn’t without great cost. Les Brown says,
“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”
So now, as if wanting to make up for lost time (well, being honest, that’s exactly what I’m doing), I’m constantly challenging myself to ask questions that will help to boost my learning and become a better today than I was yesterday. It’s only when we challenge ourselves to continually learn that we have any shot of reaching our true potential in life.
What do I need to change to improve my life?
I firmly believe that we all have the potential to change. Am I saying that we can do it independently, or that we’re somehow the commanders of our own eternal destinies? No, I’m not. However, we do have the capacity to influence and shape our life’s — and we do this through the choices we make. But more significantly, through the life story we write.
In looking at our lives through a lens, we can each become screenwriters. By taking time to review our story, and by considering the vision we want for our future, we can take steps towards changing our life script. We can create a better and more desirable future for ourselves, if we’re prepared to put the work in, or course!
As Jim Rohn said,
“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
If we want healthier marriages we can create them. To improve relationships with others we can determine to communicate in ways that are healthy even in conflict. And if we want to be physically healthy, we can choose to exercise and eat sensibly. Again, how our future shapes up is largely influenced by the choices we make and the cost we’re willing to pay.
When we decide to make changes that improve our lives, whether that’s breaking unhealthy relational ties, watching less TV, eating healthier meals, or spending more time with those we love, we increase the chances of reaching our true potential and helping others to do the same.
The opposite is also true, as if left to chance, life simply happens. It slowly drifts to nowhere, and our potential is missed.
What question jumped out at you the most, and more importantly, how will you respond?
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