I remember when I first began working out. I was an insecure teenager that wanted to finally feel comfortable in her skin.
A funny thing happened when I joined my first gym. Sure, I was taught a few basics between using the cardiovascular equipment, the strength machines, and free weights. I even had a visualisation and “feel” for what I wanted to look like, what I thought my fitness would feel like.
I would then find myself spending years spinning my wheels, literally and figuratively to still not quite attain what I had in mind. For hours and hours, I fretted and worked, and worked and fretted.
I would see another girl in the gym, resembling what I thought I wanted (that day) and then decide to try what she was doing right then. In my mind, I thought, “surely THAT’S what I’ve been needing to do to look like THAT!”
Sounds cute. The reality was that happened probably about every day that I would show up at the gym. I was chasing my tail, envying what others had, and never sticking to a solid plan for what would give me what I wanted.
The truth is, the world is like this. We are incessantly inundated with the push, pull, slide of what will make us happy, today. It’s not even just the media, it’s our own carnal natures.
I realized that even when I obtained what I thought I wanted, after focusing solely on it, formulating a precise plan and executing perfectly, I still wasn’t happy. That’s a whole ‘nother topic.
It’s a dangerous game, taking life guidance from strangers, especially the ones you haven’t even talked to! Counselors are good, they are necessary and very wonderful to have to help give clarity (when tested alongside what God has said and is saying) – but those individuals have to know you and your life to help give insight. (Side note rabbit trail for a future post).
My point is this: I never got any closer to what I really wanted until I defined it, made a plan with tangible action steps along the way, took those steps, monitored my progress and tweaked if I got off course, and kept my eye on what I really wanted. (In the case of fitness, I also became a trainer and learned the science behind what produced what I wanted – in effect, I became my own personal trainer).
The world and it’s noise can come at us all day long, but can we develop the key, the ability to tune our own directional compass out of it and still care for and hear those around us.
It applies in every area of life: focusing on God and walking with Him, having a focus on where we want to see our career or business go, what we want our family life to be like. It’s a powerful skill that can be honed with practice and humility. I’ve seen it proven in my life and the lives of many others.