I had a dream I was going to travel the world as a kid. I wanted to see all the beautiful, wonderful places that you could ever dream of. I wanted to travel and help others and be a part of cultures. I remember as a kid my parents taking us on a mission trip with my youth group and we built a school in Tijuana, Mexico. It still sticks with me today bonding with those kids and families and they were so excited that we had chose to come help them make a difference in their lives. That still sits with me today.
But I chose to make a slight change in my travel path.
I fell in love young, married, had kids and we started the American dream of jobs, struggling financially, debt and running on the almighty hamster wheel that we love to call life. We were slaves to this American dream!
I love many things about my everyday life and my routine, it works for me but I also love adventure and excitement, new ideas and changes.
I want to see this world and I want to make a difference. I want to love big and be more. When you trade all that for mediocre life you lose yourself and your meaning. You lose what you were truly made to do.
I could never quite put my finger on what I was exactly feeling or why what we were doing wasn’t creating the happiness we were trying so hard to strive for. I wanted so much more. I did not understand how to get there though and how we could make the changes to get there. I would just pray “Dear God I want more for this life and I feel lost and alone”.
We were living as slaves to what we thought was suppose to make us happy. Except we weren’t really happy. We were broke all the time, living above our means and never really feeling content. We had a nice house, nice cars etc etc but it didn’t really matter. We traded our happiness and joy for the mundane and material things and a life of keeping our time occupied so much that we could not enjoy one another. We were proud to use the phrase “I’m so busy”. Because we knew that being busy means you are doing big things, being busy means you are important, being busy means you are not a failure at life.
The one thing with being busy was that I did not feel important. I felt sad. I had given away so much of myself in trying to be others happiness that I actually lost who I was along the way. I lost a spark that was once there. My identity was missing. I forgot what I truly wanted and I forgot to keep the special part of me in the mix. I felt like I was chained to this miserable life and every last breath was being squeezed out of me. The only time I felt free was when I got away from the routine and escaped life for a bit. For a few days on a vacation I could pretend that my life was what we meant it to be.
Over the last few years we have given up much and been given much. We have become debt free and we have created more debt and become debt free again. We have dealt with pain and we have dealt with beauty.
Together we have learned to start living and what this life really means to us. We are realizing the most important part of life and it is not things. It is moments. It is big ones and it is little ones.
It is helping people when they are in need and the one thing I know that being debt free and living a life of freedom means to me is that I can help others find their dreams and their passions. I want to share my struggles and my success so others will know its ok to be different.
We really can choose to love our life. It matters to feel your purpose and to be proud of it. Its ok to enjoy life and not just be busy to be busy. Cherish life because its short.
Be a difference maker, make a change, be more!
I have accomplished three awesome dreams – They are my kids and I am so proud of how they are turning out. I want them to know that life is more than having the nicest car that you can’t afford and the nicest house but its about seeing someone who struggles and you go to them with love in your eyes and you help them.
We were called for that purpose to love one another. And whatever way or means we are given that is what we do.
I just read this great post from Dr. Henry Cloud the other day and it rings true. I was able to listen to Dr. Henry Cloud live at EntreSummit and he blew me away. I have many of his books and I am starting to read his Boundaries with Leader, what a wise man. I love what he has to say. https://www.facebook.com/DrHenryCloud?fref=nf-
Things that are alive naturally have a curiosity for increasing experience, skills, knowledge, and other things of life. If you look at children, this is one of the things that stands out the most. They are always looking for the next experience, what is “around the corner.” In fact, the big problem in parenting is not to get them motivated, but to discipline and limit their natural motivation in a helpful direction and manner.
Learning a new language, making new friends, how to buy and sell real estate, stepping out to start a company, is doing what children do, looking for more. It is normal. The problem is that, that normal is not common in adults. What is more common is people who have had their hunger and passion diminished or injured in some way.
They have “anorexia of life.” If you have seen people with the medical condition of anorexia, you know what happens. They have no appetite and have begun to wither, severely. In the same way that our physical appetite drives us to food, unless we are anoretic, our growth appetite should drive us to desiring new experiences. This should be normal, but unfortunately it’s not so common.
Many people and organizations do not experience that drive and have gone into a dull state of “maintaining.” They are just continuing to be the way they are, day after day. They relate to their spouses, kids, coworkers, and friends in the same way, never wanting to grow into relating differently, or more deeply. Rarely making new friends or traveling to new cities. They go about their careers the same way, doing what they have always done, following the conveyer belt of doing what is required of them.
Their personal lives are the same way. The dull themselves with only mindless television or reading, or social interaction that never goes below the surface of well-traveled topics, or old patterns. You could almost peer into their lives in the same activity year after year and see no difference. The reasons are manifold. But, they all fall into a few categories. There are ways in which their desire to grow has been injured or stifled. There are ways in which they have not had the ingredients that are necessary for growth. All of these have incredible implications for our own character and growth in the areas where they apply.
Something to think about heading into the weekend…
*For more on this topics please see my book and digital program – Integrity
Live a life of Freedom