Like I said in my last post, it’s hard to set goals and not eventually get lazy. Staying motivated is tricky, especially if you have any number of negative influences in your circle. Up to this point in my life, I’ve had very few really solid good influences in my life, but those that were impacted me in a forever kind of way. Of course I don’t remember every conversation with every person, but bits and pieces have been etched into my mind forever. You can’t always expect that what you remember is going to serve any purpose in the long run, but God puts those people and those words in your life at just the right time. The rest is up to you.
It’s safe to say I’ve been lazy most of my life. I’ve heard lazy people “my age” (whatever age you want to look back on) say “I don’t feel like getting a job,” or “I’m really passionate about video games, I’m not lazy!” Yes, of course, I never felt like getting a job, and I liked video games okay. The real truth, however, is that I genuinely didn’t care about life or the future or anything for that matter.
Well, except myself and my own happiness.
No, this is not going to be a rant about how I was selfish, greedy, or spoiled. Maybe I was selfish because I didn’t have the self-awareness needed to realize how my attitude and actions affected those around me. Maybe I was greedy every time my parents and my brother and I visited my grandparents in South Carolina once every couple of months and I only wanted to see them because I was so anxious to see how much cash they would “slip” me. “Don’t tell your Grandma I gave you this…” 😉 Twenty minutes later, after running upstairs to see Grandma, she’d slip me another $20 and say “Don’t tell Pop-Pop I gave you this…” 😉 The good old days,… Yeah, maybe I was spoiled.
I always saw my dad working so hard at the store. He would be gone, working long and unrelenting retail hours, and we’d get to see him in the evenings most of the time and a day or two off each week if we were lucky. I don’t really think I gained much insight about work from him as I was growing up, at least not in the sense that I put the pieces together and found myself wanting to learn how to be better at being disciplined or anything like that. Ever since I was a little boy, I only cared about baseball (the Atlanta Braves), golf, and wanting to grow up to be a store manager! Store managers had lots of keys to different doors (even a key to the Coke machine!) I remember the day he started letting me take the shipments from the delivery guy and struggle to carry them inside and then load them inside the machine. I wanted to be a store manager so I could do that every week!
This is where I began to sense my mindset really shift for the first time. I did not know that it was a mindset shift, nor did I know that I was beginning to find a sense of purpose. Although purpose does not really amount to much when it’s not pursued, it can cause a spark that ultimately ignites a wildfire in your life when you take those first steps. Just like I said in my post about what really matters, I said, “… I experienced many things that I can only say I was apparently too naïve or preoccupied to notice, things that would later prove to have been essential to a much easier life, if you can call it that, had I just paid attention. Awareness, as you will see throughout this narrative, will become both my saving grace and my downfall as I meander through my teenage and young adult years.”
It all circles back around to what you choose to do about your purpose in life. Making those small 1° changes in your direction will either lead you so far off course, or it will bring you so much closer to your destiny. The key is that we not let this idea of destiny become some distorted distraction.
You must be clear on who you are.
I must be very clear about who I am and who I want to become.
I got tired of not doing anything about my purpose after a while. I eventually found my 1° and started towards it.
When did you realize “enough is enough” and start taking steps forward?
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”