The Master’s Dream List

On Sundays, I blog on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics.  Click here to read why.

I’ve shared previously that the very first thing I encourage people to do, when they start getting serious about Lifestyle Design, is to create their Master Dream List.  The Master Dream List is the place to list everything you’d ever want to do, be, have, or achieve.

The mentor who first taught me about the Master Dream List put an interesting spin on it for me one day.  He encouraged me to think of it as The Master’s Dream List.

He suggested that I pray about my dreams and ask God (The Master) to clarify which ones were the most important ones to pursue now, and to reveal to me, over time, which ones weren’t so important after all.

I’ve been doing this for years now and I can say that it has made a difference in my life.

I’ve learned that God is the source of many of my dreams.  But I also recognize that some dreams are selfish distractions that come from somewhere deep within me. And if I let them, they’ll pull me away from the attainment of what’s really important.

I’d encourage you to give it a try.  If you aren’t typically a person of prayer, ask yourself, “What can it hurt?”  And maybe more importantly…”What if it works?”

Life Change For the Right Reasons

If you’re new to Life Compass Blog, on Sundays I write on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics.  Click here to read why.

Are there right reasons…and wrong reasons…to engage in a Life Change process? I think so. I’ve encountered more than a few people who want more money for the sake of having more money. And want more free time just so they can travel more and be entertained more.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting more money, wanting to travel, or enjoying entertainment. But if those things are the focus of our efforts, if they’re the reason we want to re-organize our lives, I believe we’ll be disappointed pretty quickly.

Why? Because more stuff is never enough. And more things can’t bring happiness.

Solomon, one of the kings of ancient Israel, was known as the wisest man of his day…perhaps of all time.

He had it all….hundreds of women (I’d question his wisdom a bit, on this point), dozens of palaces, the finest clothes, food and toys a guy could ever want.

Later in his life, he wrote a book called Ecclesiastes, which contains a lot of wisdom he learned from all his life’s experiences – both good and bad.

In it, he tells us that he “denied himself no good thing”. He chased after, and achieved, every single thing he wanted.

But in the end, it was all “meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). None of his belongings could end his longing for more. I think it was because he had the wrong motivation.

When it was all said and done, he realized that God is the source of true happiness and joy, and that he needed to recognize and thank God as the giver all the good things we could ever want (Ecclesiastes 2:24-16).

So, my question for you today is this: What’s your motivation for living, and for wanting to achieve your dreams? Is it just to get more stuff, or is there a higher purpose?

Is Your Job a Gift From God?

On Sundays, I write on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics.  Click here to read why.

A few years ago, I heard Marcus Buckingham, one of Gallup’s lead researchers and author of Now Discover Your Strengths, speak at a conference.  He said something that absolutely floored me:

80% of Americans feel unhappy and unfulfilled in their work.

That number, he said, was up from 70% a few years before!  My mouth dropped open when I heard the news!  I had no idea.

Could it really be true that eight out of ten men and women, maybe even you, work at a meaningless job that doesn’t match their purpose and calling in life?  Sadly, it was true.

And then a thought came to mind – actually, it was a verse of scripture – that really gave me something to think about!

That each person finds pleasure in his work…this is a gift from God. – Ecclesiastes 3:13

These were the words of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.  I sat and thought about the verse for a few minutes, and then I asked myself,

How is it that God intends for each person to find pleasure and meaning in his or her work…and yet only 20% of Americans actually do.  Is God really playing a cruel trick on the other 80% who don’t find pleasure in their work?  Or are they missing something somewhere?”

Later, I had an “A-ha” moment and wondered if the key to the whole thing was the word “gift”?  What if God does give each of us meaningful and pleasurable work as a gift…but few people ever take the time to look for the gift or to receive it?”

After all, someone may give me a gift by placing it under the Christmas tree.  But that gift isn’t really mine until I look under the tree, find the gift, pick it up, shake it, open it, and eventually use it.

That’s just the way it is, I believe, with our work, if we see it as a gift from God.  I believe God gives each of us a calling in life and work we’re meant to do.  But He doesn’t often make it so plain for us to see, does He?  We don’t typically hear a declaration from heaven saying, “John Smith, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to…”  Life sure would be simpler if He did!

Instead, He wraps up our calling like a gift and places it inside of us.  Then it is up to us to unwrap the gift and discover it for ourselves.

How do we do that?  You can learn how by reading the post Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design – #3 “Clarify Your Life Purpose”.

So, let me ask you, friend…Does your job feel like a gift – or is it more like a curse?  Do you find satisfaction and fulfillment in your life and work?  Are you at peace with who you are and what you do for a living?

If not – Do something about it!  Don’t waste another minute working a job that isn’t fulfilling.  Life is too short!  Keep reading, because the purpose of this Life Compass site is to help you achieve your dreams and find more freedom, purpose and fulfillment in your life and work!

Spirituality & Faith

Today is Sunday, and I’ve decided to borrow an idea from a friend who writes a great blog on personal finance called Free Money Finance.  On Sundays, he writes about “Money & the Bible”.  So I’ve decided that on Sundays I’ll write on “Spirituality & Faith.”

I’m doing it for a number of reasons:

  • It’s a part of my life.  In this blog I’m sharing my journey of how I’m achieving my dreams and finding greater meaning, purpose and fulfillment in my life and work – and how you can too.   My lifestyle design process has been greatly influenced by the Bible, so I’ll share with you what I’ve learned from that perspective.
  • It’s a bit of a different change of pace.  It seems to fit for Sundays.  The rest of the week, we’ll talk about what you want to get out of life and how you can take steps now to achieve your dreams.  On Sundays, we’ll switch gears a bit and talk about “bigger picture” ideas.
  • Some people really enjoy the subject.  I think most people believe there’s more to life than just living for themselves.  People want to know they’re making a difference, that they’re living the life they were meant to live.  We’ll take a look at what the Bible says about this.
  • All of us are spiritual people – one way or another.  It is a part of our lives.  And as such, it makes sense to discuss it since we’ll be talking about how to be balanced in all aspects of life. I think the intersection of one’s faith and their life’s purpose is an interesting one and I enjoy exploring it.  I also like hearing other people’s perspectives on how they integrate their faith into their life and work.

If you don’t care to read posts on “Spirituality & Faith,” that’s OK.  You don’t have to read them.  🙂

But if you do, feel free to share your comments and ideas.  And let’s all agree to respect each other and not belittle another’s views if they differ from ours.