Recently, I’ve been thinking, how do I continue living in such a way that when I’m 26 I’m not disappointed with my life even if it doesn’t look how my 23 year-old-self thought it would?
And that’s when it hit me – the four things that guided my decisions and protected me from living a life of disappointment: choose a destination, consider all options, recieve counsel, and choose your decision.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately.
I’ve been thinking about decisions, dreams, and destinations.
I’ve been thinking how I never dreamed my life would end up the way it is today.
I’ve been thinking that when I was 5, 16, and 20 this is not where I saw myself at 23.
And I’ve been thinking that all those decisions I made – some with excitement and others with fear, but all with deep intention and wise counsel – got me to this place.
Which has got me thinking…I chose this. This is a good place. I have not come “here” haphazardly. Sure, it’s not where my kindergarten or sweet-sixteen-year-old-self thought I’d be, but I don’t know if I knew where I’d be. I do know that since graduating high school I picked a destination to journey towards in life and made careful and intentional decisions based on that goal which have brought me to “here.”
Thus, I am not disappointed in my living-at-home-freelance-worker-coffee-date-mentoring life.
But then I started thinking, how do I continue living so that when I’m 26 I’m still not disappointed with my life even if it doesn’t look how my 23 year-old-self thought it would?
And that’s when it hit me – the four things that guided my decisions and protected me from living a life of disappointment.
Choose a destination
If you don’t know where you’re going, anywhere will take you there.
Having a destination, even if it is a short-term or temporary goal, allows us to live with direction and conviction, which is critical to living a life that doesn’t disappoint you. Since I was in highschool I knew that I want to mentor women and inspire them to live their most powerful life for the glory of God. Like my sisters, you might not be inspired with life vision, and that’s okay. Pick a word for your year or an area that you want to grow in this month so that you have a reason to make decisions.
ACTION: Pick a word for your month. My word for the month is “unexpected.” I’m expecting God to do amazing things and I’m willing to do the unexpected in pursuit of Him.
Consider all your options
As I walked into this semester there were a lot of opportunities for me. A lot of GOOD AMAZING and INSPIRING opportunities. I wrote them all down. I put them in categories of my priorities for this semester: Such A Time/Speaking, Sibling Relationships, Health. If the opportunity helped me get to my goal I kept it, if not I left it. But considering all my options and consciously choosing to leave some out of my life keeps me from feeling jilted. I know I considered everything and I chose the very best.
ACTION: Write four different ways you can grow into the word you chose for this month. Now circle ONE option to help you live up to that word – just one.
I’m a very impulsive, fantastical person. I believe I am invincible and that anything is possible. So, it’s really important for me to I tend to overlook details and forget that I need to leave time in my schedule to sleep and eat. That’s where mentors come in!
I’ve made it a habit not to make decisions unless I’ve talked to at least two of them first. They see things I miss. They care about me enough to make sure I sleep and eat. And, they also see how opportunities relate to my destination while I just see the adventure and possibility. Receiving counsel from my mentors protects me from making exciting decisions in the moment that will disappoint me later.
ACTION: Next time you have a decision to make (a big one) talk all your options over with your mentor first and ask for their thoughts.
Choose your decision
I know this seems like a silly assignment, but if you only take ONE idea from this post, this is the idea I want you to have. Why? Because when I look at my living-at-home-freelance-worker-coffee-date-mentoring life this is where I find the most confidence. Choosing my decisions allows me to look back on my life and know that even though where I am is not exactly what I had imagined I am here as a result of pursuing my destination with direction and intention.
ACTION: In your journal or on a piece of paper write, “Today I choose to live…” Fill in the blank with your word of the month.
I chose all the decisions that landed me in said life.
I did not end up here haphazardly, I chose to be here.
Like I said, it’s not where I thought I would end up, but it’s where I am as I am journeying toward my life goal.
While I thought my 23 year-old-life would look different I know I would never undo it, because I am here of my own choice, guided by a clear destination, carefully selected through many opportunities, and intentionally protected with much wisdom.
I am not disappointed, but inspired by what my life will look like when I’m 26 as I continue to journey toward my destination!
P.S. I would LOVE to know what your word for the month is in the comments!