BUILDING A LIFE WITHOUT REGRETS 2.0

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Character, Life!, Work
Tags: , ,

We are all going to end up there eventually if we live long enough.  We are all going to come to a place where we look back at the life we’ve lived and have one of two reactions: satisfaction or regret.  I am writing this week about how to avoid the latter of the two reactions.  Today we look at the second action we should take:

2. Focus on being a contributor rather than just a consumer.
Goal setting books and seminars nearly always encourage people to make a wish-list of things they want. They say things like “State it in the positive like you have already received it.” Such as, “I earn $100,000 a year; I own a new Mercedes; I live in a 5000 square foot home.”

The main problem with this kind of goal setting (aside from the fact that it is ridiculous) is that you are focusing on you and the things you want. There is a big difference between having things and living a life of significance.

Try a different approach. Instead of setting a goal for how much money you will get, set a goal for how much money you will give. Or, instead of setting a goal for a certain promotion, set a goal for what you could do to make yourself more valuable as an employee. The difference is more than just a matter of semantics; it’s a matter of focus.

There are people who spend their entire lives working jobs they despise because it offers security–it enables them to gather a stockpile of stuff. Take my word for it: stuff isn’t worth it. Things don’t make your life significant. The significance you have in life is determined by what you do…what you give…not what you get. The Bible says… “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Proverbs 11:4)

What is Solomon saying? He’s reminding us that what you do is more important than what you have. Significance comes not from your acquisitions but your accomplishments. Think about what you want to accomplish–what you want to do with your life. Choose to do something you love.

The Beatles had a song back in the old day (my youth) that had as its hook line, “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.”   Listen, there are a lot of things that money can’t buy; a life of significance being one of them.  Therefore, instead of pursuing money, pursue a career that you love. Loving your job is far more important than being able to afford a bigger house or a nicer car.

The principle here is simple: To live a life of significance, do what you love. Success, rewards, money, promotions–they may or not happen. Do what you love and your life will have impact.

I believe with all my heart that if you are committed to doing God’s will in your life, God will give you a dream of what you can accomplish, and he will give you the ability to do it–if your focus is on accomplishing something good, rather than accumulating things. The Bible says… “The desire of the righteous ends only in good.” (Proverbs 11:23)

If you’re committed to doing God’s will, he will give you a dream of what you can accomplish in life.

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