Why Are You The Way You Are?
We cannot change our DNA…and why would we? We are perfectly created exactly how God wanted us to be. We must instead turn our attention to understand who we are and why we are the person we are today. For most of us this is difficult and scary, but it is an essential starting point from which to grow into the person you wish to become.
In every facet or walk of life, there comes a time when you must take inventory and quantify the position you are currently in. Companies use quarterly and yearly reports to assess the health of their business, professional sports teams analyze and evaluate their talent on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis. Even our government has to be accountable for their actions and explain what happened and what they look to accomplish. Why should we be any different? Why should we not place a stake in the ground and fully understand who we are and how we got here? This can be exciting for some and for others it is very emotional. The good news is that both illustrate your willingness to acknowledge your self-worth and look toward the future to better enhance yourself and the people you will eventually influence.
Spend Time Where It Counts
Have you ever noticed that people will surf Facebook to look at pictures, read about other people’s lives, even watch “The Bachelor” and other reality shows, but they won’t spend one minute trying to figure out who they are and how they can enrich their lives? People will spend tens of thousand dollars on their wedding day which lasts 24 hours yet they rarely spend a dime on developing their own life and evolving as a person. That moment will come and go, but your own existence presents opportunities and challenges every day. Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I had a beautiful wedding and we spent time preparing for it, but I enjoyed the process and try to instill these same values within our family each and every day. We don’t tell each other that we love one another only on holidays and anniversaries, but we try and do it every day and spend time growing ourselves and our family unit. When you do this, you build lasting relationships that have a solid foundation built on trust and love.
Consider the course of your life and think about the many events, experiences, and factors that played a meaningful part in your life. As much as everyone wants to believe that there is the perfect family, the reality is there is not. Every family has issues to deal with, whether it be an alcoholic parent, a disease, an addiction, a disgruntled family member, and so on. If someone tells you anything to the contrary then they are simply turning a blind eye to it and don’t want to address it. It is easier to live avoiding issues then dealing with them. These issues and problems are a part of life. Sometimes they become so pronounced that they end up shaping the person you have become. For example, if you have ever lived with an alcoholic parent, then you eventually tend to believe that everyone drinks and it is acceptable to stumble around the house or yell at the family. That is your “normal.” Or you may live with a parent that is verbally and physically abusive to their spouse, and then you think it is acceptable to treat people in the same way; you lash out at other people because that is what your parents did. That has been so engrained into your subconscious mind that you don’t know any different. The good news is that it is not normal and you can overcome these addictions with the proper guidance and education.
Over the course of my lifetime, I have seen many of my friend’s parents get divorced and I always wondered what the short and long term impact would be on the child. Regardless of what the situation was like in the home, they could usually still turn to Mom and Dad as their safe haven of support. Once Mom and Dad break that bond, they are left pondering if anything truly does last. Why did they split up? Did I cause the breakup? Is there anything I could have done to salvage the marriage? Who will I live with? Will they get back together? There are many questions that race through a child’s mind, and whether they know it or not, this one major event is shaping them and the way in which they see relationships. There is plenty of empirical evidence showing the effect this has on a child’s behavior and we are keenly aware of the divorce rates in Canada and North America. If you are reading this and you find yourself saying this is me, then know you are not alone and many people around you have been through very similar circumstances.
Why Change Now?
So the question persists: why change now? What has caused you to assess your life and want to make a concerted effort to change? The desire to change usually comes after an extended period of pain, depression or repeated failures, along with a lack of being able to form a direction on your own. You have simply had enough of living in mediocrity (or even worse) and your current trajectory will not bring you the level of satisfaction and enjoyment you deserve out of life. It is a feeling of knowing that there is more out there and we were not put on this earth to be average. This point usually comes after many months and years or soul searching and feeling unhappy and unfilled with your present situation.
A catastrophic event is also another profound reason for change. Indeed, a life changing diagnosis is just that, as is a misfortune beyond your control that leaves you no choice. These can include a serious car accident, a death in the family, being diagnosed with a terminal disease, a divorce, or any negative situation that forces you to change your course of action. I have found that what usually causes these serious issues can be rectified by doing exactly the opposite. For example, a divorce could have been caused by not spending enough time together or showing enough love and affection. You may have been too focused on yourself and not your partner. You need to be cognizant of this and ensure you change your approach if you decide to find a new partner in the future.
The reasons that precipitate change are really the first steps in your journey toward contentment, peace and joy. They are necessary in some respects because it takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to make the adjustments that were inevitably forthcoming. If you find yourself just going through the motions or not really enjoying your life, then it is clearly time to take action and start living the life you were meant to live. It is when you recognize this consciously to make improvements to better your life that your spirit will come alive and you will feel invigorated to follow your passion and make a difference in this world.
What Is Your Life’s Purpose?
The depth of this question is something that people spend far too little time uncovering and understanding. The majority of people in North America do the exact same thing every day for 30 plus years until they retire, and then by that time their health has deteriorated, their savings have dwindled, and they are too miserable to enjoy the life they thought they would. The reason for this is that they resigned themselves to a career that simply paid the bills but did not fulfill them mentally, physically or spiritually. In fact, it actually did the opposite and had an adverse effect on their physiology and well-being. I have seen people who absolutely love their job and find happiness in the smallest nuances it brings, but then I have seen the opposite where they dread Monday morning and just wait for the weekend. Which one are you?
Regardless of what you may have been conditioned to think, each and every person has unique and special talents that this world needs and requires. What are your God-given talents…and are you using them in your career or day-to-day endeavors? No two people are alike and you have been carefully created to bring something extremely valuable to this material existence. If you keep an open mind and be aware of your surroundings, you will
notice the diverse and unique skills of the human race. We have doctors, lawyers, caregivers, scientists, teachers, sales professionals, athletes, tradesman, entrepreneurs, specialists, and more. You have been specifically called to tap into your inherent abilities so you can fulfill your obligation to society.
Consider these questions: What are you good at? What things do people come to you for guidance about? In what areas are you considered to be an expert? If you haven’t already discovered this and feel like you are drifting on open water then I suggest you pay close attention to the following two points. The first one is to ask your friends and the people around you to tell you what they feel you are good at. What do you do well? How would they define you? What skills do they see in you? The people who have known you for many years can see things that you cannot. These people will be honest and transparent about your talents.
Also consider: What are you passionate about? What brings out the fire in you? When do you feel most alive? It is so evident when you see people talk about a subject they really enjoy speaking about. They light up and have this energy that is contagious and infectious. It elevates the atmosphere in the room. Some of the best ideas come from people that pursue their passion and take the time to hone it every day. Passion means wanting to learn more about that discipline or topic, and wanting to be a pioneer in that field and really become an expert. You should never stop educating yourself and you should prophesize about it wherever possible. Passion is not something that you can teach or learn in a class. It is inherent in you and has a deep foundation within your inner being.