One down … eleven to go

One down … eleven to go

 

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” – Oscar Wilde

 

Do you think the above quote is an accurate reflection of most people? What about those in your community? What about you? Which of these will define your life in 2017: living or existing?

Play along with me for a minute. Pretend it is next New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2017. Now look back over your year; what do you see? If you keep going the way you are today, will you have simply existed … or will you have lived an active, thriving life?

If your life is already thriving, awesome! What makes it so? If it’s not, how can you move from existing to a life that is thriving? What changes need to happen? Which of these are in your control? Which are not?

Unfortunately, too many of us are simply living day-to-day with no purpose — we just exist. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. Our culture teaches us that if we could just acquire more and do more we would be happy. But that’s not living your life, that’s trying to keep up with someone else’s.

The day you decide to start living your life with purpose, the purpose God designed you for, is the day you will transition from existing to living.
It’s always a scary move to step out in faith and seek what your God-given purpose is. It can be even scarier to start doing what you feel God is calling you to do. But it can mean the difference between living fully and simply existing. Wouldn’t that be worth the risk?

When you simply exist, trying to keep up with the Joneses, you push yourself to be successful and achieve what you think you are supposed to. If you go too far, you can come to dislike life’s pressure cooker—maybe even life. You might even hate the race and what it’s costing you and your family; but maybe you’re more afraid of stopping.

Or maybe you still feel like you are winning your race—it’s exhilarating, and the price to pay hasn’t hit you between the eyes with its sticker shock yet. You are in your prime, handling the strain, and gaining ground. The sky seems to be the limit.

But no matter how good the race is going for you right now, ask yourself if you feel like you’re really living when you’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses. What will your children remember more? Will it be your title, the big house, the fancy car, and the unlimited cell phone data? Or will it be your eighty-hour work weeks and that you weren’t around very much?

More money will never make you feel alive—you can make millions and feel dead inside. More stuff won’t do it—you can spend your way through a lottery jackpot and still be destitute in heart. Going faster and passing others up won’t do it—you can meet and exceed every goal you or others set for yourself and still be unfulfilled.

Living for the Joneses will always, invariably, have consequences. Yours might even be significant: children who don’t know you, health sacrificed on the altar of production, stress-induced health issues, a marriage on the rocks, a life that falters. We don’t know your consequences, but be assured, they are coming so long as the Joneses is your goal.

If you are like me before my “Joneses Moment”—afraid and unsure about taking the next step—you may be tired, burned out, and desperately thirsty from racing through a spiritual and emotional desert. But you don’t have to be. Don’t be afraid of leaning into God and asking what He has planned for your life. I’ll guarantee you one thing … it’s always much better than anything you could ever dream up.

Tackle your fears head on, conquer them, and experience a more fulfilling life! A life that makes you come alive—the kind of alive you can feel only when you are living God’s purpose for you.

Today is January 31st. One month down; don’t let the other eleven this year slip by just as fast without pausing long enough to ponder the questions this note has raised in your mind. Contact me if you want to chat. As a professional life coach, I help others get from where they are to where they want their lives to be.

 

Looking ahead,

 

Bob Karcher

Author, Coach, Friend

www.WhoAreTheJonesesAnyway.com

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Pop the Cork

Pop the Cork! Pour the bubbly! Launch the fireworks!

Why? Because Who Are the Joneses Anyway? is now an Amazon bestseller. Nearly 1,800 Kindle versions of our new book were downloaded in just one week – that’s a lot of new readers!

What a wonderful way to start the year — we can’t think of any group we would rather celebrate with than all of you. You are the ones that have supported and encouraged us since Day One. And you believed in this project even when we doubted … thank you for that.

We didn’t write today just to showcase the success of our first book. The real reason for this blog entry is to encourage you to live out the calling on your life. Don’t just dream it – live it! That’s what we’re doing now. We didn’t use to. If you have read our book, you know exactly what we mean.

The point is … we have discovered our life’s purpose and are living it out. You can to! We used to live for the world; constantly striving to become more, have more, and do more than anyone else. The world calls it “Keeping up with the Joneses”.

Our lives then were like running on a treadmill that kept going faster and faster … and it got harder and harder. But no matter how fast we ran, we weren’t really getting anywhere …we were still just running on life’s treadmill!

We needed a change and we knew it!

Then came what we now refer to as our “Joneses Moment”, a season when we started to ask ourselves “who are the Joneses anyway?”. The more we asked this question, the more we came face to face with the Joneses. As we did, we had to figure out why we were running so fast just to keep up with them. They really weren’t who we wanted to be anyway!

What changed for us since then? How did we move from “keeping up with the Joneses” to lives filled with passion and purpose … knowing who we are, why we are here, and doing something about it?

For us, we needed to start with a new perspective,, a new outlook. Think of it not so much as reframing – simply trying to make the old lives look new! No, we needed a beautiful new picture of what we wanted our lives to look like. We found it. Or, actually, we rediscovered it.

You see, we were taught how to live life better, we just let the weeds of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the real life out of us. Luckily it was temporary.

For us, we found our new perspective in the Bible. It was here we uncovered that who we are does not depend on how well we do in the world; our true identities and reason for living are only found in Christ (Ephesians 1:11 MSG [paraphrased]).

We had been running on life’s treadmill so fast, doing the best we could. We came to identify ourselves by our jobs and what we accumulated; we just thought that was how it worked. But now we know we had it backward. Our identity in Christ comes first – our role in the world and everything else flows from Him.

This changed everything for us and it can for you too.

If your life feels like you are running on a treadmill that keeps going faster and faster but isn’t getting you anywhere, perhaps it’s time for some new life perspective for you too. Look, we aren’t evangelists … we’ve just had such a dramatic redirection in our lives from simply existing to really living that we want to tell folks how we got there.

That’s what our book Who Are the Joneses Anyway? is all about … helping you discover who you are and why you are here so you too can live the intentional, authentic life filled with passion and purpose that you were created for.

If that is something you want but don’t have we encourage you to contact us. Don’t go another day without saying “enough!” You deserve the life you were made for, not the life the world pulls you into.

Thanks to each and every one of you for helping us spread our message and see our book reach bestseller status. If you haven’t seen our website lately, take a peek. Just click here and you’ll be taken there.

 

Praying for new beginnings in 2017,

 

Bob & Susan Karcher

Authors, Speakers, Coaches

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Three ways to create better New Year’s Resolutions

“I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.” — Walter Cronkite

Before I forget, I want to let you know that, for a limited time, you can get a FREE Kindle version of our award-winning book Who Are The Joneses Anyway? … look for the details at the end of this blog post.

Resolutions. Goals. Objectives. We call them many things but this time of year we most commonly hear the term “resolution” when we make a decision to do something in the coming year.

You’ve been there. It’s New Year’s Eve and you feel like you must declare to yourself and the world at least one big thing you’ll commit to doing in the next twelve months. You’re under pressure… and so you go for the typical, the obvious… and you commit to a quick answer, perhaps even one of these: spend less, save more, live life to the fullest, get organized, live healthier, lose weight, work less, recreate more.

These are all terrific. And you meant it when you said it. Perhaps you even signed up for another gym membership, finally bought that new planner, or even cut up the credit card to your favorite retailer.

So why do so many of our resolutions fail so quickly? Here’s why…

Too many resolutions don’t make it past the first two weeks of the year for many reasons. Here are some common ones and ways to help ensure your resolutions are successful.

Dreaming too small.  Now wait, wouldn’t a resolution fail because it was too big? Actually it’s not the size of your goal that matters here. What’s really important is connecting your resolution to your bigger dreams.

Here’s an example. Suppose you want to “spend less.” Terrific goal. But why do you want to spend less? How will your life be better if you do? Perhaps it’s because excess spending is creating unnecessary debt and stress in your marriage.

Maybe a happier marriage is what you are really trying to achieve. Now there’s a goal worth shooting for! If over-spending is creating marital stress then by all means figure out how to reduce spending but look at how this action is connected to a much larger life-improvement goal. This will help give you the motivation to make your resolution a reality. Connect any resolution to a bigger dream like this.

Too self-focused. Most of the resolutions I hear are focused on improving one’s self. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a better you, but couldn’t we all think a little more outwardly so long as we are dreaming big?

What do I mean by this? Well, rather than looking in the mirror and deciding how you can improve yourself, what if you looked through the window to see what needs there are in your community. Can you help in any of those arenas? When we commit to service outside of our walls and help others in need, we can discover greater joy and impact than any simple resolution could ever deliver.

Consider our earlier example regarding spending. Perhaps spending less has nothing to do with a happier marriage. Maybe for you, spending less would allow you to work less and invest time with others in ways you haven’t been able to before. This would be a wonderfully big, service-oriented resolution.

Going it alone. If you want a much higher possibility that your resolution will become reality, tell someone about it and give them the permission to help hold you accountable. Or, even better, get yourself a trained, professional coach.

If you need to get your finances in line, get a finance coach. If you need to improve your overall health, hire a trained health coach. If you are going through a life transition, a life coach could see you through.

We seek out a mechanic when our car needs fixing and a CPA when our taxes become complicated. So why not do the same for yourself? You are much more complex than a car or a tax return. A good coach will have tools, experience, and training necessary to help get you from where you are to where you really want to be.

If you want to chat about your life goals, simply reply to this note… it’s never too late to call a “mulligan” (a “do-over”) and claim a new resolution for this year that dreams big, is service oriented, and includes help where needed.

Now, for that FREE Kindle version of Who Are the Joneses Anyway? Simply click here and you will be taken to our Kindle page on Amazon where you can get yours for free, but only until January 8th. Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay. You can download the Kindle app for free from your iTunes or Android app store for almost any digital device.

Wishing you an amazing start to this New Year,

Bob Karcher

Author – Speaker – Professional Life Coach

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