“No, my son, do not aspire for wealth and labor only to be rich. Strive instead for happiness, to be loved and to love, and most important to acquire peace of mind and serenity.” – Og Mandino
At the start of my transition following a 25-year tenure in the world of advertising and publishing, I spent a lot of time trying to determine what my next career would look like. Finding my next big opportunity became my mission, the only thing that mattered.
I became obsessed with this mission. What company would I work for? What position would I have? What would my salary and benefits look like? All I cared about was finding the biggest title and compensation package I could get my hands on.
And my approach was all wrong. At first, anyway.
That was back in my old Keeping Up with the Joneses days. After running into one wall after another, I began seeking counsel from those friends, colleagues, and family members I trusted most. One of them asked me a paradigm shifting question that I’ll never forget. He asked: “What would you do for free if money were not an issue? Find that and go do it.”
Wow! This friend really challenged me to stop looking for my next job and start looking for my calling … that thing I was made to do. Friend and mentor Bob Shank, founder of The Master’s Program, would say it like this: “it’s the difference between what you’re paid to do and what you’re made to do.”
This thinking revolutionized my way of thinking, particularly about my career approach. Rather than starting with questions related to how much I wanted to make, I started with goals related to what I wanted most from life. I remained focused on ensuring my career supported rather than competed with these goals. To give you a peak under the hood, here are some of the top goals that made my list:
- Become a better husband and father
- Learn what “abiding in Christ” means and move towards that
- Live a life of generosity and service
- Seek joy, impact, and balance
These and other goals now keep me focused and serve as a filter for all decisions I make. Without these at the forefront, it would be too easy to slip back into my old pattern of life choosing me rather than me choosing life. And I don’t intend to ever go back.
So, let me ask you these questions. What top goals have you set to guide your life, family, ministry, and career? Are they serving as true filters for all that you do? Do others know about your goals and help hold you accountable to them?
Setting and living by effective goals is not something that happens overnight. It’s hard work. Contact me if you want some pointers.
Blessings on your continuing journey,
Author | Speaker | Coach