Have you ever noticed if you set a goal it seems flat, boring, and lifeless? Goals are great but they don’t have the energy to propel us forward unless they fit with who we are and what we like to do. That, I believe, is because they do not fit easily into the role we play. They exist outside ourselves as something to strive for but not something we live or to put it another way the story we are writing with our life. Again I want to encourage you to look at storylineblog.com and find out more about these concepts.
Let’s take on your roles for a moment. Who are you: a mother, dad, brother, sister, daughter, business owner, student, missionary, retiree? Improving the “storyline” of your life that is other focused can add a more energetic and interesting twist to the plot than just setting a goal. Just write down one of your roles. Write down “leader.” Imagine what that means what story develops from being a leader. Do you want to get a few people together and deal with a community problem? Let’s say there are a number of kids in your local schools that have no dads living at home and they need a role model or mentor to give them an adult besides their busy working mother to help them with homework and gaining hope. Maybe your friends agree that you are going to tackle that problem together and raise awareness. You may work through an agency that exists or create an entirely new approach through your local church.
Do you see how taking on your role as leader changes the dynamic rather than just setting a flat uninteresting goal? Here is the thing that I find the most challenging as I look at my roles – there are too many. It is hard to live more than five or six roles well. The more roles we have the more difficult it becomes to filter our decisions properly. Things get unclear and very cluttered. Cutting things out and drawing down our focus is necessary to prevent burnout. That is something I need to work on. I sometimes feel like a juggler and I am not good at it.
So later today, if you have time, just write down five or six of the roles you would really like to give some attention to right now. There may be more in your thoughts that you must attend to at some point but pick five or six for right now. Then begin to think about how you could really make them interesting and exciting to live. Think outside yourself: Brother, Speaker, Mother, Coach, Community Leader, Seeker of Truth – what will you write down?