Sunday, September 29, 2013

Purpose and the RIght Path

One of my teachers once said that the way you know you're on the right path is that it works. Now, that doesn't mean you don't run into blocks and brick walls, but it does mean that you can find a way around them or find a way to change yourself or your project in order to find the flow again and have it work.

James Redfield

I'm very aware and very conscious of the path I chose in life, and very aware of the path I didn't choose.

Taylor Swift

Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.

Bill Bradley

This is it.   My monthly goal has been reached. I really don’t need to write today in order to reach my goal (I could write tomorrow), but I do need to write because, well, I just need to write.  I’m feeling gratitude.   Yesterday was a nice day and I’m extremely grateful.  I’m also grateful that when I’m done here, I will have written 25 blogs this month and over 225 since I started this.
One of the best things about this work is reading some of my previous blogs and sincerely enjoying them.  I am reminded that this is what I want to do with my time and life.  This is how I can best spend my time and my life, right here with my keyboard or with pen and paper.  I’m so grateful that I’ve been given this task, this gift.  I pray that I will be more faithful and more diligent with it.  This really is my dream, to do this as much as possible.
Is it a realistic dream?   Yes.  Do I know for sure I would be happy writing all the time?  I think so.  I’m always a little cautious when pursuing dreams because there was one I pursued for almost 15 years and when I finally attained it, it turned out to be disastrous.  I dreamed of being an elementary school teacher, but the fantasy far exceeded the reality. I’m not the first person to pursue the wrong career and I won’t be the last. Could I have avoided all the pain and unhappiness and wasted years?  Were there signs that I missed?
I think there are a few questions that tell us if we’re on the right path or not, whether regarding a career, a relationship or other major decisions. 
·      Is it fun?
·      Am I enjoying the process of getting there as much as the thought of being there?
·      Am I putting in the necessary amount of time and preparation?
·      When I’m engaged in the activity, do I feel successful?
·      When I’m engaged in the activity, do I feel peaceful?
·      When I’m engaged in the activity, do I lose all track of time?
·      When I’m engaged in the activity, am I improving naturally?
·      What are others saying about my work?  Am I being affirmed in my choices?
·      If this were my only choice, would I be happy about that?

Not all of these questions may necessarily be answered affirmatively and none of them all the time.  However, if the majority of my experiences with my endeavor and the majority of my feelings are positive, then I’m probably on the right track. 
(The beauty of writing on the computer is that I can erase and start over.  When I was writing this blog, I was writing about all the negative experiences I had before, during and after getting my teaching credential.  But it was painful and unnecessary to relive that episode.  So instead, I’d like to look at those questions with regard to eventually pursuing writing full time.)   
Looking at each of the questions above, I can easily and without reservation answer yes to all of them.  This doesn’t mean I don’t have my difficulties or bad days or setbacks, but they are always the exception and never the rule.  When I made other choices, good days were the exception.   When I'm on the right path, the only bad days I have are when I feel deterred in reaching my goals by others or by me.  I also have bad days when I feel like the prospect of reaching my goals is doubtful.  Then I get scared.  When, however, I’m fully engaged in my goal, I’m happy, excited and there is little or no doubt that I’m on the right path.  I’ve also learned that the more focused and diligent I am with my goals, the sooner my doubts fade.
Here’s a question I haven’t asked in a long time:  What does all this have to do with Purpose?  The answer is, “Everything, obviously.”
Whether I’m talking about buying a house on the beach, going to college, planning a vacation, being in a ministry, starting a business or pursuing a new career, I should find joy, power and peace in what I’m doing, because it aligns with my Purpose.  It is part of the reason I was created.  It is the reason and the motivation to Get Started and to Keep Going…on the right path.