You have chosen your heart’s desires now? It was not the easy process you thought it would be was it! In this microwave culture, we expect, nay DEMAND that our goals and objectives in life be quick and easy. If it doesn’t come quickly or easily, we assume one of two things: 1) there’s something wrong with my goals and I’ll never attain them, they’re a silly thing or 2) there’s something wrong with me, and I’m a failure that doesn’t deserve to have my heart’s desires. That kind of attitude will always slow you down!
When my family went on vacations, my Dad would get down “the Map” and trace out our route, and make suggestions in a notebook for possible attractions and activities. He’d get the requisite maps and assemble them on the table to make sure he had one for each state we’d travel in. He’d write to the chamber of commerce for festival information, fees, lodging, licenses needed, permissions needed, all the details we’d need to have a successful vacation. He was a master! In his notebook, he’d make note of the distances, the amount of gas that would be needed, the number of nights’ lodging and the number of hours on the road we’d spend every day. He would supervise the packing. If you couldn’t carry your luggage to the car, you had too much stuff. We got to the point that we could get 3 kids’ and 2 adults’ stuff packed into 4 suit cases. Mom always brought a jar of peanut butter and bread. Each morning, we’d go to the grocery store, buy donuts or rolls and milk and juice and a fruit of some sort. We’d eat breakfast in the motel, lunch at a picnic place, and then have dinner out. On the 1st day of vacation, we’d leave on time and get to our 1st stop precisely on schedule. On the second day however, someone would lose something important, forget something at the motel, get car sick, get into a fight, or the car would break down. We NEVER got to the 3rd day on schedule. All heck would break loose! I remember 2 trips to Yellowstone park where the first time, the shutter on the camera didn’t work–no pictures. The 2nd trip, he left the lens cap on, so we had 72 blank pictures. The boys and I bought postcards and we got some pictures on our little Instamatics. Another time, the fuel pump went out. Another time, we left all our laundry in the laundromat. By the time I started going on vacations with my own family, I had been in every state in the west, and all but 5 states east of the Mississippi River, and I remember a lot about each trip. But it wasn’t the destination, the focal point of every trip, it was the journey. How did my parents handle the inevitable snafus? How did our family react to the disappointments, the delays, the car sickness? It was always an adventure. We didn’t have the “I wanna go home” problems. We had the “Ooooo! largest ball of string! Let’s go see that!” It changed our perspective on life. We didn’t fail, we took the scenic route.
What does that have to do with your heart’s desires? It’s not reaching the goals that impacts us, it’s what we need to become to move along that path. So let’s look at those heart’s desires from yesterday.
- $200,000 per year. This was not a dollar amount really. This was the desire to be able to eliminate debts, to continue to improve the quality of life, and to plan and implement a retirement program whereby this quality of life remains the same. It’s the flexibility and freedom available to follow your dreams and enjoy life to the fullest.
- BMW car. This was not a car, really. It was the respect (perhaps even envy) of the people this person associates with. It was a statement that this person’s life had meaning and value. A fancy car will not give that lasting impression, a well-lived life will.
- The perfect wedding for the daughter. This is a difficult concept. Do you remember your wedding? How much? Why is it essential that the bride not start her new life in want or making do? It may be the most important day of her life, but if it’s the best day of her life, her prospects for the 40 years she has left are not good! It’s not the flowers, or the pictures, or the limo or even the dress, it’s the commitment in front of friends and family that this woman is making to her husband, and he to her.
We have discovered, I hope, that it is not the Things that make the life, it is the life that influences us and those around us. It is the challenges overcome, the disappointments turned to joys, the bad luck turned to opportunity. It is the journey.
Books to read: Living a Purposeful Life; Rich Dad, Poor Dad; Who are you and What do you want?