We know the past few months have been difficult. But can we let you in on a secret? God works all things together for GOOD—even this moment—so that His divine purpose is accomplished in you and in the world (Romans 8:28).
No matter where you are today or what you’ve experienced in this season, God has better things in store for you. In fact, we believe the best is yet to come, and we’re here to help get you ready for it.
We’ve got four questions (and maybe a follow-up or two!) for you to ask yourself. They’re right now questions designed to make you ready for what’s next.
Asking them will shift your perspective.
Answering them will change your focus.
Actually applying what you discover will propel you forward, even now.
Question 1: How has your idea of success shifted during the past few months?
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “There are two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” It follows that if you never believe in miracles, you’ll never see them. But, if an expectation for miracles is the lens you look through in your everyday life, you’ll see them—often. Perspective is everything.
Right now, your perspective may be a little out of focus. Whether you’re part of an essential industry or the new heroine of homeschooling who is still a working boss lady, you’ve been tested, tried and proven in ways you never expected. Though the days may be a challenge at times, every iteration of this moment has been an invitation to grow in who you are and in how you do what you do.
Whether you know it or not, this means you’ve also been expanding the way you perceive success. We challenge you to really think about how this slow-down, shut-down season has highlighted the meaning of success in new ways. If you haven’t given this much thought, start here: What has become most important to you? How has this moment changed your way of thinking about yourself and your life?
Listen carefully to how you answer these questions. Your answers are clues to how your perspective on success has shifted. Let them refresh your focus for what success will look like when this temporary normal passes.
Question 2: What part of your life (professional or personal) needs to stay quarantined, permanently?
If you’re like us, you have at least one pair of comfy pants that top this list. But there are likely other things in your life that should be permanently quarantined—things like overcommitting yourself and having no time to do the things that bring joy or never resting because you always have work to do. These unhelpful habits and patterns have not and will never serve you well. So they don’t need to be with you moving forward.
Seeing these and letting them go can be confusing if you don’t realize that two or more things can be true of the same situation at the same time. For example, you can know professional success—from accolades to accomplishments and the corresponding accessories—and still be unfulfilled in your personal life. Both success and a lack of fulfillment can exist at the same time in you.
Perhaps in this moment there’s a gift that will help you separate what stays and what goes—a gift more valuable than any other because it can never be replaced. This gift is time.
As you experience weeks without a busy schedule full of commitments all day, every day, the passing of time is more noticeable; so is the value of time. Consider how you’re using your time differently in this season and how that’s impacting the way you see and experience life as whole.
If there are things you really miss about your life before social distancing went into effect, what are they and why do you miss them?
What don’t you miss at all?
What needs to stay behind you as you move forward?
Notice what pops into your head and into your heart. Let those ideas be the starting point for choosing what stays in quarantine while you step into what’s next.
Question 3: What do you want for yourself moving forward? What needs to change in order for this to happen?
Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ellen Glasgow, made the profound yet common sense observation that, “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” Did you need that reminder too?!
To think about forward movement means two things: you need to 1) determine the direction of growth, and 2) walk that way.
This may not be complicated, but it definitely isn’t easy. Forget the idea that the devil does detail work. His work is distraction! Periodt. And growth is stunted by distractions—something you’ve been living with for years.
In the forced pause of this moment, the distractions are on shut-down too. This has created space for family walks at night, good books and rich conversations with people you love. It’s also helped you see more clearly what belongs in your life and what doesn’t.
Clarity about your life brings the space between where you are and where you want to be into greater focus. If you don’t like where you’re at or where you’re going, now is a good time to rethink your destination.
We challenge you to make time to be still. To reflect, strategically, on what you really want for your life.
What are the desires and dreams in your heart?
Are you living them out?
If not, how can you start moving in that direction?
Pay attention to what pops into your head. Pray intentionally for clarity and guidance. As dreams return to your heart or dissatisfaction rises up in you, take note and move in, close. What do you see? It may take a minute to focus. Once you see what you really want for your life, make a list of what might be needed to make this happen. Then pick your first step and take it.
Question 4: If you could be a force for change following this moment, what would you do and why?
Alyssa recently had the privilege of being a part of the inaugural Global Launchpad Virtual Conference, hosted by the EUTH Foundation. Dr. Elizabeth Ruth Wilson, Founder and CEO, has a vision to inspire people from around the world to create change in their community and have fun while doing it.
We love her heart and vision. But we love her conviction even more. She didn’t wait for circumstances to get better. She launched her dream in the middle of quarantine. And people rose to the invitation to participate. Presenters from a variety of backgrounds and professions came together to inspire people from around the world. Their message was united around one compelling theme: you can change the world starting with what you have, right now.
That same force for change that inspired Dr. Wilson to take steps of faith in this moment is the same force at work in you.
You, too, are a force for change. The question is, what’s your change going to be?
Don’t let the opportunities of this moment pass by without considering the kind of impact you can make, right now.
You see, being a force for change happens one step at a time. You ask yourself questions about the future. Then you act in the present moment because what you do right now will determine what happens when this temporary normal shifts.
By now you’ve probably noticed all of these questions ask you to think and move.
To change anything in this big world or your everyday world, you need to start where you are with what you have. It’s the small, consistent steps that create big and lasting change.
Until next week, step well as you build life well.