When you consider definiteness of purpose, is there more to it than just a made up mind? What about why you are here? What about who you are? As a man of faith, I am persuaded that we have a divine design. I am persuaded that it is purposed that all things be under our feet, under our dominion if you will. I am persuaded that the design is for me to succeed, to grow, to flourish, and to thrive. Now, since I am persuaded in this area and to this extent, I am also persuaded that it has been purposed for me to win. I therefore now have a different kind of definiteness to my purpose and this one increases my tenacity because no matter what, I am purposed to win. You may ask, “Really?” I will say, “Definitely!”
If you have ever been through Atlanta, Georgia chances are you have driven through “Spaghetti Junction”. This is not a place on restaurant row and it’s not a bounce house for kids that feeds them pasta and soda. Spaghetti Junction is a massive interchange of interstate bridges. Several different main arteries of travel all intersect in one area. There are bridges on top of bridges, all spanning gaps created by the need for everyone to pass this way at once. If you were to interrupt this engineering masterpiece, the chaos would be a “show stopper”. You see, it wouldn’t work if only one set of travelers had a bridge. The flow would be non-existent if that were the case (Atlanta residents probably suspect there is only one bridge open at rush hour). Everyone must be able to cross for the exchange to be successful. It is the same way with what we are trying to accomplish every day. If we reserve the crossing for only us, it will result in a stalemate. But if we make a way for others to cross also, then we increase our own capacity as a result.
Have you ever exemplified a definiteness of purpose? What did you do today or even yesterday that showed a definiteness of purpose? Well, How about driving? As you were traveling from one place to the next did you make adjustments? Did you have to slow down or move over? What about a detour or a “road closed” sign? Had you come upon one of those, what would you have done? We all know the answers to these questions and they go to the same place. You would have done whatever you needed to do to take a different route, merge or whatever to get where you intended to go. Your mind was made up and your purpose was definite. What about your life? Are you as definite about that? Does what you desire in your relationships and your career throw you some detours? Is getting where you want to go an option? If not, then make the daily adjustments to get there. You’ll be glad you did and so will everyone else, especially if you are bringing the bean dip.
Every heard the saying, "The early bird gets the worm?" Do you believe it? Here is another question. Is there only one worm? Now I am not saying that there is not reward for getting up early and taking action, but is there only one worm? A strong work ethic is good but how about a scarcity mindset? Well, let's just look at it for a few moments. Only one worm = competition, dog-eat-dog, king of the hill. Only one worm = why try because someone else is better and faster than I am anyway. Only one worm = get it and hide it and don't let anyone else know what your secret is, and since there is only one worm and I have it, then I am going to protect this one day after day while everyone else is still going out day after day. And this is my personal favorite, Only one worm = "Honey I don't have time to play, I have to get it while I can because it may not last. We will play tomorrow."....and the cat's in the cradle (You know the song). A scarcity mindset will hold you in a prison of your own making. Live abundantly! There are so many worms out there its not even funny. Just look in your driveway the next time it comes a down pour. I mean how do the birds make it with such scarcity? Live abundantly! Live! Abundantly!! Look around. Life is looking you in the eye and wants to go outside and play.......
All of us have had those moments when we were giving it everything we’ve got. Our sled will only go so fast in the snow, our paper airplane will only fly so high, and “why is my wife’s go-cart always faster than mine?” Well, it’s frustrating when you want to fly higher, do more, go faster and you just can’t. We aren’t satisfied and we look for a way to increase our capacity. We can increase our capacity in life by partnering with others. A single horse can pull 8,000 lbs. but hook up a 2nd horse and together they can pull 24,000 lbs. That’s a 50% rise in single capacity just by adding another horse. In the same way, we need others and they need us. Together we are stronger, better, smarter, faster, taller, more creative, etc. We can do so much more together than we can alone. So, when your capacity seems to be red-lining, hoist a sail and catch the wind. You’ll move forward faster than you thought possible. Now, I still think the choke was stuck on my go-cart…
What do you schedule every day in your calendar? Do you control it or does someone or something else? Our priorities always make it to our calendar if it is a real priority. I have developed a system that helps me align my priorities with each day. It is an acronym and it is the words "I CAN".
I- Inspire. Who will I inspire and to whom shall I subscribe to get my daily inspiration?
C- Connect. Who will I contact today? Who should I reach out to today?
A-Always Follow Up. Who will I follow up with today?
N-Never Pass Up an Opportunity. This means "How can I" and "Who can I?" What do I need to be prepared with so I can serve at a moments notice?
This helps me tremendously and causes me to think on the front end and prepare instead of thinking on the back end and repair.
So let me ask you, What is your daily agenda?
I recently heard John Maxwell deliver a very good question that we should ask ourselves when we are challenged. The question is “How can I?” John explained that if we ask, “Can I?”, then we are inferring the possibility of failure. This would indicate stopping and not trying anymore. Yet if we ask, “How can I?” we are automatically inferring that we will succeed, we just have to find a way. This was very thought provoking for me and I began to do this myself. I found that I no longer stopped when I met resistance, but rather I continued to seek the answer. Understanding that no one ever builds a bridge by themselves, I also began to ask, “Who can I?” In other words, who do I need to be connected to in order for this bridge to get built? Adding this question has helped me in many ways because now I ask questions of others and gain much insight from it. You might say that my capacity for building my bridge has increased since I started including others in the process. It is amazing what joining with others does to our capacity. So, let me ask you, “How can you?”, and “Who can You?”
My wife and I used to love to get those “I Spy” books. We would work for hours trying to find certain things on a page. We couldn’t wait for the next book to come out to see what new items we could find. Every once in a while, we would get to a page that we couldn’t get past because we could not find what we were looking for. We would get so frustrated if we couldn’t find something because we knew it was there. Even though we couldn’t see it, we knew that it had a place on that page and it would eventually come into our awareness once our eyes adjusted. Isn’t it the same in our lives? Aren’t we constantly trying to find what is hidden to us. Don’t we feel like giving up sometimes? Just like the book, we need to acknowledge that though it may not be apparent to us right now, we have something that has a place on the page of our success. It has been designed for us and it is there. In time our eyes will adjust and we will become aware of what we knew was there all along. And when we find it, we won’t be able to keep from sharing it. Now, I spy something you don’t see…
I asked my wife the other day, “Honey, do you have a fulfillment threshold?” After much pondering, she said what I also said for myself, “Yes”. You see I asked her what I had already asked myself and I suspected she would have the same answer as I did . A fulfillment threshold is something that we will at some point cross and “then” we will be fulfilled. It only has the definition that “we” give it. “I will be fulfilled when_______” …and we fill in the blank. When I realized this truth, I then analyzed my definition. I had specified conditions that had to be met in order to be fulfilled. This mindset gave me a reactionary bias instead of a proactive bias. The result was that I was always waiting for the pathway to open instead of blazing a trail for others to follow. When we have a threshold mentality, there will always be another threshold that we will define once we cross the original one. This will result in years of waiting and can even result in bitterness when our conditions are not met. The truth I want to share with you is that we hold the key to our fulfillment. Happiness is a choice because either we see the obstacle or we see the opportunity. I will say more about this in the days and weeks to follow but for now, suffice it to say that how we see ourselves and where we see ourselves affects how we see everything. So, do you have a fulfillment threshold?