Have you designed your life the way you want it?
If your deepest desires were fulfilled, how would your life change? What would you do differently?
In the later years of high school and definitely in college we are taught skills for a craft, trade or profession. But we are not taught how to design and implement a fulfilling life. We are not taught how to live our lives on purpose.
Life provides us with a message that can teach us and enable us to live a more fulfilling life. Neglecting to listen and learn from these messages they become problems. Problems then turn into crises. If we don’t become aware of the crises and learn the lesson life is trying to teach, our lives will become filled with chaos.
In order to learn from the lessons we receive, we must first become aware of our own identity, our God-given purpose, and begin to live intentionally instead of reacting to the lessons we encounter.
Your Life – “Me-Movie”
Your ME-MOVIE started production one week after conception – according to the latest scientific evidence. You are the main character in your ME-MOVIE. There are a lot of supporting actors and actresses. Your parents or primary caregiver play a major role in your movie, as well as, siblings and extended family. The relationships and interaction among these leading characters greatly affect the script in your ME-MOVIE.
A recent survey conducted by Hart Research for ZERO TO THREE revealed that most parents are not aware of how deeply babies and toddlers are affected by their early experiences and the events going on around them. Even though babies don’t understand what is happening, they are like sponges absorbing the emotions of their parents or caregivers. Even before birth, they sense conflict, arguments, sadness, anger, stress, as well as, love, warmth, security, and excitement. All of these experiences are recorded in the child’s ME-MOVIE – in your ME-MOVIE.
Responding vs. Reacting
As a general rule, we react automatically to life events allowing external circumstances to dictate our life instead of consciously choosing our response. When we chose our response we direct and design our lives.
The first step in responding to life requires understanding about what we believe about ourselves. Core beliefs, habitual thinking patterns or automatic thoughts, define the very essence of how we see ourselves, others, the world, and the future.
Our experiences create our core beliefs which create our automatic thoughts, which are continually playing in the background. They direct how we evaluate new events and situations, continuously shaping who we are and what we are capable of. They control how we feel, what we say to ourselves and others, and dictate how we will behave, consequently, creating new scenes in our ME-MOVIE. The script of our ME-MOVIE is self-controlling, self-directing, and self-programming, whether it’s positive or negative. It can program us to fail or to succeed. It can program us to have a happy, productive life or one of failure and unhappiness.
The Bible tells us to destroy thought distortions, such as worries, fears, self-condemning, critical, or negative thoughts. We are told to test or analyze our thoughts and replace the distortions with thoughts that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. This sounds rather idealistic and, perhaps, impossible. The fact is it can be done. We can retrain our brains.
Identifying Your Core Beliefs
You are going for a performance review, which could lead to a promotion. As you prepare for the review you have three possible thoughts:
“I deserve the promotion”:
Your Internal Thought: “I am a hard worker with a strong work ethic. I deserve this promotion.”
Your Reaction: You feel confident and at ease, as you walk into the office for your review.
“I’m not sure I deserve this promotion”:
Your Internal Thought: “I’ve worked hard, but someone else will probably get the promotion, not me.”
Your Reaction: You don’t feel great about the review as you head into the boss’s office. You’re nervous but controlled. You get a good review but do not get the promotion.
“I’m not deserving”:
Your Internal Thought: “There’s no way I’m getting the promotion. My coworkers are smarter than I am.”
Your Reaction: You are very anxious as you walk into the boss’s office. You know he’s hard to please and you don’t think he really likes you. Your review was okay, but not good. You don’t get the promotion.
Put yourself in this position. Which scenario are you?