I would LOVE to find an easy way to make some extra dough without doing any real work. I always find it tempting when someone says something like, "make $100,000 a year by sitting at your computer and keeping your own schedule." I think we are all very familiar with the ever growing plethora of money making schemes. You have everything from the classic pyramid scheme that just evolves into differing forms like internet sales and herbal supplements to the computer marketing campaigns. If you are like me you have clicked on a few of these ideas and contemplated the validity of their claims, you understand the temptation. You know you have daydreamed about a life where you are in charge of your own schedule and get to live like a millionaire in the process, admit it.
The truth is that most of us never fall into money and we are required to work for our salaries. That is why it's referred to as earnings. We earn the money and that really isn't such a bad thing. Can you imagine a world with no work ethic? What we we be like if everything was handed to us on a silver platter? How would we treat others if we did not understand the meaning of the word sacrifice? Could we have compassion if we never were in a place where we needed compassion? The very fact that most of us are required to work to live gives us the ability to empathize with one another. We understand the principles of sowing and reaping.
As much as I hat to admit it, work makes us better people. If the claims of the money marketing schemes were true, I think it would rob us. We would become greedy and selfish. We need to understand the meaning of hard work because it teaches us the importance of determination. I am determined to improve my life and the lives of others. I have this drive because I know what it means to be poor and I understand how life is when it is lived from paycheck to paycheck. I don't have a 'silver spoon' or a quick money making solution but I do have something more important. I have a work ethic. With that said, I still wouldn't mind finding a simple way to may a few extra bucks. ;)
Galatians 6:7 - "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap."
The biggest dream killer is the dreamer. Did you hear me? I will repeat it just in case; the biggest dream killer is the dreamer. You may think that it’s the skeptics or a variety of other obstacles, but that is just not the case. Let’s use your life as an example. Think about a dream you once had, something you desired to achieve but never did. Maybe you wanted to be an NBA player, movie star or opera singer. Now think back to when you decided that was not going to happen. There it is – the death of your dream. You made the decision and the dream died. I will admit that there are times that dreams are killed outside of our control, but most of the time we are the ones responsible for their demise.
Those other things that we so often blame – the critics, our schedules, lack of finances, etc. – may be contributing factors to the dream’s collapse, but in the end the dreamer is the one who pulls the trigger. We accomplish those things we set our hearts and minds toward completing. We too often leave the dream at its conception instead of turning it into a vision. Those people whom we admire – the ones who achieved their dreams – did so because they transformed their dreams into visions. They set about the task of creating goals and realizing what they must do to make the dream a reality. They then worked hard to reach their goals and then made news ones as needed. Rarely does someone stumble into a dream. You won’t find anyone who says, “I realized that I wanted to be a doctor and poof I became one.” It just does not happen that way. Someone who wants to become a doctor realizes that it will take much work to achieve the dream and he/she commits to do the work. Had that same person never gone to school or worked as an intern, he/she would have become a dream killer instead of a doctor.
One very common reason people kill their dreams is because they fear what will happen when the dreams become reality. We don’t like to be criticized and we too often view criticism in a negative light. Criticism is often a good thing. When I wrote my first book I sent copies to other people. I wanted them to read the book and give me honest feedback. I got what I asked for and quickly realized my book wasn’t very good. I could have given up and killed my dream, right then and there. That’s not what I did though. I went back through my book and read it through their eyes. I realized they were right; the book definitely needed a revision. I set about the task of revising the book and repeated the process – only to revise it again. The end result was a book worthy to be published. Even since the writing of the book I have learned from the advice of others. I am now putting that advice to work in writing my second book. Had I decided to give up due to criticism – I would have been the dream killer; not the critics. In reality, they helped make the dream a possibility – they contributed to the life of the dream.
We too often blame the death of our dreams on the very things that can help make them real. If we listen to our critics and try to think of a way we can use their advice to help us better implement the dream, they become a gift instead of a curse. If we look at obstacles like money, for example, we can get creative at finding ways to make the money available. It may require working a second job or tweaking our budget to the point that we sacrifice in other areas. If the dream is worth living, the sacrifice is worth making. Your dream may require practice, reading, vocal lessons, etc. You must look at your obstacles as guides to the pathway of achieving your dream. As long as you see them as obstacles you will stay stalled. I think we all have dreams that we desire to achieve, but the world is full of dream killers. Are you one of them?
Jeremiah 29:11(ESV) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Are you discontent with the life you are living? Do you ever dream of doing something else, but just figure that dream will need to wait until some unseen future date? Are you living paycheck to paycheck and working an unfulfilling job to just pay the bills? Do you spend time at work daydreaming about what you would rather be doing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, today’s blog is for you.
A few years ago Americans got on the purpose bandwagon. We wanted to learn what our purpose was in life and we then sat and dreamed about how great life would be if we lived out that purpose. That’s where many of us stopped. We never pursued that purpose and we never made plans to do so. We just daydreamed about what life would be if we were there. For others, they struggled to even define a purpose. They knew of several things they were good at and other things they enjoyed but defining a purpose seemed too vast of an equation for them to calculate. Still others never worried about it because they were spending all of their time working very hard to just survive. There were a few, however, who decided that it didn’t matter what they had to do, and they were going to achieve their purpose in life. Those people were successful, not because they had knowledge but because they had determination.
I know that not everyone got on the purpose bandwagon. Some thought that it was a method for people to become more selfish (i.e. getting what they wanted in life) or they thought the idea was ridiculous. Many of us, however, do believe that we were created with a purpose. For us that purpose is not a selfish thing because we believe God created us with a purpose that He put into us. Following that purpose is to pursue God’s plan for our lives, not our own. One passage of scripture that sums this up is Jeremiah 29:11-13. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”(Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV)
The God who created you has a blueprint for your life. Learning your purpose is not about fulfilling selfish desires. It’s about fulfilling God’s desires for your life. Here is another passage to consider: Psalm 37:3-5 ESV: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (Side note: I encourage you to read all of Psalm 37. It’s really good.)
Did you see what it says? God will give you the desires of your heart. When we commit our lives to God and follow Him, His desires become our own. Trust Him. Commit your ways to Him. He will give you the desires of your heart. He will make His plans for your life come to fruition. We need to stop trying to make our purpose happen and begin seeking God to see how that purpose will unravel in our lives.
I am personally at a point in my life where I am willing to lay it down and discover God’s blueprint for my future. I can answer yes to almost every question at the beginning of this blog, but something is changing inside of me. I have realized that my happiness is not based on what I am doing but in who I am serving. When my desires line up with what God has placed within me, when I am doing those things for which He has gifted me and when I am following His blueprint for my life, I will live a fulfilling life with no regrets. I am beyond just obtaining knowledge; I now have determination to fulfill my God given purpose.
Are you willing to stop living life just for the sake of living life? Are you ready to put your gifts to work and fulfill the calling God has placed in your life? If so, jump on the train with me and let’s embark in the adventure of living life to its fullest – pursuing our God given purpose.
Do you ever wonder what it is you would do really well? Do you attempt new things in an effort to discover what it is you are passionate about? Are you trying to find your niche in life?
If this describes you, we have something in common. I seem to be constantly searching for my niche. The definition I am using today for niche is: a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing.
In my lifelong search I have discovered many things in which I excel and enjoy: acting, writing, public speaking, leading or even being in nature. I have also found things for which I am not so gifted: singing, playing instruments, math, running, and sitting still during meetings.
I tend to look at life as an optimist with a twist – instead of seeing the glass as half full; I see it as an interesting object that distorts my view of what is on the other side. The water in the glass tends to obscure the objects on the other side of the glass, making them appear different than their natural facade. I look for the humor or distortion in life. “What is it about this current situation that just isn’t right and what is funny about that fact?” That is the thought that goes through my mind. I think it is why I have so much trouble sitting through a meeting. I tend to drift from the topic of discussion and focus on things that will make me laugh. I sometimes forget that everyone else is listening to the presenter and I make a comment to someone nearby. That’s when reality usually strikes.
I know these things about myself because I am always curious. I ask myself questions like “Would I be more fulfilled in life if I were to quit my job and become a professional actor, writer, or public speaker? What would it take to make that happen? Should I quit my semi-enjoyable, relatively easy, flexible job to pursue a new career? Are my and my family’s gifts being utilized to their fullest extent? Would we be better able to use our talents in a different environment, city, state or even country? Where will we be in ten years? Will we be happier when we live in a newer, bigger house and drive a nicer car or will we still feel the same with just nicer stuff? What is my niche?”
I’ve recently written and published my first book and I am now working on my second. This has not given me the flexibility to quit my job and be a professional writer. It is possible that can happen if I write enough books, but there is no certainty in that. It is definitely one of my passions, but I am not certain that writing in and of itself is my niche. If I were to combine it with public speaking and/or acting I believe that I would definitely be on the right track. One of my biggest questions has been whether or not to hold on to the security my fulltime job offers? I sometimes feel like it is holding me back, but it’s putting bread on the table and keeping the lights on. I have committed to stay in my current position until I can transition into something more fitting to my purpose. I do not feel it is wise to just quit a job that I somewhat like just to pursue a dream. I can pursue my dream and find my niche while I work in my current career. When a door opens where I can move into my dream job without bankrupting my family, that is when I will make the move.
In the meantime I just need to find my niche. What about you? – Tim
Jeremiah 29:11-13For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
It’s beautiful outside but I must spend my day inside. That is the thought that often crosses my mind on gorgeous days. I am thankful to be working inside when it is pouring down rain but tend to despise my cell when the shimmers of freedom beacons upon my office window. The glistening sunshine and deep blue skies cry out to me to come and dance in a field of Easter lilies and Bermuda grass. Alas, I must remain in the confines of the hospital where I work and reject the pleas of the wondrous outdoors.
I am not sure if this statistic is correct and I am too lazy to Google it to see but I will guess that 99.99728% of people sometimes daydream about working at a different job. I can envision the construction worker leaning on his sledge hammer and thinking about his dream of becoming a world renowned ballet dancer or the caddy who hopes to one day be a doctor. We all have a tendency of thinking about what life would be like if we… I know I am often discontent with my job. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my career, but I daydream about what my life would be like if writing was my paid profession or if I had become an actor. I think about the time I spent as a missionary and wonder what my life would have been like if I had stayed I that field. I do daydream and there is nothing wrong with that. I think it is healthy for us to daydream. I am not saying that you should not be content with your current job, but looking for the right fit isn’t a bad thing.
The problem is when people quit their jobs to chase a dream for which they never prepared. It’s easy for me to write blogs and books because I have a full time job that pays the bills. I have yet to see any considerable income as a result of my writing, but it is something I am passionate about. Working as a manager in the healthcare field gives me the flexibility to pursue my passion. I am able to find time to write and improve my writing skills. I am also able to run a business, Stratosphere Networking, that doesn’t make money. It may one day be a profitable business but is currently a hobby. What most people are not willing to do is sacrifice their playtime to pursue their dreams. They will often sacrifice a job they are not happy with in pursuit of a dream but refuse to sacrifice their playtime. A job pays the bills and playtime drains one’s account. I am not suggesting you never have fun but I am telling you this – you can turn a dream into a reality if you are willing to make sacrifices. Don’t quit your job to pursue a dream that you have never tested or trained for. Find a way to pursue your passion on your personal time and you may be able to one day leave the job you dislike to pursue the passion you desire. If you are that construction worker, take some ballet classes on your days off and see if it is really the profession you desire.
What is your dream job? – Tim
Side note: To clear up any confusion, I don’t want to quit my job to work in landscaping. I have worked in landscaping in the past and know that is not a good fit for me. I just really love being outdoors and greatly desire to be in the sunshine whenever it beacons me.
What would your life be like if you had made a different decision when you were younger? Have you ever thought about this? I know I have. The decisions we contemplate may be different but I think most of us reflect on our past at times and imagine what life would have been like if we had or had not… I want to start off by saying that I live my life with no regrets. I am very happy with the decisions I have made and love the life I live. This does not mean that I never ponder where I would be had I made different decisions.
One of the decisions I think the most about happened 13 years ago. Julie and I had spent three months as missionaries in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and were preparing to return to the U.S. We had a very rewarding and difficult journey. We had experienced tremendous blessings because we had lived with two wonderful hosts. We first shared a home with a growing family and later lived with a widow. We were both extremely thankful for their hospitality but it was still a struggle. The family that hosted us was exceedingly nice and included us as part of their family. The main problem was we really felt we were a burden on them because their space was already limited and they lived on the outside the city which meant they were our means of transportation. Our second living arrangement was also somewhat of a struggle. It was the polar opposite of our first living arrangement. Etta lived in a large home in the middle of the city. We were able to walk to the school for which we volunteered and walk into the city for shopping and food. We almost never saw our host and spent much of our time in the house in solitude. We missed the family but enjoyed the freedom. It was bittersweet.
We had originally planned to stay for only three months and our time of departure was quickly approaching. Prior to leaving we learned of the Columbine tragedy and were actually quite disgusted with our own country. People always talk about how unsafe third world countries are but at that moment we felt more safe there than at home. A missionary family picked us up one day and took us out. Their purpose for taking us out was to ask one simple question: would we want to take their place while they embarked upon a sabbatical? The missionaries had built quite a life in Honduras. They lived in a very nice home that was surrounded by a security fence and gated driveway and they owned a car and SUV. They were offering to allow us the use of their home and vehicles in their absence. The only catch was that we take care of their stuff and continue the work of their ministry. We were already helping them so it would have been a ‘dream come true.’
We were set to leave and had already made arrangements with family in the US to pick us up because we were leaving within the week. The tickets were bought and we were packing our things. Had they approached us a month earlier, we would have agreed in an instant but at that point we had already switched our brains to home-mode. After discussing the opportunity we decided it was best to return to the U.S.
Ever since that day I have wondered what our life would have looked like if we had decided to stay. Would we have become fulltime missionaries? Would we have been safe the entire time or would have some unforeseen danger befallen us? Would we still have ended up in Illinois but just later? I don’t know the answers but I do think about it on occasion. I don’t regret the decision to return but I do ponder on what the other side of the coin looked like. I think it is because of that decision that I still often wrestle with the idea of one day returning to the missionary life. It still lives somewhere deep within my soul and stirs on occasions when I least expect.
I love the life I chose because I have wonderful children and great friends. I live a fulfilling life and am surrounded by many sources of joy. That one decision may or may not have changed the entire course of my life but I am glad we came back. I am also glad we were given the option because we were able to leave Honduras knowing we had positively affected others. It was an honor to know that the missionaries trusted us enough to make such an offer because we were very young at the time.
Do you ever think about how your life would have been if you had made a different decision? - Tim
I’ve recently stumbled upon what seems like a dream job to me. I haven’t started working at a different job; I’ve just become aware of a growing trend. Blogging and video blogging (vlogging) is becoming increasingly popular. Since social media is quickly growing into the preferred medium for information gathering, vlogging is turning into the new gateway to all things interesting. Tourism is a very profitable industry because people love to escape the monotony of their lives. Probably second to tourism in popularity is dreaming of vacationing. We can’t vacation all year so we often look into vacation ideas to decide what we will one day do. When you combine the two, you get vlogging tour guides. This is essentially the person who goes on the vacation you are dreaming of (or maybe one of which you have never thought) and blog/vlog about the experience. Some do this autonomously and have their blog sites set up to gain revenue from advertisers or they utilize third party contracts, but others get paid to do it. It’s their job! Think of it as a Discovery Channel program on an internet website. A person can easily produce it themselves and post it to his/her website. It’s crossing from spending money to making financial gain that is tricky. That’s why it’s so enticing when it is actually offered as a job.
In 2009 Ben Southall won a competition for the “Best Job in the World.” It was conducted as a type of competition/hiring process which had around 35,000 applicants. Ben was the winner and he was hired to do what I dream about. Ben spent six months on a tropical Australian Island. His job consisted of trying out the island and blogging/vlogging about it. He stayed in a three bedroom ocean front villa equipped with a private swimming pool, explored the island, and relaxed for free. He also got paid over $100,000 for his six month gig; that would be a dream come true! In 2011 Ben was hired to do another job – explore Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef for four months and blog/vlog about those experiences. It was called the “Best Expedition in the World.” Ben is somewhat of a hero to the rest of us who only dream of living such a life.
I really like travelling. I love visiting new places and going on adventures. I also enjoy writing and acting. Travelling to Marinique, kayaking in the river and standing beneath a refreshing waterfall are all enticing to me. Getting to write a blog or produce a vlog about it would be priceless. Now I am not only dreaming about visiting a remote island off the coast of Venezuela, but I am imagining myself informing others about it. In preparing to write this blog I discovered a website where people can post resumes in hopes of being hired. The website is located at http://www.privateislandjobs.com/.
I’m not saying I’m going to apply or become a tourism vlogger, but it is an interesting prospect nonetheless. I do like the idea of being cutting edge. I was pretty late at jumping on the whole blogging bandwagon but I may have stumbled onto an idea that has yet to catch fire. Finding a niche in the future of internet marketing is an enticing proposal and I plan to explore it more.
What is your dream job?