Character vs. to do list

I was recently having a conversation with my pastor, Mike (whom I wish had this as his website but actually writes here) and we were talking about this idea of contentment that I wrote about yesterday, and he shared some great insights with me.

The one that stuck out the most involves what I wish to be doing with my life and how I’m trying to edit my life and skills like Jon Acuff shares in his great new book, Start.  You see, I want to be doing certain things in the future and it creates a dilemma sometimes because volunteering at a church limits my ability to do the things I wish to be doing especially when I’m serving under someone who has the role I wish to be doing.  Weird, isn’t it?

But Mike shared a great insight with me and I am praying that it takes ahold in my life because it has the ability to change everything.  He shared that I could focus on the things that I wish to be doing but ultimately that will be futile.  Instead I should be focusing on the characteristics of a leader that I wish to have others say about me as well as what I want to say to describe myself.  To sum up, I should focus on character rather than a specific list of things to do.

The one that he suggested was perfect for me.  He suggested that I focus on being the person that always takes initiative.  That no matter what needs to be done, I make it my calling to do it.

I have since been thinking about the practical things I can be doing because if you know me at all, you know I wish to write and to do ministry through speaking and music.  To use writing as an example, I need to just go out and write all that I can and make things happen.  Or to use yesterday’s example, I need to kick some doors open with my writing.

Or to use speaking as an example, I should start writing some sermons out and then sending it to pastors to see if I can give those messages to their groups.  Or to start recording some topics I wish to discuss and develop them so that when I do get the opportunities I wish to have, I’ll have a bit of practice behind me already.  Maybe you could even sum this up by the 10,000 hour rule of becoming an expert that Malcolm Gladwell shares in his fantastic book, Outliers, which is on sale for $4.99 for the Kindle at the time I wrote this.

Great advice if you ask me.  What kind of things could you be doing to better yourself and to help dreams become a reality?

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