Did you know that scientific research has shown that 90% of us live our lives on autopilot? This means we mindlessly do a majority of our daily activities without much thought at all. Personally, as I thought about this I began to see how true this statistic was in my own life. I wake up, put my shoes on, grab a cup of coffee (double dose just in case one doesn’t work), and head to the same chair at the same table to begin my daily Bible reading with my son. Most of the time the rest of my day consisted of a similar routine. While the details may have changed slightly based on the influence of things beyond my control, I routinely worked, ate and, read in the same patterns every day.
For years, my weeks all seemed to end the same way- with me looking forward to the next seven days with hopes for a more successful week. I would say things like, “I hope next week I can spend more time with my kids”, “I hope next week to call a friend that needs some encouragement,” or “I hope next Sunday, I can get to church early and help set up.” However, week after week and day after day, my daily routine stayed the same and I still hoped for different results in the “hope” areas I just mentioned. This doesn’t mean that my life was void of any success. In fact, a number of things in my life were doing quite well. My status in my industry grew, my kids and wife wore nice clothes and wanted for very little, and spiritually I was growing (with ups and downs). In fact, I let myself make the “hope” comments for years before something inside of me “clicked” and I realized this old adage was true, “if I kept doing things the way I had always done them, I would keep getting what I had always gotten.” My hopes would always be hopes unless I did something different.
As you reflect on your life and the things that matter to you, do you see random moments of accomplishment and failure with no real consistent patterns of success in doing your “hope to” statements? As I mentioned, one of my “hope to” statements In my life was to spend more time with my kids. The first summer after I left my corporate job to be my own boss I would routinely say, “I am going to take off early to spend time with my kids one day this week.” It wasn’t until their last week of summer vacation before school started that I actually took part of a day to hang out with them- and that only happened because my last meeting of the day cancelled at the last second. In the moment, I am sure that I had plenty of excuses as to why it was never the right time to leave work to have fun. However, the reality is that I missed a number of opportunities that summer to spend time with the ones I love. As I sit here, I cannot think of many things that I was working on those days that could not have been pushed back or given to someone else to do. Thankfully, I have the gospel at work in me and I can move forward without being consumed by the guilt that many of our friends and family struggle with daily. As great as that is, and trust me it is great, I do not want to continue to hope for days when a meeting cancels at the last minute to spend a little extra time with my kids. That is where I would be though if I had not become more intentional about my “hope to” statements.
Today, I can say that I am much more intentional about my schedule and making sure my “hope to” statements become “I want to do that again” statements. What I mean by that is I spend more time saying things like, “I really enjoyed taking my son for ice cream after school today. I can’t wait to do that again!” Don’t get me wrong, I still have a number of “hope to” statements and I would like to spend my time living even more intentionally. I still have a lot to learn to know how to do that and this is what brings me to the point of this post. My friend and mentor John Maxwell recently challenged me to take a journey with him to learn the tools for living a more intentional life. I want to see if you would be willing to take that journey with me. Please know this is not a “quick fix” or “feel good” effort that is geared towards helping us feel better about trying to accomplish our “hope to” statements, but it is an opportunity to learn tools and form habits that help us go from living a life of good intentions to a life lived with great intention.
If you are interested in joining me on this journey, please click here. As I am sure you know, I put a lot of emphasis on Return on Investment (ROI) and making sure that anything I do is quality. Again, if you are interested, please let me know ASAP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or simply clicking here.
Your friend and fellow sojourner,