For much of my life, I’ve been waiting. Waiting to graduate from high school so I could go to college. Waiting to get through college so I could get married. Waiting to save a little money so we could have children. Waiting for the children to grow up so I could write. Waiting to invest in my marriage until we had more time.
There’s been a whole lot of waiting for some unseen day on the calendar, a day when all the stars would align and I’d finally be able to be the person I wanted to be and to create the life that I dreamed.
Problem is, life kept interrupting my plans. Sometimes, it was ordinary life. Like commitments and calendars and responsibilities and relationships. Like a steel ball in a pinball machine, I bounced from circumstance to circumstance trying to land the most points in the process. Problem was it all seemed random and reactive. Not intentional. I lived at the whim of each day’s events.
Then, on a Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving 2010, a doctor’s phone call changed everything with the word “cancer.” Then, eight months later on a Wednesday morning, another phone call came with the addition of three small children to our already full lives.
If I thought life was a bit off course before, it was fully off the rails by then. Let’s just say the pinball machine was practically in flames.
The details of your story are likely quite different than mine. But you know what it’s like to end up with a life that doesn’t look quite like you dreamed. Sometimes it’s the result of traumatic, uncontrollable circumstances. The unthinkable happens and overturns everything. But, more often than not, it’s the ordinary, everyday interruptions and busyness and apathy that leads us to a life we didn’t really want.
Is it possible to get back on course when life appears out of control? Is it possible to craft a life that lines up with your dreams and values and can weather the worst of circumstances? I believe it’s not only possible but necessary. Please hear me: You can’t wait another day to craft your life. Here’s why:
- Yesterday can’t be changed. Regret is a ruthless prison warden, and I’ve talked to far too many men and women who are chained up by him. When life doesn’t turn out as expected, it’s easy to obsess over all the things we should’ve, could’ve done differently. The problem is, no amount of wishing will change anything that’s already happened. None. It’s done and over.
- Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, with three cancer diagnoses that wouldn’t go away no matter how hard I tried. The upside of all that personal hardship is this: I now have no illusions about the number of my days. I could live to be eighty or I might not make it to my next birthday. God only knows. Tomorrow is not promised. Not to any of us.
- Today can be lived. If we can do nothing to alter our past and zero to guarantee our tomorrows, then all we’re left with is today. And guess what? Today is enough. And the best thing we can do with today is to craft it and live it well.
This is why I’m so excited about Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy’s new book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. It’s short, practical, and serves as a step-by-step guide to help you craft the life you want, TODAY. In it you’ll learn:
- A simple system for clarifying your priorities
- A proven method for putting your priorities in place.
- A new (and do-able) approach to work-life balance.
- The benefits (and step-by-step process) of creating a Life Plan
- An Action Plan that can give structure to your hopes and direction to your dreams
This isn’t brain surgery. It’s a book. And for under $15 you can get a solid resource that can help you make the most of the life you have right now, regardless of what’s happened in the past or may be up ahead.
At the least, know this: You can’t wait to craft your life. Time isn’t forever. You have today. But today is enough. Live it well.
[callout]GIVEAWAY! Today I’m giving away FIVE COPIES of Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. To be entered for the giveaway, complete the following: (1) Answer the question below in the blog comments, and (2) Share a link to this post on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram. Be sure to tag me so I see it! Winners will be announced here by Friday, March 4, 2016.
UPDATE: The 5 random winners of the new book Living Forward are … Tracy Erler, Holly DeGroot, Tiffany Olson, Brenda Marion, and Lily Kreitinger. Congratulations! [/callout]
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being “100% reactive” and 10 being “100% proactive”), how intentional are you about your life? How could Living Forward help you to stop drifting and start crafting the life you want?