What drives you? If you are driven by money, you are setting yourself up for a disappointing life. No matter how much money you bring in, the temporary happiness of success will wear off, and it will never bring lasting fulfillment. I lived that way for many years.
Maybe you are driven by relationships. If you are looking to another person to make you happy, you may find yourself jumping from one person to another as each one lets you down.
So should we lower our expectations? Never! We just need to adjust our goals. If we place all our hope on the people in our lives, or on material goods, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Life is not about raising or lowering our expectations, it is about making sure our expectations are in line with our God-given purpose. Each of us has a purpose. We have special skills that will enable us to make an impact on the people around us.
Get to know who YOU are. What makes you tick? Dig deep, find that inner passion, because it will show. When you find things you are passionate about, dive in. Keep growing and strengthening your skills in those areas. Become the best that you can at it. Then use it to make a positive impact on the world.
I spent so much of my life searching for fulfillment and yet wherever I turned, for so many years I never found it. I had a lot of high expectations of myself. I was willing to work hard, put in the time needed to move up in the world. I became successful in many areas, but it never brought me peace or joy. At one point I even spent a period of eighteen months all alone working on myself – focused solely on building my mind and body. Even then, I was left looking for something more.
Fast forward a decade. I was living in Los Angeles, working in Hollywood. For most of my life I had been a guy who thought people who needed “religion” were weak. Yet over that decade, people kept coming into my life who I respected, and they would talk to me about their faith. They would give me a Bible or tell me they were praying for me. They would share their story with me. They were not weak. They were not pushy. They made an impact on me and they got me thinking. Thinking about things I had learned when I was a very small kid in church but had not thought about since.
I decided I wanted to look into the matter a little deeper, and I started attending a local church. Immediately, I realized I had it all wrong. I became a believer and slowly started changing my life as I learned about what it meant to be a Christian. Instead of living my life for myself, I needed to live it for my creator.
Soon after that big change, I was headed for another big change. I was driving away from Los Angeles, leaving behind the life I knew and was comfortable in. I had always been a city boy. Now, I live in the Midwest. I wake up in the country each morning. It is peaceful and beautiful here. I have a new perspective on how I want to spend my days on earth.
Training Rock Steady Boxers with Parkinson’s disease has also changed my way of thinking. I see first hand their struggles. I also see how they respond to my encouragement, how they learn and push themselves to be stronger and sharper. I get to share in their triumphs. It is so rewarding as a trainer to see them fighting back, and winning, against something like Parkinson’s that will take over their lives if they let it.
The money-driven younger self I once knew would see my life at this point as a failure. But the funny thing is, I am much more fulfilled using my strengths to help others and living my life in faith than I ever was when I was moving “up” in the world.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
2 Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”