Goals are one of those things that can keep you on track and drive you to success. They can also paralyze if you fail to achieve them. We think about goals all the time, we even sit down and set annual, monthly or daily goals. Some goals we set so high they are almost impossible to achieve. However, when we get close we can still revel in the fact we got so close and should be proud of the learning and progress achieved along the journey.
When you fail to meet your goal do you get upset or frustrated? Did you have good intentions, but now feel discouraged or like a failure? This is so easy to do and I completely understand. I often think about and set my own goals whether it’s for work, family or my own personal fitness. I don’t always succeed, but before I beat myself up I ask one simple question…”Was this God’s goal for me?” When setting your goals are you solely focused on the goal itself and achieving it or do you ask God for the vision he has for you, the meaning behind the goal and what he can do to help you achieve the goal?
You see, goals can be overwhelming and if your company is setting your goal it is certainly out of your hands, but the beauty of asking God about our personal goals, is he will either lead you to success in achieving the goal or carve a different path he already has planned. Sounds simple, but in the end if we fixate ourselves on just the goal, we may succeed in attaining it, but never understand the true meaning and the far greater rewards God has planned. So next time you sit down to set a goal of any kind, be sure to ask God, is this the goal for me and how can I use it for the greater good?
Next time you sit down for your goal setting session I recommend you keep a few things in mind:
If you are looking for a heavy hitting, fast paced rundown on how you can create and conquer goals, join us at our next ManCamp event!
Or in our MasterMind group!
James Oliver 2021
Which do you prefer...
Motivation or dedication?
Motivation is a fleeting feeling that easily dissipates with the ebbs and flows of life.
I’ve fallen prey to its enticing bait on many occasions in my lifetime.
Motivation feels great during the course of time it hangs around.
When motivated I feel ready to conquer the world.
When motivated I feel ready to take on new tasks with the end result in mind.
When motivated I commit to endeavors without first counting the cost...
Because motivation is a crafty little devil always looking to set us up for failure when it is left alone with no other companion.
Lately I’ve been motivated to complete a new program I created in order to see some desired results for Q1 in 2021.
This is what I know-
My motivation will soon fade away. It will come and go like the waves of the sea.
In order to obtain the desired results I envision for Q1, I will need more than motivation.
Dedication on the other hand is different. Dedication is a mindset.
Dedication starts at the core of who I am. Dedication is rooted in my core values and who I have decided to be as a man.
Dedication does not leave me with excuses as to why I will not complete something.
Dedication leaves me with deep resolve to fulfill my commitments regardless of how I may “feel” at any given moment.
As a man who desires to add value to the world around me, dedication is what drives me in the moments I feel unmotivated. It is what drives me when I am facing a fear. It is what keeps me going when I do not see progress. I know progress is imminent based on the disciplines I put in place that are meant to serve me.
If you find yourself struggling with dedication there are ways you can conquer the motivation mentality.
Don’t wait until next time you feel motivated.
Don’t quit next time you feel unmotivated.
Discipline yourself in the practices you know will yield positive results in your life and dedicate yourself to the process.
If you need another level of accountability, feel free to join our True North Man FB group.
You can also join us in our dedicated tribe of men who meet weekly for a mastermind that will challenge, encourage, and equip you.
“Motivation Sees the reward.
Determination counts the cost.
Motivation can get you going.
Determination keeps you going.”
-Paul Beam 2021
This is a question I’ve struggled with for quite some time. As men, we might first view good work through the lens of a career. Perhaps, we might view good work through the lens of physical fitness, or material goods. Part of my daily prayer is to ask God to orient my focus in the proper direction.
Like many men, my career is the typical 8AM-5PM weekly routine. Working from home during COVID, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to spend time with my wife and children. Is it always intentional, meaningful time? In the evenings, I’m with them for play time, dinner, baths, and bed. Each night, I come out to the garage (where I am now) and pick up where I left off regarding my work for True North, or perhaps my work for the men’s ministry at my church. My time and focus feels oriented in the right direction, but I cannot shake the feeling that all of this good work may not be the right work.
When I engage in honest introspection, I realize that I may not always be present with my wife or my children. I may be physically present with my son, playing with him and his set of blocks, while mentally miles away thinking about something career related. I may be physically present in conversation with my wife, while mentally miles away running through a checklist of things to do before our next True North event. All the work feels good, but it does not always feel right.
As I watch my kids get older and older, the recognition of times where I was not present becomes all the more sobering. I have come to realize that my level of engagement with my career, with men’s ministry, with serving God’s kingdom, has taken a toll on my home life. It is something I battle each day and it is hard to reconcile due to the nature of my work. By nature, I mean that I am not involved in any type of vice or nefarious activity, but rather work that I (at least in my mind) consider an example of Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
As I write this very blog post, am I missing a moment to go upstairs and connect with my wife through a conversation? Earlier this evening, did I miss a moment to play with my daughter because I was working on the next True North event? Did I miss a moment today to have lunch with my family because I was in a work meeting that did not require my attendance? I know what it feels like to be fully engaged with my family, and it is such a wonderful feeling. Growing up in an unstable household with domestic violence, I always envisioned and hoped for a day where I could be better than what I experienced. I realize how important it is to cherish each day, particularly with those that you love. I also realize that I sometimes fall short of my own standard.
Men, ensure that your focus is oriented toward God. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33). Refresh yourself in prayer and the Bible, and ask God from time to time to aid you in evaluating where your time is spent. Is your good work the right work? Although my faith that God has me exactly where I need to be is strong, I occasionally ask for a sign or a reminder that I am moving in the right direction. In those moments where I was not moving in the right direction, God has made that abundantly clear very quickly. Do not miss those signs. Do not rely on your own understanding. Seek His providence and wisdom.
Those of you with older kids and experienced marriages know exactly how fast a newborn baby during your second year of marriage turns into an 18 year old and a 20th wedding anniversary. Irrespective of where you find yourself on the kids/marriage continuum, please understand that you are modeling behavior each day for your family, right or wrong. Be present in the moment, be intentional in your efforts, and cherish the opportunity to live a life in Christ with them each day. Measuring in years, some might say that lives are long. However, we only have one.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” - Proverbs 16:3
Be well and stay vigilant.