A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: January 2013 (page 1 of 1)

If I Were a(n) ____________…


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“If I were a(n) ____________, what would I be doing today?”

Many of us feel like we’re stuck in our jobs. What we’re doing right now is not paying the bills. Or it’s not fulfilling. Or it’s not fun anymore. Or it’s boring. Or it’s not making a difference. Or whatever.

Many of us think about changing jobs, about quitting our humdrum career and doing what we were made to do.

But most of us won’t. Why? Because we have fantasies about what that “dream job” would be, but we lack direction or courage or confidence or skill or whatever the excuse du jour.

I’ve been thinking about that lately, and I keep coming back to what a lot of others have said…

The first step to becoming a __________ is to think of yourself as a ____________.

Let’s take that a step further.

If I were a ___________, today I would need to be ______________.

How do you fill in those blanks?

If I were a pastor, today I would be preparing for Sunday’s message. I would be studying the Scriptures, praying over the truths and insights. I would be crafting the message so that I could most effectively communicate the Word to my congregation. I would be finishing up preparation for the rest of the worship service. I would be calling a few people to check on them. I would be planning the next few weeks and months and looking at ways to fulfill the tasks of the church. I would be devising strategies for increasing the church’s impact in the community and the world. I would have a full agenda. I would be busy.

If I were, say, a writer, today I would be writing. I’d be sitting at my computer or in front of my typewriter. I would have my pencil and notebook. I would be putting fingers to keys or point to paper. I would be thinking of the right words to say what’s on my mind. I would be agonizing over grammar and syntax and spelling. I would be busy.

Let’s say I were, I don’t know…a designer. I’d be upping the level of my creative skills so that I could take my designs to another level. If I were a salesman, I’d be calling on customers and familiarizing myself with my products so I could match the two in effective ways. Suppose I were a teacher. I would be helping my students grasp some concept. I would be grading their work and providing feedback to help them improve.

And so on.

The point is that if I want to be a(n) ______________, I need to start doing the things that ___________s do.

I need to stop making the excuses and get busy. I might not become the next great ___________, but I will likely be closer to it that way than if I sit here in a subjunctive mood.

What do you want to be? What would you be doing right now?

Why not do it?

Happy New Year…

IMage via http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelotuscarroll/6506931829/

Image via http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelotuscarroll/6506931829/

Happy New Year, everybody! All two of you loyal readers, that is!

Like everyone else, I’m looking for ways to take stock and take action toward becoming a better person in this, my 52nd new year. And like most people, I’ll set some big goals, make some big plans, and take some very little steps.

At any rate, here are a couple of ideas I’ve been thinking about during this first day of 2013…

  • Looking Backward/Looking Forward. This is certainly one of the most common themes for any new year. In my line of work, a lot of guys will pull out familiar words to help focus on the future. While this is all well and good, some of them will miss an important admonition just a few lines down. Yes, 2012 is in the rear-view mirror. And yes, 2013 is out the windshield. And I know that if you focus more on the mirror than the windshield bad things are bound to happen. But don’t forget to hold the ground you’ve already taken. Be sure to secure your progress. And you can only do that if you think on the lessons learned and continually improve on the things that got you where you are.
  • Seasons. Every year I read through the Bible using the One Year Bible reading plan. It’s familiar, yet surprisingly fresh every time! I’ve read Psalm 1 hundreds of times in my life. And today, as I kicked of the OYB plan, I noticed this phrase: “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.” Our lives consist of seasons, it seems. Just as the winter gives way to spring, and the summer loses its identity into fall, so our lives reflect a passing and changing seasonal nature. One of my areas of improvement this year is to recognize the season in which I find myself. I’m not the man I was 30 years ago, or even six months ago. I hope! So, my new year prayer today is: “Lord, let me be fruitful in this season.”
  • Challenges. Every new year presents new opportunities for growth. We often fail to realize those opportunities are disguised as challenges. We tend to see the obstacles and make excuses, rather than focusing on the opportunities and developing new skills and strategies for moving through the difficult spots. What obstacles are in your way as 2013 unfolds? Are there any opportunities waiting within the obstacles?

I hope your new year will prove to be a season of growth and success. I pray that for you, your family, and your team. Happy New Year indeed!