You can be thirty years old and be a dead man walking. You have many years of existence left before you, but that experience looks void of life. This experience can be triggered by a dead end job, a relationship that is going nowhere, or a dream that didn’t pan out. Whatever the cause, the future doesn’t have to remain lifeless. The key is generating new life within your existence.
Choices reveal our ambitions.
The question is how to accomplish that. How does one go about jumpstarting new life when the future looks dead? Let me suggest a pattern of thought you can embrace to birth new life within your existence.
Don’t mistake “new” for “big”
A common mistake is to think generating “new” means a complete overhaul of life as you know it. Growth and development may necessitate great change, but it rarely begins there. Jumpstarting new birth can begin with something as small as taking time to drive down an unknown road, taking a grandchild for a walk, or helping a stranger. Experiencing something new physically can jumpstart creativity in other areas of life. Accept the new experience even if it isn’t a big experience.
Question to ask: How can you deviate from your normal pattern and engage with fresh stimuli today?
Determine your ambitions
Everyone is ambitious about something. Choices reveal our ambitions. Some people will stay up all night gaming risking a rough day at work. Their choice reveals their game focused ambition to be greater than their job focused ambition. Others choose to go to bed early in order to maximize their effectiveness during daylight hours. In both scenarios, choices are revealing ambitions.
In determining ambitions the concept of right and wrong doesn’t apply. Accurately identifying ambition is the important element. Analyzing the choices you are currently making can illuminate the ambitions of your life. New birth can be awakened when ambitions are recognized and intentionally engaged.
Question to ask: What do the choices I’m making reveal my ambitions to be?
Identify a need
Engaging in your “new” will usually address an existing need. There is never a lack of need. Recently I observed an older gentleman loading his car at Costco. He had a number of heavy items and he was struggling to get them out of his cart. The need was obvious. It won’t take long to identify a need near you once your mind and eyes are open to new life.
What if your ambition, that thing you are passionate about, could meet the need of another person? A recent commercial advertising Microsoft’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller features friends gathering at the home of their friend Owen who has Escobar Syndrome. They watch with bated breath as he accomplishes a big in-game achievement with the help of Microsoft’s gaming device. Microsoft was successful in matching an ambition (selling gaming products) with a need (disabled gamers unable to use traditional devices).
You will be able to match a need with your ambitions once ambitions are determined. In this commercial, I see several other ambitions matched with needs. The ambition to create community revealed by the boy running from house to house gathering friends matches the need for community in all the kids. The ambition to celebrate achievement revealed in all the kids cheering Owen’s victory meets the need to be admired we all share.
The need doesn’t have to completely fulfill every ambition of your life, but it should connect in some way. Connecting your ambition to a need can jumpstart new birth as you engage your ambition in a unique way.
Question to ask: What need can I identify today that connect to my ambition in any way?
Decide to make a difference
I saw the gentleman’s struggle as I unloaded my Costco cart into my truck. It triggered my ambition to reveal Christ to the world in every way possible so I determined to make a difference. Once completed with my task I walked across the parking lot and offered to help. At first, he was hesitant. He said, “I don’t need your help.” I answered, “Maybe not, but I’m offering it.” He then asked, “Why do you want to help me?” I answered, “Because I hope someone would help my father or grandfather under similar conditions.” He agreed to my help and we completed the job quickly. He was grateful and I left feeling happy about making a difference.
This was a simple thing, but it made a difference. Your engagement may not be a “big deal” to you, but it makes a difference in the life of another. Remember, new doesn’t mean big. Unloading a cart for a stranger may be new to you. It addresses an existing need and makes a difference. Deciding to make a difference in even the most trivial of ways jumpstarts new life within your existence.
Question to ask: Have I decided to make a difference in the world even in ways that seem trivial to me?
Let your imagination run
A small question creates a huge impact. The question is “What if?” What if a small difference could be made every day. What if your ambitions could make a difference in the world. Don’t try to imagine making a difference in the life of millions. Imagine your ambition making a difference in the life of one. Imagine being that friend that brings the community to Owen. Imagine being that person who cheers on a victory won by another. Imagine the look of surprise on a person’s face when you benefit them unexpectedly. Imagine what could be experienced in the world if you engage in making a difference.
The two words “what if” open the door to incredible possibilities. New life begins to flow as the imagination is unleashed. At that moment age doesn’t matter and restrictions fade away and the coals of what could be begin to glow again. Life is reignited.
Question to ask: What if…?
The impact of following this pattern of thought may surprise you. By addressing your expectations and focusing your ambitions on helping others you will ultimately help yourself. You will experience the benefit from the principle of sowing and reaping.
Notice the focus of this pattern of thought. It wasn’t wealth, relationship, or reputation that we focused on. The focus is on making a difference. When you focus on making a difference in the world a difference is made in you.
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