Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 Ways to Not Waste Your Life

By: Mark Merrill

Part of being a responsible adult means not wasting things, especially your life. Here are 10 ways to not waste your life. Hope you are challenged by this list!

1. Believe
Belief is the most powerful, positive life-changer in the arsenal. Believe that you are a valued person with something to contribute, and chances are you will.

2. Know where you’re headed
Dr. Seuss said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” Setting and achieving goals is necessary for purposeful change. Both short term, “I’m going to spend the evening with my child so he goes to sleep feeling loved.” and long-term, “By Christmas I’ll be able to tell my AA group and my family I’ve been sober for six-months.”

3. Identify a better reference point for success
Know that our standard for a successful life is found in serving others, being a great parent, loving our spouse. These standards are more conducive to satisfaction and success than “Beautiful, because I’m worth it”, or “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

4. Value relationships above all else
Value relationships above results. Value serving others above being served. Value investing in people above investing in things.

5. Remember where your joy and value comes from
A dependence on anything external for happiness is unnecessary: If we “need” others to make us happy, or if we need achievements to feel worthy, we undermine our reason for being. The simple fact that we are loved and valued by the Creator is sufficient. Your joy comes from knowing who you are and whose you are.

6. Live in the moment
“I’ll feel like I’ve achieved something when _________ happens.” “Just let me get that new ________, and I’ll be good.” This kind of thinking ensures we’ll remain dependent on “more” for satisfaction. Live in the moment. Be grateful for what we have right now. Be content in our present circumstances.

7. Defer short-term thrills in favor of long-term rewards
We often sacrifice long-term joy, satisfaction and contentment for short-term thrills and personal pleasure. Things like sex outside of marriage, pornography, and gambling will never satisfy. What will satisfy is sex in a marital relationship, lasting and loving relationships, living a life of purpose, and hard work.

8. Always continue learning
Life-long learners adopt the ongoing posture of reinvention and redemption. Learners ask questions rather than act as if they know all the answers. It’s difficult to waste your life when you are humble and open to new ideas.

9. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Knowing what we value puts everything else into perspective. If we know what really matters in life, then we’re not as likely to get caught up in, or bothered by, things that don’t have a long-term or eternal impact.

10. Never do anything you wouldn’t be comfortable doing in the presence of your Maker.
If in doubt about this, talk it over with God first.

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