PBY: Purpose 1.6
029 — Excerpt from Purpose Built Young: A Guide to Pioneering Your Journey, buy a copy here.
PBY: Challenger: Your Dark Voice Part 2
The Art of Choice
If we have more freedom, we have more choice; fortune will come to those who grab ahold of the choices in front of them.
One tenet of modern society is human dignity (freedom of choice). When this used to once be a luxury, it is now normal. What has become normal is actually the thing that has come to make our every day lives seem so poor.
Every single decision in your life weighs on you with the full burden of responsibility. From choosing your clothing, to your cell phone plan, to the times you attend church, to the job you take, to the person you marry, to the city you live in, to the color pen you use for your notes, to the ink thickness. Oh and not to mention the choice of paper you use to write on.
Your responsibility and choices, now more than ever, carry much more weight. Our once so precious freedom is now paralyzing. You can marry someone from your city, or state, or country, or an entirely different country. You can have a job that is within walking distance, car distance, plane distance, or remote distance. You can have a virtual assistant in Taiwan help you with your homework assignments, a web programmer in the Philippines, and a nutritionist in New York. All these options are available to you.
Choice is enabling, but when it comes to the most important pieces of our life, can it become a weakness more than an empowerment? We have to make a choice with our future, our freedom, our time, our energy, and our potential. That is no ordinary call.
To steward your future, your freedom, your time, your energy, and your potential takes a lot of effort. In the middle of that, you have to choose what to eat three times a day. Our brains are not wired to make so many life changing decisions every single day.
Too many choices make any choice you decide on drawn out, more thought intensive, and often, less satisfying.
The myriad of choices we are given today, from the food we order to the careers we choose, ask us to be much more attuned to hear the faint whisper of light.
Busyness is the opposite of purposed living.
Just because one is busy doesn’t mean one is productive. It is the same for living with purpose. Make your life purposeful and you will have more free time. Be more passionate about the work you do do, and when you have a big season, you will be able to work hard because you know exactly why you are doing every single task.
Salmon swim thousands of miles (upstream) to birth their children in the same waters they were birthed. It’s an amazing feat of nature. They obsess over achieving their goal. They must swim against the current, up ravines, through rocks and mud to get to where they started. If they swam upstream, then toward the left, then the right, well, they would never make any real progress. They would be really busy, but have little to show for it.
Rick Warren wrote, “You have just enough time to do God’s will. If you can’t get it all done, it means you’re trying to do more than God intended for you to do.”
Sometimes there are busy seasons. Rarely, should busyness be a lifestyle.
Busyness will make it hard to hear positive reinforcement from your faint whisper of light.
Death in Luxury
People have enough to live by but nothing to live for;
they have means but no meaning.
People die quicker from hopelessness than hunger.
Give a young man, who is weak and has not had a proper meal in eight days, a reason to believe there will be food tomorrow, and he can survive another day.
Hope is stronger than food. It’s stronger than medicine. It’s stronger than death.
On the flip side, if you are hopeless, you are dead. Many people die quicker from hopelessness than death. But, what happens to the time in between? From the point someone gives up hope to the point they actually physically die, they are lifeless.
Purpose gives you hope. Hope above your present circumstances, however bleak they may seem. Hope to overcome any of your struggles.
If purpose is unconditional, hopelessness will kill more vision, passion, and purpose today than at any time in history.
Me, Myself, and I
Emotional labor, in one view, is keeping certain feelings on the outside that may conflict with feelings on the inside. Emotional labor creates emotional disconnect and that leads to a lot of other negative emotions.
Emotional labor works in two ways.
Emotional labor comes in the form of continuing your work despite having a pain or problem. This is when someone is at work, at a job that treats them unfairly, and continues to come to work with a smile. It also comes in the form of pushing through the work to accomplish a desired outcome. This is when someone, despite people telling them it’s not worth doing, continues to push through.
Both are examples of emotional dissonance. That is, when you experience a conflict between experienced emotions and your emotional actions. Emotional dissonance is healthy when it comes to pushing against the dark voice. It is unhealthy when it supports the dark voice. It is unhealthy when it counters your heart’s highest desires.
When it comes to your life and your future — no one can tell you how to live. Only you can resolve this mental tension.
Many people are preoccupied with external struggles. What one must understand is that every external struggle is a reflection of an internal battle. We miss our inner state by being preoccupied with our external situations. We may not like our job. There may be issues with our friends. Whatever it is, we then turn to palliative solutions like drugs, alcohol, and entertainment to mask our inner state. When we separate our condition from ourselves, the tension doesn’t go away no matter what we do.
This inner conflict takes energy and can leave us feeling broken, empty, and dry. Yet, emotional labor happens in either case (if we listen to the dark voice or not). Now, it’s up to you to decide, which lifestyle will you choose?
Attitude is a big indicator of who is winning that internal conversation. A positive attitude can be the attitude we choose, despite hardships, because our faint whisper of light has reminded us that God is in complete control.
Say you have a dream to show tens of thousands of people the love of Jesus in a part of the world that is highly restricted against the Gospel with covert missionaries everywhere, equipping them, sending them out, and supporting them. Instead of waiting, you start (today) by meeting up with one person at a local school grounds to do a Bible study. (This is how I got saved.)
Enjoy this reading? This is an excerpt from my newest book, Purpose Built Young. Look for the newest article at the top of the publication.
Each day, we post a new section from the book. You can read the previous article here. And don’t forget to subscribe. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions/comments.
If you enjoyed the text, learn more about the full text at purposebuiltyoung.com.