Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top Ten

A Coworker of mine told me a great story about his life once. He told me he went to a self-help workshop years ago, and they had a seemingly simple exercise that really changed his life. They had him list out the 10 things he wanted most in life. He filled the list with things like becoming a husband, raising a family, enjoying his free time, traveling the world, etc. Then they had him write a list of the 10 things he actually spent his time doing. He realized what he spent his time doing was not at all contributing to what he wanted to do. He was spending his time buried in legal briefs, working late, not dating seriously, too swamped and busy to even think about traveling, etc. It was this “simple” exercise that changed his life. He quit his high paying legal career in order to take an average paying insurance job that allowed him to have free time and “sanity”.

He began enjoying the little things in life, volunteering and really spending time cultivating things that would help him attract and keep a wife and family together. He cooked, he cleaned, he even decorated- he took the time to have fine wine and enjoy good cooked meals with loved ones. My coworker began to save and plan a trip to Europe, something he had never had the chance to do (for leisure) and took off by himself for an amazing 3 week trip, cumulating in Italy. There, in the middle of Italy, on a tour bus, he met a woman traveling by herself from Russia, on a similar quest to see Europe. He was never able to get that woman out of his mind, and a few months later they were married as she came to join him in the United Sates as his wife. They bought a home, and year later they had the most incredible little girl (who I totally adore). Now the happy family of 3 travels and loves like few others I know.

Today my coworker has an attitude most would envy. He is not easily stressed or reaching for bigger, better things. He iscontent. What would it be like, to, as he says “be living my dream”? Can any of us really say we are there?

Here are the 10 things I want most out of life:

1.To glorify and honor God with every ounce of my being.
2.To be an amazing wife to my incredible husband.
3.To have a large family, and for our families all to be close and full of life, laughter and love.
4.To develop incredibly deep friendships that sustain us through our entire life.
5.To be healthy, in mind and body.
6.To own some land of my own someday with a house that is almost all our own design.
7.To travel and see the world.
8.To be a photographer- to take pictures of ordinary things and make them completely beautiful.
9.To write, to pour out my heart and soul in the art medium of words.
10.To give to the people in the world who need it most, to help others receive simple things we take for granted daily, like clean water and unspoiled food.
Here are the things I actually spend my time doing:

1.Working at my job- something I’m good at and mostly enjoy, but not something that’s in a field listed above.
2.Spending time on social media sites, like Facebook.
3.Spending time with Scott
6.Reading other people’s blogs
7.Shopping- buying things I really don’t need.
8.Spending time with friends and family
10.Church related things- church, small group, personal quiet time, etc.

As we can all see- room for improvement! A lot! I have more thoughts on this that I’ll be sharing later, but this is definitely an exercise worth doing and mediating on- who knows, like my friend, it could change your life!

What are the 10 things you want most out of life? And what are the 10 things you spend most of your life actually doing? Do they line up?

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