What are you building?

Are you working hard enough? I don’t just mean in your day-job. I mean in all aspects of your life. It’s a question I think we should be asking ourselves more. We all know what it’s like to procrastinate or make excuses. We do it all the time, whether it comes to writing term papers or getting to the gym. That said, I think we do it more often than we care to admit.

No matter who you are or what stage of life you’re in, you probably have goals and aspirations just like me. Here are some examples from my own life: I want to be more fit, I want to serve my community in more tangible ways, I want to invest in a tight knit community, I want to be more spiritually conscious, I want to grow Fire Drops into a successful brand. All of these things are good and noble pursuits, but the question always becomes, how hard am I working to achieve them? Am I putting in the hustle required to see real results? Do I get out of bed everyday pumped up and ready to tackle the challenges ahead?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m learning life seldom comes to you. You have to go out and get it. Its a constant fight that requires continual effort and perseverance. And that gets tiring…and in those moments of exhaustion we typically make excuses and give-up. This is the point in our struggle where we say things like: “I’m too busy”, or “there’s not enough time”, or “I need some sleep.” But at the crux of it all we have to be asking ourselves how much we really want it. We have to question how deep our convictions are and how tightly we are holding onto our dreams. Because when we truly want something, when we want to see some sort of change in our lives, there should be nothing that gets in the way. When we can see a clear vision of how we want our lives to be, no amount of excuses should keep us from getting there.

The reason I’m bringing all this up is because I’m realizing I’m at a critical point in my own personal journey. Sure, your 20’s are a time for figuring yourself out and making mistakes. But they’re also a crucial time for establishing what Steve Garber calls: “habits of the heart.” That is to say, the rhythms we set for ourselves now dictate how our heart perceives and responds to the world around us later. In other words, when we create good routines in our daily lives, our hearts start to be shaped over time.

One of my biggest desires in life is that my heart would constantly be growing more sensitive and compassionate. By the grace of God, I’ve come face to face with my own failures in recent years, especially as they relate to my heart. I long for the day when I don’t have to convince my heart to care for the disenfranchised or the poor or the blind. I want so badly for my heart to leap when it recognizes others in pain and volunteer when it sees opportunities for service. But in my current state, my heart doesn’t always long for justice. In my depravity, my attention drifts toward my selfish desires.

I guess this is why I’m asking what you’re building with your time, your money, and your efforts. Because I think its so vitally important, not only now, but also for our futures. The habits and routines we put into place now, shape who we are becoming. That is why we must continually ask ourselves, “How am I using my time?” and “Does that fit into the vision I have for myself?” If the answers don’t fit together, then serious change is required. Good things sometimes come to those who wait, but better things come to those who work. Because success hardly falls in your lap, and God seldom shows up unannounced. Finding and achieving those things requires heavy lifting.

We have to be constantly practicing the skills and sentiments we want for ourselves in order to start grasping them. We have to quit focusing on who we are, and begin focusing on who we’re becoming. Its a simple concept, but a powerful one.

So what are you building? Who are you becoming? Are you utilizing your time wisely?

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