3 Ways to Discover Your Purpose
One of the most important questions a man could ever ask himself is, “Why am I here?” What could possibly be more important than why God made you? Personally, I believe the two most important times in a man’s life is when he finally discovers WHO he is (his true IDENTITY) and WHY he is (his PURPOSE).
The problem is, most men either were never taught or shown how to identify their purpose. So, allow me to share with you 3 simple ways (steps) to finding your purpose.t
Step 1: Hang around passionate, purposeful people.
Let’s face it, the people in our lives will either influence us in a positive way or infect us in a negative way. As you get closer to finding your purpose, all it takes is the wrong person at the wrong time to discourage you from pursuing it. Innocent phrases from those we love and care about the most can extinguish even the most heart-felt desire:
“You can’t do that.”
“It’s impossible for you to do/be that?”
“You’re not ______ enough to do that.”
“You won’t make any money doing that.”
Likewise, if you hang around people who are passionate and know WHO they are and WHY they are, they will likewise encourage you to do the same. As the cliché goes, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” So, start flying with the eagles and stop hanging around turkeys.
Likewise, if you hang around people who are passionate and know WHO they are and WHY they are, they will likewise encourage you to do the same.
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Step 2: Spend more time by yourself and less time around other people.
I know this step seems to contradict the first step, so let me explain. I’m not talking about being a recluse and isolating yourself from society. But it’s almost impossible to “find yourself” and discover your purpose if you’re always around a crowd of people. We often use other people as a welcomed distraction, because we feel uncomfortable being alone for any length of time.
When finding your purpose, you’re going to have to know, learn, and understand yourself better. And you can only do that through self-reflection. Instead of binging on sports, Netflix, gaming, porn, or drinking, try taking 15-20 minutes day, without distraction, and studying your secret desires, unique talents, skills, gifts, and abilities.
Step 3: Ask yourself and answer the tough questions.
This is the natural progression from Step 2. Once you choose to spend some time alone, without distractions, take out a sheet a paper and write down your answers to the following questions without fear, judgment, or justification. Don’t worry, no one ever has to see them; so be honest:
- What topic, idea, issue, or problem in the world do you talk about, that when you do, you lose track of time? Hint: Your purpose is always associated with a problem YOU were meant to be an answer to.
- If you could master, research, and study anything, deeply, what would it be?
- When it comes to your unique talents, skills, and abilities, what do you receive the most compliments for?
- When it comes to your unique talents, skills, and abilities, what do you have the most confidence in?
- Given your unique talents, skills, gifts, and abilities, what would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
- What would you attempt to do professionally (for free) if you never had to worry about money and paying bills?
- What do you find yourself doing that brings you the most joy, but at the same time, it seems to bring joy to others when you do it?
If you answered all of these questions honestly, without fear, judgment, and justification, you will see an obvious pattern to your answers. This is a clue of what you were made and created for.
The world is waiting for you to pursue your purpose. It’s not a question of can you, but will you?
4 Lies Men Believe about Being “Successful”
If a man turns on a tv, opens his internet browser, walks past any magazine rack, or drives past billboards, he is confronted on all sides by one thing – lies about what he’s supposed to be and how we define success. Primarily, those lies revolve around 4 things:
- Material possessions
- Glory & fame
Our culture demands that men believe those things are what define success; yet that same culture is full of depression, divorce, disease, debt, delusion, and crime. Is that success, or just a hollow shell of existence? But a truth that runs counter to these lies is that giving, serving, integrity, and sacrifice lead to genuine happiness, prosperity, and lasting success. We do have a choice. What are the lies men believe about life success? Let’s take a look.
1. Financial Status Determines Importance
Envy is a rotten apple that we are constantly prodded to bite. We place those with the most on high pedestals and then seethe as to why it’s not us. Envy is what is marketed to men on every available medium, and the solution to getting what we want is greater financial status. We are told only men of wealth and power matter. It’s a lie but it’s fed to us on a daily basis and we swallow it. Don’t believe it.
Think of another dad that you truly admire. That guy that motivates you to be a better husband and father. Does anything about him remind you of the imagery we are sold about manly success? The image of the impeccably dressed-for-success man, and his smoking hot supermodel wife and perfect kids? You probably answered no, because the guy you admire is not like that at all. In reality, he’s ordinary on the outside, but his intangibles are off the charts. Committed, faithful, loyal, wise, patient, strong yet compassionate. We aren’t sold that guy.
3. More Stuff Will Make Me Happy
In reality, more stuff = more headaches. We are led to believe that the bigger house, the luxury car, the boat at the lake, and all that nonsense will make our lives happier and better. Nothing is wrong with any of those things. Except they are just that…things. They have no ability to affect emotional stability. There are great numbers of men living simple existences that are infinitely happier than those busy gathering stuff attempting to buy joy. Happiness comes from the satisfaction of living life with integrity.
Happiness comes from the satisfaction of living life with integrity.
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4. Always Take the Credit and Glory
The unsung hero is not who men are taught to strive to become. We love our heroes and icons, even though more times than not the reality is they are taking far more credit and glory than they deserve. Successful outcomes require many moving parts working in unison, and rarely can one man alone save the day. But that’s the lie we believe. That only the one given and taking the credit and glory matters. However, there is a beauty and power in being the man who gives credit to those around him. He’ll truly be a success.
Become a Role Model Worth Following
As we strive to be role models for our kids, there will be plenty of times we fail. Our children have a funny way of calling us out when we do something that is inconsistent with what we are teaching them. For example, it’s a bit of a wake up call to have your children stop you mid-sentence because you’re talking with your mouth full at the dinner table after you’ve told them they shouldn’t.
If you desire to be a role model, who is worthy of following, here are 6 areas in your life that need to be evaluated and changed accordingly.
Watch what you say. Whether you think your kids are listening or not, they hear you. Be careful not to call other people names, gossip, or curse if you don’t want your kids doing the same things.
How you talk to someone is just as important as the words that are used. Be careful to speak to your spouse and others with respect.
Negativity breeds more negativity. Have a can-do attitude for your child to be prepared to take on the world. Sometimes even the smallest attitude adjustment can go a long way.
Are your elbows on the table? Do you hold doors for women when out in public? Your children will be little gentlemen and little ladies only if you model it yourself.
Exhibit confidence to your kids in doing what is good. Always do the right things for the right reasons.
We all make mistakes. Are you modeling the father’s forgiveness for your children? And do you apologize when you are in the wrong?
The greatest gift that you can give your children is love. Be a model of love to your kids. Show and tell your children that they mean the world to you. They will learn to love the way you do.
The greatest gift that you can give your children is love.
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3 Things You Need to Change to Become a Value Adder
Have you ever spent time with someone and felt more drained than ever? Are there people in your life that always drain your energy? This person can be described as being a life sucker. One prominent reason is that they are constantly needing others to validate them or spend a majority of their time complaining. On the other hand, a value adder is someone who, like the name suggests, after you are with them you feel like there was value added to your life. They tend to consider the needs of others before their own. Value adders would rather give than receive and tend to give others a boost of energy rather than take it. The question is, which are you?
I know most of us want to answer this question with being a value adder, but unfortunately, there are few who actually live lifestyles that aren’t self-absorbed. So here are 3 things you need to do to become the value adder you desire to be.
1. Find Your Worth
Where do you seek your worth and value? Is it how successful you are? Is it how great of a father you are, or maybe does it depend on how well your marriage is going? From experience, I can tell you that your successes are not the answer to finding respect and removing your insecurities. Accomplishments may give you a feeling of momentary fullness, but once they fade, you will be thirsty for your next glass of validation. The cycle will continue until you find rest in an eternal sense of worth and significance.
Accomplishments may give you a feeling of momentary fullness, but once they fade, you will be thirsty for your next glass of validation.
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2. Change Your Mindset
Transforming your mind is important if you are seeking any change. Life suckers currently have a mindset of being self-absorbed. To become a value adder, you need to ask yourself these questions: Who can I encourage at work? Who haven’t I spoken to in a long time that I can call? How can I serve the community? What can I do to help my family?
3. Apply the Change
What good does it do if you do not act upon your changed mindset? Instead of just asking the questions of how you can think, you need to follow through with actions. Instead of just thinking about an encouraging phrase, actually sit down with a co-worker and say it to them. And instead of knowing the person you haven’t talked to in a long time, actually call them. Instead of thinking about ways on how to serve your community, go to a homeless shelter or give a kid a Christmas care package by participating in Operation Christmas Child. Instead of just thinking of ways to help your family, actually get your hands dirty and help wash the dishes, fold some laundry, or take time to help your kids with their math homework.
As we all know to build a new habit it takes 30 days. Apply your new mindset for this amount of time and see where it takes you. See the impact it has on your relationships and even on your personal health. Your impact will be long-lasting because you are choosing daily to change the lives around you for the better.
The post 3 Things You Need to Change to Become a Value Adder appeared first on All Pro Dad.
5 Bad Habits Dads Need to Stop
Louis Zamperini returned home after World War II having cheated death several times. Louis’ story is incredible. As a child, he was a troublemaker until he became a track star. Eventually, he would run in the 1936 Olympic games. He went into the Army during WWII where his B-24 bomber was shot down. Louis was one of three who survived the crash and spent the next 43 days in a raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, they drifted to a Japanese-occupied island where they were put into a prison camp. Over the next two years, Louis was tortured consistently by a sadistic guard nicknamed “The Bird”. The new movie Unbroken: Path to Redemption tells what happened next.
When the war ended Louis came home, but the pain and suffering he had endured returned with him. Prone to night terrors, Louis couldn’t escape the wrath of “The Bird”. It even stayed with him after he married the love of his life and had a baby. Unable to cope with his pain he turned to alcohol, which had a devastating impact on his family. His habit of abusing alcohol to numb his pain almost broke his family apart. His saving grace came when he saw Billy Graham speak and came to faith. From then on, he stopped drinking and never had another nightmare. It changed his marriage, his involvement as a father, and his life’s direction. Our bad habits have a bad effect on our families. Breaking bad habits will bring about stronger marriages and stronger kids. Here are 5 bad habits dads need to stop.
1. Getting Drunk
The more time a dad spends with his kids, the more they grow, mature, and develop. Fathers who are drunk spend less time interacting with their children. At the very least, a drunk dad misses the opportunity of being a presence in their kids’ lives, which can stunt their growth. At worst, a drunk dad creates the trauma of insecurity and anxiety in the child because someone who is drunk isn’t functioning clearly. Drunk people tend to be unpredictable, unreliable, and often belligerent. Kids are not equipped to deal with that kind of situation, and shouldn’t have to.
It usually gets kids to do what you want. I know, I do it more than I like to admit. But it accomplishes the goal by fear and intimidation. Honestly, I am not opposed to the occasional raised voice to get their attention, but when it becomes the norm it’s a problem. It may be the easiest way to modify behavior (temporarily), but it creates a relational barrier and models no emotional control. That leads into the next point.
It’s difficult to react calmly and say the right things at the end of a long and tiring day. Actually, sometimes it’s even difficult to do when you are well rested. However, whenever we overreact we lose credibility. When you are a dad you need to prepare your heart and mind to be the pillar of the family. You are permanently on-call to solve problems, make judgments, be a shoulder to cry on, and bear the weight of the family. So before you blow up or make meaningless claims like grounding someone for a year, take a moment to temper your emotions and your words. The more you do, the more you will be respected.
We all need time alone to rest, refresh, and reboot. Do it and be intentional about recharging because your family needs your energy, wisdom, influence, and presence. They need your leadership. You have a choice: You can be a source of power or a vacuum. Rather than disappearing into the TV, your phone, or daydreaming, focus your attention on helping your kids and wife (if you are married) with their struggles and making them feel loved.
Being a dad is stressful. It’s difficult to meet the demands of the family, but when you engage you are building character and the strength to rise to the challenge. Your shoulders become broader to handle the weight. Porn, on the other hand, makes all the stress go away, but only momentarily. It’s a distraction, an unhealthy coping mechanism that makes us weaker. Rather than dealing with reality and bolstering our grit and perseverance, porn is simply a temporary escape. The result is weakness, disconnection, and atrophy.
The more time a dad spends with his kids, the more they grow, mature, and develop.
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The 5 Biggest Fears Of Men
Ever since I can remember I have been a Philadelphia Eagles fan. If you follow the NFL at all, you already know that this has been a great year for me. There was something special about last year’s team in its unity and spirit than any other Eagles team I have ever seen. It is the reason why I think they were able to win the Super Bowl. Several months ago, a core group of players sat down with Pastor Paul Tripp to discuss their NFL careers, the Super Bowl, and their faith. Thousands attended live while it was also simulcast (which is still available for purchase if you want to see it) around the world.
At one point, the moderator Paul Tripp asked the question, “What makes you more afraid in life than a career-ending injury?” Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles talked about his biggest fear being that fear would win, that he would be overcome by fear. In his life, and in ours if we are honest, fear can be paralyzing. What are the most common fears that we deal with? If we expose them for what they are, perhaps we can reduce or even eliminate their power. Here are the 5 most common fears of men.
Why are we so afraid of failing? Are we afraid of living with the shame that comes with it, disappointing others or perhaps ourselves? Are we afraid of what it might reveal about us, namely that we have limitations that we’ll never get beyond? Perhaps we’re afraid failure will come to define us. Regardless, failure is the last thing we should be afraid of. If you talk to any person who has achieved success, they will tell you about the list of failures that preceded it. If the sole reason you are not taking a risk or pursuing a goal is because you are afraid of failure then it’s time to dive in. Failure doesn’t define you; it’s just something we all experience on the way toward achieving goals.
If the sole reason you are not taking a risk or pursuing a goal is because you are afraid of failure then it's time to dive in. Failure doesn't define you; it's just something we all experience on the way toward achieving goals.
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2. Being Incompetent
We want to know that we have what it takes. We want to be useful, to feel needed. If we don’t have what it takes to accomplish a task, again, what does that say about us? That leads right into the next point. But before we look at that, know this, we all have certain talents. Find your talents and use them; pour into them in order to help others. Don’t be afraid to try, learn, and fail. Every risk earns you knowledge about yourself and takes you one step closer to knowing what you are made to do.
3. Being Weak (or Being Perceived as Weak)
For a man, being perceived as weak is probably as bad as actually being weak. And there is nothing worse, for a man, than being weak. Dr. Brene Brown says that the shame that comes from being perceived as weak keeps men from being vulnerable. The ability to be vulnerable is necessary for growth. Someone who is honest about their emotions and is willing to be vulnerable is the very definition of strength.
4. Being Irrelevant
We all want our lives to mean something when all is said and done. If you are struggling with this one I would suggest two things. First, find out what you do best and then use it to help others. People are in need of love and care and if you provide that to even one person, you will never be irrelevant.
5. Looking Foolish
This is that thing that keeps us from speaking up in meetings or taking on a challenge. Ultimately, it minimizes our impact in the world. It’s okay to be wrong or fall short. You won’t lose credibility just because you are and have been wrong. You were given a voice and the world needs your perspective. It needs your initiative. The more you step out and risk, the more you are going to misfire. But you will also have more success.
The more you step out and risk, the more you are going to misfire. But you will also have more success.
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When fear grips you, remember this quote from Teddy Roosevelt and get in the arena:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”