With the prevalence of High-Def television, video, photography, computer screens, and even smart phones, our modern eyes have grown accustomed to seeing things in clear focus. Going back to older technology is immediately noticeable, and seems fuzzy and ancient.
I find that this can be a metaphor for life. Some people seem to live lives that are clear and in focus, while others move through days of fuzziness with no direction. What is the difference? And what are some things you can do to make sure to live your own life in the vibrant clarity only high-definition can produce? The answer is intentionality; clearly defining what's most important and then deploying your time, talents, and resources toward those ends accordingly.
1. Understand Your Purpose: Knowing who you are begins with knowing whose you are. Unearth, detect, and discover your God-given purpose and you will be giving your life the highest possible clarity.
2. Pursue a Dream: Knowing your overall purpose opens the door to dreams. As Orrin Woodward and I wrote in Launching a Leadership Revolution, clarifying your actions by aligning them in the direction of a dream can have massive motivational power.
3. Set Specific Goals: Dreams without goals set toward their attainment are mere fantasies. Those goals must be specific, believable, achievable, written and spoken, and have a target date for completion.
4. Follow a Game Plan: A game plan is a map that guides you through the obstacles and hurdles and gives you a route to your goals. What specific steps can you take to hit your goals? Who should you enlist to help and support you in that quest? What rewards will you allow yourself upon hitting your goals? These are just some of the elements that go into a produtive game plan.
5. Execute: There is no substitute for hard work. Tim Tebow said, "It's not hard to beat talent when talent won't work hard." The most successful people in life are not the ones with the most talent, but rather those who have the ability to push themselves to excellence. Remember: You won't reach high if you won't push on.
6. Measure Your Results: Orrin Woodward is big on calling this step "Keeping Score." Having goals but not measuring your progress against them is like bowling in the dark. Have the courage to confront brutal reality and get a true, accurate measure on how you are progressing.
7. Adjust Intelligently: Analyze your results and make adjustments as necessary. These don't have to be huge - just smart. It is at this step where a mentor or coach can prove invaluable because often we are blind to our limiting factors and destructive tendencies.
8. Persist in the Process: Many times success is nothing more than hanging on long enough for it to show up. Stay the course. Be tough enough to stick it out. Once having put your hands to the plow, don't look back. Keep at it.
9. Enjoy the Journey: The cliches are flying fast and furiously now. But this is a big one. Life is a pilgrimage, not a destination. Be sure to celebrate your victories.
10. Touch Lives Along the Way: If you only embodied #9, you would be a selfish Hedonist. But if you enjoy the journey while serving others, you will not only be more fun to be around, but will lift others in the process. Remember: The selfish life is not worth living (and neither is the shellfish life, when you really think about it!)
11. Take Time Out: Be wise enough to know how you operate. Schedule in deliberate breaks for rest and restoration, so you can continue to function at peak capacity.
12. Keep Your Priorities Straight: This is good advice in two ways: a) for proper allotment of your time and resources as you strive toward excellence (thereby making the most productive use of what you've been given), and b) to keep you from losing track of who you are and what you are about. In those famous words from The Lion King as said to Mufasa, "Never forget who you are."
13. Give glory to God: When it's all said and done, there is usually a lot more said than done. And the little we actually do accomplish is for, by, and through God's grace.
These are the 13 megapixels critical for constructing a High-Def life. Challenge yourself to keep them in focus and enjoy the vibrancy that results!
I hope this helps.