Live a BIG Life

If you want to do something BIG you need to believe in something BIG.

J. Paul Getty said he learned too late in his life that it took almost as much energy and commitment to do a small project as a big one. He said had he known that he would have spent less time on small projects and more time on larger projects. How many of us spend our time this same way, doing things that are small where our impact in this world could be much greater.

So to improve our opportunities to make our life count more by effecting greater change and make greater accomplishments let’s look at a few things we can do to get started.

If you want to do something BIG you need to position yourself to do so.

Position Yourself:

1. Physically – pace yourself

2. Emotionally – develop emotional maturity

3. Mentally – be a student

Christian Bernard the renowned Heart Surgeon- came from a small town, with dirt streets, but he saw a BIG World and the world was better because of it. You don’t start at the top. It takes time and commitment to develop a significant life that lives big. Pace yourself for the journey. I’ve heard the phrase life is a marathon not a sprint. It’s true. My mentor Orrin Woodward has a statement I found has helped me put the journey in perspective. To paraphrase it; most people expect too much in one year and too little in 5 years. Give yourself time to succeed.

The react test – how do you react when things happen to you? Are you learning to develop emotional maturity? Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “stuff happens”? Many times our response to these, our reaction determines whether the experience helps or hinders our life. A higher level of reaction is responding. Learn to develop the level of maturity that you no longer react (a panicked less controlled action) but you respond (a more controlled action). This comes from experiences and knowledge that prepare you for times that are out of your control or for the unexpected.

Have a BIG heart and be generous. A big person lives as a Servant Leader

Proverbs 11:24 says; The generous soul becomes rich. I have found that the more you give of yourself to others the more that is returned in many ways, ways you cannot count, ways in which may not be apparent in the moment but in ways far more valuable than money. In the book The Servant by James Hunter he shares this principle in a profound way.

So many people live in a small world. To live a bigger life be a bigger person. How do you do so? First be hungry to learn and learn from those with the knowledge and life experiences you seek to live. In the bestselling book  Launching a Leadership Revolution the authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward describe hunger to succeed as the number one attribute of those who do. Of the top 100 leaders in America most did not graduate in the top of their class. Many who succeeded in this world did not even have the opportunity to go to college but learned by studying as a protégé. Sir Issac Newton said I have seen further because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. Why not learn from the giants in your field. Whether it is medicine, sports, the arts, religion, or business you can find books, seminars, articles, to learn from or a mentor to guide you through the process.

Surround yourself with big people. Who do you associate with? Are they people that cause you to stretch and grow as a person. Have you ever noticed that most people who play a sport prefer to play with someone better because it causes them to raise their level of play to the better player? If that’s the case why do so many people in life then associate with people who are less successful? Is it possible that it then causes them to play the game of life to a lower level as well? It sure stands to reason it will. Change your associations if necessary. Find people who live bigger in life than you and associate with then. I heard years ago that if you can find someone who is more successful in the area of life you aspire to, buy them lunch and glean all you can, for it is better to learn the crumbs of knowledge of a successful person than a feast of knowledge from a fool. If you get the opportunity to meet with successful people – Do It!

Money Focused or Purpose Focused?

What is your Money View?

A great question to ask ourselves, because we spend so much of our life working for it – Chris Brady New York Times best-selling author does a talk explaining the concept of a money-view. Because like your worldview, your money-view determines how you approach money. And because we all have the need to earn money, how we view it determines the role it plays in our lives.

In a well articulated article Eric Blomdahl explores finding and living your GOD-given purpose. The challenge we seem to face as a society is we serve GOD on Sunday or in Bible study or on a missions trip, but 40 hours a week (80 for most couples) people focus on money by going off to a job. Many Christians feel that we are not doing GOD’s work if we make a profit, yet Christian authors are paid, and most Pastors are paid, and they usually have a paid staff to assist with the operation of the church. Our defense is the Pastor and staff, are doing GOD’s work.

In contrast most people work a job not because it was their life’s purpose or GOD’s purpose for their life, but because it paid better than the last job.  Where I live near the State Capital of Pennsylvania when asked where someone works if they work for the state you usually get the response with a reply like “I work for such and such at the state, only 12 more years to go. Does that sound like the response of someone whose job is fulfilling their life’s purpose? It sounds more like a prisoner who is doing their time for a crime committed. Maybe it should be considered a crime wasting the life and talent GOD gave us to make money when the only reason we do it because it pays more. In Scripture it states “the love of money is the root of all evil”. Well why else would someone devote their entire life to a job where they are counting the days until they retire if it wasn’t for the money? I doubt they would be there if they weren’t getting paid.

Perhaps our worldview has been shaped in the church. Many of us get our perspective on money from hearing people misquote scripture by saying money is the root of all evil or we attend a church that tends to criticize and make its members feel guilty if they earn income.

A white paper titled Pastoral Care in the Context of New Wealth authors Cooke and Moon researched to determine a Pastor’s capacity to counsel a church member who came into money through inheritance or financial success and found that most are ill equipped to provide such counsel or even know where to turn to provide direction for a church member. They cite several reasons but generally speaking it has to do with the misunderstanding of money and the role it plays in a person’s life. This confusion has been passed on in many cases to the congregation. Money in the hands of good people who understand it’s role can do amazing things.

LIFE challenges men and women to step out of a job where we work for money and into a life of purpose. What is that purpose you ask? That’s for you to decide, but let me offer a few suggestions. I’ve said recently if my children were young with today’s technology we would home school them and travel the country so they could see and experience life first hand. Imagine the memories that would be created stopping to view a sunset on the Pacific Coast of California or to wake up with your kids overlooking Lake Tahoe and have breakfast lakeside. How about going on a Missions Trip every quarter of the year? Would you take your parents on a trip to Bermuda, or a cruise to Alaska with their grandchildren? Would you volunteer more time to your favorite charity? Would you take time to really appreciate your family and each other rather than living the hurry scurry of life most families endure?

What legacy do you want to leave and when are you going to start living that legacy to leave one?