As I flipped through the pages of my previous years’ diaries and read the many goals and hopes I had for each New Year, I felt I had not been so progressive in achieving them and I had just written them in the excitement of the New Year’s new beginnings. Though I consoled myself for reaching few of the goals to some extent and wanted to celebrate the little victories, deep down I felt I was a failure.
Every year at the start of the New Year, I was so thrilled to write my goals and resolutions on the very first page. But this time, I didn’t feel motivated to write my goals or even hope ahead for many fulfilling days.
Before filling the fresh blank pages of my new diary, before writing any new goals in it for the New Year, I thought I needed to first stop, re-evaluate myself and search deeper for the answers for my depressing thoughts and feelings.
I realized that part of me always wanted to keep a good attitude and hope ahead but part of me felt so tired inside to take even one step further.
Part of me wanted to have God’s ways in my life, but part of me wanted to just venture for my own ways.
Part of me wanted to stay faithful in the path I was chosen for, but part of me longed for a different life and call.
Part of me wanted to excel in every role I played, but part of me felt imperfect in many ways.
Part of me wanted to choose some grace for myself but part of me wanted to accuse myself of all the mistakes and wrong choices I made.
Part of me knew that God is by my side, but part of me doubted if I was worthy enough to deserve His favour.
Part of me knew God is in control and has great plans for His children, but part of me wanted to just grasp everything with my own strength and reason things with my limited understanding.
Part of me wanted to get up, wash my face and move on but part of me wanted to just keep sobbing in the pillow and feel sorry for myself.
Can you relate?
I am sure at some point in your life you too have felt the same way or perhaps you are feeling that way right now. Part of you always wants to feel full of hope and optimism for the days ahead but part of you just wants to say “I quit” letting the trials of life squeeze every bit of strength you have gathered.
If you too are wrestling with the same thoughts as I did, here are some approaches I have found which are helping me move ahead with renewed hope, insights and new ways of thinking.
- Stop comparing your life with others.
Comparing your life with others will only steal your joy. Run the race you are assigned for. Always remember that your life is just different from others. It doesn’t mean it is better or worse than them. Being happier than others doesn’t mean you are winning and when you see others are happier than you, it doesn’t mean you are losing. If you want to compare yourself, just compare with the person you were yesterday and do better every day.
- Stop expecting that someone else will make you happy.
You and only you are responsible for your happiness and the person you become. Let the source of your joy be inside out. Don’t hurt or blame others for not being able to fulfil your expectations the way you want them. Simply take up responsibility for your own life.
- Stop letting any favourable circumstances, people, accolades, applauds or opportunities become your source of motivation.
They are likely to change in the very next moment. There might be a time of complete absence of them. Your motivation must come from within and not from outside sources. You be your own cheer leader.
- Stop being perfect in every way.
Nobody is perfect! It’s ok to fail and fail some more before you succeed. It’s in your very insufficiencies in which Christ’s power is made perfect. So always be kind to yourself when you can’t perfectly do things which are expected of you. Striving hard to be a perfect person will only make you discontent and unhappy. Every one of us has flaws and that’s what makes us human, needing His grace every moment.
- Stop considering your calling as a career path
Everyone is entrusted with different gifts, vocation and a realm of influence. The worth of your work shouldn’t depend on how much respect or profit you get or how many people you impress or the size of the crowd you get to follow you. Remember, not all of us are called to public places but to do a seemingly insignificant work which nobody notices – yet it holds value in God’s sight. The most important thing is to be faithful wherever God has placed you. You are successful when you are faithful.
- Stop looking for many things
When life’s many trials overwhelm you and you think you can’t make it to the other side, only one thing is needed – Look to Jesus. This is where you will gain just enough strength, provision, wisdom and guidance to move on. Remember, the greatest battles are won on your knees. With Him by your side, you are already a winner.
So more than anything else, I am making these outlooks to be my primary goals of life and can’t wait to write them on the blank pages of my diary which are awaiting me. And I pray that they will lift your spirit too and allow you to see your life with a renewed insight and in the light of God’s love, His grace, His strength and His ways.