In life, there are constant demands on your time and attention. It’s easy to get lost – to find yourself going through the motions. You are working hard, paddling as fast as you can, trying to keep your head above the waterline and not drown in your to-do list. Along the way, perhaps you stop and ask yourself; “Who am I?” “Am I making a difference?” “Am I spending my time and energy on the right things — the things that will matter most not just in my own life, but for my family, for my future, and eternity?”
One of the most helpful and healthy things you can do is periodically step back and make sure
that you are spending your energy on things related to your purpose, mission, and identity. Which begs the question, where do you find your identity?
My friend Jon Davis and I were having breakfast recently, and he commented on something Tod Bolsinger shared in a meeting Jon was attending. Tod is the author of multiple books, including Canoeing the Mountains, which is about leading in uncharted territory. According to Tod, the way you get at your mission is by discovering your identity, and you find your identity in the stories you tell.
As someone who is invested in the power of “story,” this statement resonated with me. Think about it, what are the stories you love to tell? What are the victories and conquests about which you are most proud? Chances are the things you talk about, that you celebrate and share most often are stories that connect with your identity and who you really are.
The stories you tell speak to your aspirations – whom you desire to be. Maybe your 9-5 is working construction, but you long to be a singer, an entertainer. The stories that captivate you, the stories you share will more likely speak to your calling, your desire, than your current status.
Ideally, who you are lines up with what you do. But if not, maybe you need to consider realigning your time and your work to sync with your identity. I suspect the more in alignment you are, the greater peace, contentment, and satisfaction you will experience.
I am a visionary, and I love to create – so I find myself gravitating to working with people who want to create something – a book, for example. I also am an encourager; it’s just part of my nature. If I take the DISC test, I am off the charts as a people person. So, the authors whose books I get most excited about are the ones that are all about building up others and encouraging. The stories I tell are often themed around people encounters more than tasks accomplished.
So how about you? How in touch, how aware are you of your own identity, your own story? Are you living out your best story?. If so, great. If not, perhaps it’s time to make some changes, to focus your time and talent to align more with your identity. Maybe you have a great job that pays well but is not aligned well with your identity. You have responsibilities and can’t just quit and look for something else. OK, but how about getting more involved as a volunteer with organizations whose work feeds your soul. Where can you invest your free time to foster and support your identity – that will give you more stories that you will love to tell!