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December 17, 2017 10:53 pm

The Three Targets

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Pursuing the American dream is nothing like a walk in a park or driving down the interstate. It’s more like climbing a mountain or taking a sports car down a dirt road. Many people start down the trail or the road with great expectations and intentions. However, they come to a halt when they realize the trail turns into dangerous climbing and the paved road turns into a pothole-infested, muddy adventure that could destroy their convertible. The truth is most people get stuck on a ledge or broken down on the road. Why? They were not prepared for what was coming. They did not know what the road was going to look like.  These individuals chose their Ralph Lauren suit instead of their cargo shorts and carabiners.  They chose their car instead of a jeep.  Those that fail, do so because they did not correctly perceive and prepare for the journey. So what is the journey? I have taken the American dream and boiled it down to three targets. Each of these will help you focus by showing you where to aim and by giving you purpose for traveling down life’s dirt road. The three targets are: stability, success, and significance.

1. Stability

What words come to mind when you read the word stability?  Safe?  Unwavering?  Durable? How about balance? All of these describe a condition of something being stable. Whether one is starting a family or a job, what most people are looking for is financial stability; to know that when life brings on storms, you will be able to weather through and not lose everything you own.  Most of us could not handle a huge setback financially because we are not financially stable. We do not have “Murphy Repellent” as Dave Ramsey, creator of Financial Peace University, is fond of saying.  If you lost your income and could not afford to live for six months on an emergency fund then you are not financially stable. If this is you, I would highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s book, “The Total Money Make Over” or to find a Financial Peace University class, also by Dave Ramsey. Stability does not just apply to your money situation; it applies to every area of your life. Most people believe that you are successful when you are wealthy; however, that is not true as you will see when we discuss the second target: success.

2. Success

Where financial stability is a balanced checkbook, success is a balanced life.  Success is found when you have stability in all areas of your life: finances, family, friendships, health, and your relationship with God. All the areas of your life need attention and care. It doesn’t matter if you have all the money in the world but spend all your time at work as your marriage and health will fail. Would you truly want to acquire all the things that the world has to offer and lose your soul (Matthew 16:26)? Some people abhor money because they see money as evil and choose to have a deep, rich spiritual life and a very close relationship with God. News flash: you can have both! Better yet, God wants you to have both. The Bible does not say that money is evil; instead, it says that, “The love of money is evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) The richest men in history were King David and King Solomon. My point is that each area of your life needs to be taken care of in order for you to be successful. No part should be left out otherwise you will live an unbalanced life. Many people look at having financial stability as being successful.  Instead, I believe you can have financial stability and be successful by living a balanced life. Eat right and workout, have date nights with your spouse, spend time in prayer and communion with God, hangout with friends, and on top of all of this spend less money than you make. That is the path to being successful. As I said at the beginning there are three targets, which means there is one more target after success.

3. Significance

The last target is significance. Significance is a great thing and is something for which we should all strive. Significance involves much more than being successful. Significance is changing the world! God has given us the title of “His Children” (John 1:12)! We have so much that we are called to do; however, we never step into that position. As God’s child I have the inheritance of my Father! I am called to show God’s love in every aspect of life. Some of the ways that we show God’s love is by healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead (Matthew 10:8); We are an ambassador of God and yet often we represent God as powerless and unloving.  Significance changes things. Repaints the world to look like Heaven. We are called to pray “on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) I can explain the difference between success and significance by just typing two names. Are you ready for this?  Eric Clapton and Mother Teresa. Eric Clapton is successful but he is not significant; whereas Mother Teresa is both successful and significant. Mother Teresa changed the world. She stepped outside of her comfort zone and challenged the status quo. As Seth Godin would put it, she was “a unicorn in a balloon factory.”  I encourage you to find your passion.  What in this world makes you upset just by reading about it or seeing it on the news? If you could change anything in the world what would it be?  Find the answer to these questions and then propel your life from success to significance!

Now that we have looked at all three targets I ask you to use them in your life. Pull the arrows out of your quiver and fire.  Focus on each target with all the intensity that you can muster and then let your arrows fly. Take control of your finances, bring balance to your life and find what makes your blood boil and then change it!  What you tolerate you cannot change; therefore, the world is the way it is because you allow it.   

What’s your dream? What makes your blood boil? Write your answers in the comments below.

Image courtesy of kongsky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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