Nurture Your Hopes and Dreams
The Essentials of Discovering Your Destiny
Thomas Edison once said, “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” I’d alter his words a bit to say, “If we all did what we were destined to do, we would live astounding lives!”
There is a common thread in the life of just about every patient of mine who is in the prime of his or her life. Virtually all have delayed for decades doing something they longed to do. Unfortunately, many of my patients have spent a great portion of their lives seeking to please others instead of finding the path their Creator has charted for them.
One 80 year old patient shared in tears, “I am a slave to the expectations of others. My mother’s criticism kept me from my dreams. Only recently did I step out from under her critique – and she died over 40 years ago.” Another told me, “I was too busy chasing the dreams of my parents rather than my own destiny.”
I believe with all my heart that a Master Designer personally created each of us meticulously. We exist for a reason, and our Creator loves us beyond our wildest dreams. We are designed for a purpose. Jesus noted that he came to earth so that each of us “may have life, and have it to the full.”
In his book The Power of Purpose, Richard Leider points out, “Purpose is not a thing. It is never a static condition we can preserve. Purpose is a continuous activity, questions we ask over and over again. It’s a process we live every day. It’s a process for listening and shaping our life stories.”
So, how do you get in touch with your God-given hopes and dreams—perhaps abandoned somewhere along life’s path—and nurture them back to life?
Find Your Passion
First, open a blank journal and begin to prayerfully write down what you believe are your personal and God-created passions and desires. Separate the list into commitments (those items that you must do to survive) and passions (the deep-seated longing, divinely directed callings that you cannot do without God).
I believe God places a life-directing passion in each person. If you are not moving toward fulfilling this inner desire the result is the four D’s: dissatisfaction, discontentment, disappointment, and displeasure.
Determine to Discover Your Destiny
Second, I recommend you spend some time writing down in your journal detailed information about each of your passions.
Journal about what it would take to follow your passion? What support do you have? What would you need now and along the way?
Remember, our Creator specializes in the impossible. Miracles still happen—even today! No matter what your age, it is never too late to become the person you were designed to be.
Identify What Is Poisoning Your Passion
Third, prayerfully discover what has been holding you back. Why are you allowing your dreams to be derailed? Why are you afraid to take a risk and step out onto new ground? Why are you denying your hopes and not living out your destiny? Here are a few reasons I’ve heard:
One man told me with quivering chin and misty eyes, “I have feared failure, criticism, and rejection, which has led me to do things that guarantee I’ll be 100 percent safe. This has kept me from fulfilling any purpose that is greater than my own fears.”
“I stayed too isolated. I didn’t get outside myself,” another man said. “By choosing to serve only myself and not my community, I was missing out on God’s plan for my life. It was only when I began serving others that I really discovered who I was and what I was supposed to be doing.”
In your journal, add other reasons that may be keeping you from following your passion. What would it take for you to move from where you are today to where you want to be? List at least two specific things you can do to get started. Then write down how and when you will start.
Pick Your Passion
What can you do today to discover your God-given destiny? Here are some tips:
• Pick one thing from your list—one passion—that you could accomplish if you would just choose to do it.
• Decide both how you will do this and when you will do this. Write it down in your journal.
• Share your dream and plan with someone you love. Seek their advice and counsel.
• Finally, pray expectantly about finding and carrying out your passion and your destiny.
Adapted from Dr. Walt’s book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, available at www.DrWalt.com. To read or subscribe to Dr. Walt’s three-time-a-week Christian Health blog, go to www.DrWalt.com/blog.