[These questions come from readers. If you have a question, ask it here.]
This week, I was honored to facilitate a leadership retreat for an executives team in Wisconsin. Huddled in a remote retreat house, the 11 of us discussed topics such as vision casting, defining your purpose and decision-making. In review, the conversations that were most helpful for the group focused around the questions, “How am I hardwired and how does that affect the way I work and live?” In other words, each person discovered toward which types of activities they are naturally drawn and what activities they should avoid doing. When you discover that, then you can focus your unfulfilled life and begin to discover, develop and deploy your purpose.
The problem for most of us is that we jump right into a life situation based on three things:
- a life compared to other people
- an expectation from someone else
- a desire for what we think is success
In doing so, people often lead lives that are not fulfilling and frustrating. A recent study showed that 87% of people are working in a situation where they feel bored, overly stressed or unfulfilled.
God has more for you.
What you should be doing is figuring out and acting on your “bent.” Proverbs 22:6 says,
“TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO: AND WHEN HE IS OLD, HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT.”
The original meaning of “in the way he should go” means to train the child up in the way they were designed. As a child grows, parents can see personality traits and tendencies as well as activities that make them come alive. This is their “bent.” When you continue to grow, you should continue to study your bent not just to move you toward activities that make life fulfilling, but to keep you from activities that keep you back from all that makes you come alive.
God’s ultimate purpose for you is to know Him through Jesus. In doing so, you get to know yourself. As you are intentional about studying the way you should go, you become a fulfilled person who adds incredible value to the world.