We live in a weird time in history.
Never has it been easier to build a following, construct a cause, and self-promote.
It’s actually quite amazing.
We can self-publish our own books, market our own events, and reach out to an unlimited crowd.
Our generation is perhaps one of the luckiest in terms of being handed the tools to pursue our dreams seemingly without limit.
But I can’t help but wonder sometimes, what is it all for?
Because you see, it’s really easy to get behind a cause or a well-known speaker that we support, or even become one ourselves.
A speaker, that is – not a cause.
Periodically, I think it’s healthy to ask ourselves, “Why do we do what we do?”
And that’s a really tricky thing to discern sometimes.
Because we want to believe the best about ourselves and others.
But the truth is, that we are all human. And like every other human on the planet – we like the attention from doing things well. We like the accolades, the atta-boys or atta-girls. The recognition that we have succeeded in our area of influence.
Is it wrong?
Everybody likes a pat on the back. And we need those. They encourage us to keep going.
But things get wonky when we veer of the road of clear thinking into one of two ditches.
The pattern of doing things because we feel obligated – which will lead us to burn out.
Doing things to get the approval of others (the praise of men) – which will lead us to compromising our values and failing to truly give to others from pure motives.
We are left wondering how to stay on the straight and narrow.
How about we start with a little bit of honesty.
Self-reflection is a discipline that isn’t easy.
It’s not comfortable to take a hard look at ourselves and gauge where we’ve let ourselves slip:
Are we helping the people around us out of genuine concern for their well-being or because we are afraid they won’t approve of us if we don’t?
Are we cleaning up the messes of others because if we don’t do it, nobody will?
Are we bitter with our family, friends, and co-workers for not meeting our needs, yet too afraid to speak up about what it is that we actually need?
Are we promoting ourselves on our social media sites because we sincerely want to help and encourage others or do we do it so that we can derive a sense of self-worth from the attention?
Are we frustrated with our lives because we haven’t embraced the feedback of others who love and care about us?
You’ll find that the best business coaches, counselors, and top performers in the world practice this type of self-reflection on a regular basis. And the truly excellent ones, teach others to do the same.
Even God wants us to take time to evaluate ourselves.
Because if we can’t bring ourselves to admit that we need help and we need change, God as a loving father will help us. But let me tell you from personal experience, it so much less fun.
But if we evaluated and judged ourselves honestly [recognizing our shortcomings and correcting our behavior], we would not be judged.
1 Corinthians 11:31
So, why is it that we do what it is that we do?
If some of the scenarios above sound like you, know that you’re not alone. New seasons of life always come with a learning curve. . . and with it, permission to rediscover our own hearts and desires.
I’d love to hear about your courageous thinking and the changes from it! Feel free to share in the comments!