The last day of my 20’s.
In honor of this moment, I present to you the final chapter of this week long series:
Things I Wish I Did In My 20’s Part 3 of 3:
Let go of the weight of self-expectation.
You’ve heard it said that comparison is the thief of joy.
Growing up, I never understood why people were ashamed of their age as they got older.
Then I heard a theory that I ascribe to as well:
people hate talking about how old they are because they are embarrassed by the life they’ve lived.
That’s where mid-life crises come from: regret of the decisions they made when they were young and striving to “start over”.
It comes down to something as old as the 10 commandments: Comparison and coveting.
Old acquaintances that have only grown stronger thanks to social media.
In a world of everyone you know and don’t is constantly sharing their wins, we view our mundane moments as losses.
And we beat ourselves up over where we are in life with questions like:
Why don’t I have the relationships they have?
Why isn’t my job as cool as theirs?
Their life seems so exciting and my is so boring.
And as we get older we ask ourselves questions like:
Am I living the kind of life I want to?
Is my time on this earth making a difference?
What kind of legacy will I leave?
When I’m dead, will anyone miss me when I’m gone?
Throughout my 20’s, I would beat myself over my life’s accomplishments or lack there of.
In an ideal world, by the age of 30, I would have:
– over a million followers on social media
– written a New York Times Best Seller or two
– served as a full-on traveling speaker
– produced a feature-length award-winning documentary. Maybe an entire mini-series.
– traveled to every continent in the world,
– been married to the love of my life for 5+ years with 2 kids on the way,
Obviously, none of these dreams have come true.
We all have dreams that have yet to be fulfilled.
And you may have dreams that seem so lofty, you don’t know if they’ll ever come to pass. So why even do the work of pursuit?
If you’re anything like me, you travel the spectrum of laziness/apathy to burning out all because of high self-expectations of success.
We need to heart check when it comes to our dreams and self-expectations of success:
1. Be honest with yourself: do you want to change the world or simply be known as a world changer?
2. Are you more concerned with building your temporary fame or God’s eternal Kingdom?
As I approach the door to my 30’s, I’m bringing along these two truths that I hope you carry along in your journey as well:
1. Success does not equal significance. Because there will be Kingdom Legends we don’t learn about until we get to the other side of eternity.
2. The path to fulfillment is faithfulness to your relationship with God and the things he’s given you to steward. Because you can’t control the result of your work, but what you can influence is the level of discipline and excellence behind the work.
So if you know you are being faithful, making progress, while also allowing yourself to take the time out of the grind to love the people God’s putting in front of you: have peace, you’re winning in life.
So what does all this look like for me?
On my phone, I have a list of life dreams.
The stories I want to tell. The content I want to create. The places I want to go. The family I want to build. The bucket-list items I want to cross off.
There are a handful I’m choosing to make a priority in this upcoming season, based on how I believe God is leading me.
Then every month, every week, every day, I’m going to evaluate and take steps to seeing these things come to pass.
Yet at the same time, I say this daily prayer:
Jesus, I give you my dreams. I give you my goals. They, along with all that I am, belong to you. Lead me and do with me as you wish. Help me to love the people you put in my path as I am faithful to fulfill the stewardships you’ve placed on my heart.
Therefore, by doing these things, I’ll be able to let go of my high self-expectations.
Because my life in in the hands of my Lord, Creator, Savior, and Heavenly Father.
And it is there I find peace and fulfillment in this day and the ones to come.
Let’s bring on my 30s, for the future is better than the good old days.