By Christian Harris | May 1, 2016
We all keep score as we go through life. Some "scores" are easier to tally up and keep track of then others. Some people's scores are based on how much money they make and they then judge themselves against others based on the level of material success they have attained.
Some keep score by their work ethic. How hard they work compared to those other "slackers" who don't work as hard. This may be part of a larger score they are keeping of providing for their family and are willing to make sacrifices in some areas to reach that goal.
Some keep score based on what their parents or other people in their life told them they should be doing. They are living for someone else' expectations. Maybe even someone else' dreams... but not theirs.
Some people live to influence and inspire people and that is how they keep score... by how many people have they impacted.
Some keep score based on the pursuit and achievement of a relative level of their own personal happiness.
With some, their score is all about conquest, whether it's being the strongest, conquering the biggest mountain or being the best at their job or most recognized. Or it could simply be as base as is common with many young men, quite literally how much can they "score" with the ladies, as crass as that may be, it's a realty for some people.
For others it's the level of satisfaction they have in the work they do.
Another way of putting all this: we all have an idea about what success looks like for us.
We then base our priorities, life decisions and actions upon our what we think will bring us "success". Much of the time, these priorities that guide our actions and life direction will shift as we go through different life stages. How do you measure your success?
We will make sacrifices, suffer and toil to be successful. We sacrifice idols at the alter of our small "g" gods in our life. Our priorities in life betray our hearts real idols. Asking questions like, "what is most important to me", "what would I do anything for" and "what would I be willing to give up if I could only have...____" will help you discover what is most important to you.
For me, it's often work. I pride myself on my strong work ethic. This often means long hours away from the house and family. By the definition of real estate industry I am a part of, I am successful. However, I struggle to not sacrifice my family at the alter of my business. I have to be intentional about the time I make for my wife and son. I schedule date nights with my wife a couple times a month and regular father-son outings to ensure I'm pursuing my family and maintain some good dedicated quality time with them... they are the real reason that I work so hard. It would be a shame to spend my whole life working to "support my family" and provide them a good life while ironically drifting apart from them and essentially becoming strangers. This would be the lose of the most important thing to me.
When I'm able to provide for my family while also making time to enjoy them, that is a good score in my book.
At the core of your life's satisfaction and enjoyment is finding your purpose. Ask yourself, "What is my purpose" because if you don't know what your purpose is then you can never create a score keeping system that enables you to know if your achieving it or not.
Are you living out of your purpose? How are you keeping score? What does success look like to you? Have you made it? Are you still striving for it?
If you're unsatisfied in life right now, it's possible that you're not living out of your purpose.
For many people these questions about how they keep score or what success is to them are never verbalized... maybe they are never even asked and the vague questions linger and dwell somewhere in their subconscious, taunting them from deep within.
I think that many people avoid these more difficult life questions because it is hard and can be painful to consider. To ask these questions requires self-reflection and contemplation and frankly, I don't think that a lot of people like the answers they get when they slow down enough to start hearing themselves think again. I would venture to say that this is a big part of the appeal of our current culture of entertainment and stimulation, it keeps us from having to stop and think about the harder and sometimes more unpleasant aspects of life. We keep a continual flow of stimulation coming at us to respond to, instead of generating our own ideas, vision, goals and objectives. The bombardment of constant stimulation directs and controls us, we rarely use our technology to serve us these days. Not nearly as much as we serve it... but I digress.
I've noticed many people in my life who have never asked themselves these questions and therefore have no answers. Instead of figuring out what the important questions are in life and then living an intentional life, in pursuit of those priorities... they drift. They drift through life reacting to the demands of life and other people's influence on them instead of living on purpose, with intentionality, goals and conviction.
Do you want to be a drifter, living an un-intentional life. Unsure of where you're going or what it's all for? Of course not!
Live life on purpose! Live it big. Make it count. Live the one life you have to the fullest! Don't make your life's great aim simply to avoid boredom, just trying to make the time go by, keeping yourself perpetually entertained and numb to the real and deeper joys in life. Get up and get out there.
Do the hard work up front so you can enjoy the long term enjoyment and satisfaction of living a life that has direction and meaning.
So, how do you keep score in your life?
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