Do you ever get the feeling you were born to live an extraordinary life? Sometime ago, I spoke about being more than “normal” as Christians, that we are destined to make an impact. That argument was related to our spiritual lives primarily. But do you ever feel that you want something more than ordinary in your life overall, in every aspect: spiritual, relational, financial, intellectual, cultural, professional?
I come from an extended family where we have done quite well for ourselves. It’s a family of teachers, nurses and managers, etc. Not bad. We are mostly middle class, and we have the basics, but sometimes life is a struggle. We’ve done OK, but that’s just it: we’re average. And it’s not just my family, or my community: all around Jamaica and the world, there are people accepting ‘ordinary’.
Most people have decided to accept less than the very best for their lives. Life gets in the way somehow. We leave university or high school with our big dreams about how we want to change the world, about who we want to be, the experiences we want to have, and then somewhere in the midst of that, life happens. We get a job, maybe our dream job, but generally not. We get married; we have children; our priorities change; our finances are not what we had expected, and little by little, we let go of our dreams and accept whatever life throws at us.
Some of us even rationalise that this mediocre life we live is God’s will for us. Yes, God gave you the husband, children, job and the house, but when exactly did He tell you to give up your dreams, to give up the burning desire He placed in you to be more and to do more? In fact, I think we often use the “God’s will” argument as an excuse so we don’t have to hold ourselves accountable for what we have not accomplished.
I will never fully understand the obstacles that other people have to living extraordinary lives, because their circumstances differ from mine. I know though that with all the challenges in my life, and the constraints, I still want more. I yearn for more than a mediocre existence that I am sure to regret. I remain a dreamer who refuses to let life get in the way. I refuse to accept that I cannot have a job I love or that life is nothing but a constant struggle. I strongly believe that God wants us to live our best lives in every facet of our existence, and that He is disappointed when we refuse to follow our unique paths and purposes.
I have decided to live my life without excuses and without regrets. “Extraordinary” has become my destination. Will you come with me?
Do not choose the lesser life.
do you hear me.
do you hear me.
choose the life that is. yours.
the life that is seducing your lungs.
that is dripping down your chin.
Yesterday at church, our Pastor preached about Christians being a light in the world. He said we were called to essentially dispel the darkness of this world. His message brought back a sentiment that dogged me most of last year: a sense that I am not living up to my full spiritual potential and that I am not fully living out that glorious purpose to which we are all called. Do you ever get that overwhelming sense that you are meant to do so much more than you are currently doing?
If you are a single woman over … let’s say 25, proper financial management is going to become an important part of your life. The truth is, rather than sit around hoping that one day you’ll find Mr. Right to help bring you financial stability, you are going to need to start seeking it for yourself; become your own hero, so to speak. Of course, this in no way precludes your getting married, but what if you don’t? What if you get to age 40 still unmarried and also still broke, no house, with student loan, credit card debts and car payments, etc.?
Prevention is always, always better than cure. Besides, I think it would be great if you go into a marriage financially stable so you can complement your husband rather than be a burden to him. Life is hard for both genders these days, and everyone needs to be pulling his or her own weight as far as possible. I also think it’s easier for your potential husband to see you more as an equal partner in the marriage when he doesn’t have to be propping you up.
Personally, I have found that proper financial management involves one very important element: changing your mindset. You know how we as human beings often love the bling, the fancy car, the mansion, the latest gadgets, the designer clothes and shoes? So whether we can afford them or not we often seek out these things. Many of us put ourselves in debt and take on big mortgages we can ill afford, just so we can feel good about what we have, and keep up with our neighbours, our friends, our family, and people we don’t even know.
But you see what is behind most of this? What other people think. If there is one thing I have learnt, it’s not to make my financial decisions to impress anyone else. Trust me, that is one of the most important rules of managing your finances. After you have mastered that, life gets way easier.
So how about you start today by weeding out the mentality that says you need to keep up with the Joneses, and start living within your means? I guarantee you that you will live a more productive and satisfying life that way. Your future will thank you for it.
A friend of mine commented on Facebook the other day that she was annoyed at how people seemed to reduce her just to a childless unmarried person despite her achievements. She had gone back to her hometown, and it seemed the number one question on people’s lips was when she was going to get married. It did not seem to matter that she has a good job, is in a good place financially and is highly educated.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with a former boss. She was married, but had no biological children, and she warned me that regardless of how much financial, professional or other success I achieved, people would always remind me that I was somehow inadequate because I was not a mother.