Black pavement and traffic jams were in full view. “I feel stuck,” I told him driving back.
“Stuck?” he said with question and confusion.
“I’m frustrated. I’m not moving life as fast as I want to.”
“You’re not stuck. You’re moving forward,” my confidant told me.
He began listing things I had accomplished within the past five years up until the week prior. Within those achievements were his praises for my success in family, in education, and even as a leader at Proverbs & Wisdom. I took a look in the rear-view mirror and switched lanes. He delved deeper — straining the purpose out of each accomplishment — telling me it’s not only what I did, but for what and for whom it was done.
The rest of the ride home I drove in silence. I couldn’t help but realize how right he was. I had allowed my current season of not meeting my “quota for success” discourage me from the reason I was doing them all. How could I had forgotten such an important wisdom in life?
You must always build your self-image on purpose and not on performance. Purpose, not achievement alone, is the ruler by which life is measured.
It’s so easy to grow discouraged by what we have not done yet. If you tend to be a deliverance-needing-perfectionist as I am, who also tends to lack patience to see things done, here’s a suggestion: don’t beat yourself up. Don’t tear yourself down. And, I know it’s tough because I too struggle with it, but try not to grow so frustrated with yourself, will you?
You can become so weary and worn by the things “not crossed off your to do list,” as my confidant told me, that you fail to see what you have done. Maybe you weren’t there for your child as you wanted, but overall look at the wonderful purpose you continue to serve in their life. Maybe you’re upset about the mistake you made at work. But what’s your purpose there? Can you see the value you add daily?
You fell short in your relationship, your marriage. But do you love him? Do you love her? Can you see the supportive partner you’ve been toward them and the countless ways you’ve provided love and light in their life? What about the business owner who failed to make a good decision. The editor who missed her deadline. Take a look at the purpose your company serves and the power behind all the words you’ve already written.
Don’t count yourself out because you haven’t met your personal quota in a particular moment. There will be many more moments to do well, be well, and achieve. Remember to always seek purpose in what you do, and be happy with it. Appreciate the value you bring. And, as my wise confidant often reminds me, “Give yourself some credit.”
You serve a much greater purpose than you realize, and in that you have accomplished much.