Do you know those couples who have it all together?
The ones who seem to have the perfect kids, eat at the perfect places, have the faith that you admire, great careers etc. You know that guy or that girl. Have you ever taken the time to ask them their story? I love asking them their story. How did you get to this place? Has it always been this way? These are great questions to throw out there and then simply sit back and listen. In fact, hearing someones story, really listening, is my favorite part of the work that I do as a consultant.
Almost every time you will hear that their past didn’t always look like their present. Most people weren’t an overnight success and it was smooth sailing to the top. Just the opposite. I often hear that after years of diligence their business finally clicked. Or, after their first marriage they were depressed and really struggling and now 20 years later they are happily re-married. It is common to hear about couples who have lived through hard times financially together but can now sit back and look at those times as some of the best days of their life.
The point is that success isn’t always a straight line.
When you are listening to stories like these, there is often a few common threads. In the stories like the ones above there is a point in the conversation that they say, “I just decided…” or “We just decided….” What they decided was that they were going to make a change or take charge. They were no longer going to settle for the status quo. I would phrase it that they are taking a more intentional approach to their life.
The second common thread is the phrase, What if…..
There are many things that follow the phrase What if, but is usually said with such a sense of wonder, disbelief or fear. Like, What if…. we had not decided to stick it out. Maybe, What if…. I didn’t take that new position that I was so nervous about at the time. What if…. we had decided to not join that church or small group. What if…. we had never started saving that money every month. What if…. I had not have decided to lose that weight, where would I be now?
The awe at looking at these times in hindsight is the thought of how easily they could have missed some of the best times in life. They literally can’t imagine how differently their lives, their kids lives, marriages or careers could have turned out. At the time they didn’t realize what hung in the balance of their decisions.
When these individuals or couples share their stories with me they are always so grateful for the times that they are in currently, but most are equally grateful for the life experiences that have shaped them into who they are today. However, at the time of being in the midst of these periods of difficulty or life change the breakthrough occurred when they had the faith and the courage to take the next step.
What is the next step that you are facing? Is there a change that deep down you know needs to be made? Could it be:
- Take a class that you need
- Join the church
- Start exercising
- Join a small group
- Start a savings plan
- Go to the doctor
- See a marriage counselor
- Purchase Insurance
- Stop cheating
- Mend a broken relationship
- Start a business
- Create a Marketing Plan for your company
- Say your sorry
- Give money to something bigger than you
- Grow your business
I don’t know what is on your list. Consider what you may miss by not doing whatever popped into your mind as you read the list above. I do know from my own experience and from the countless stories that I have heard over the years that when you trust God and lean on him as you take the next step you will be glad that you did. So that one day when you tell your story it will include, What if ___________, I can’t imagine where we would be today.