Are you really living?

Are we really living? And by that I mean, are we making the most of our lives? Are you happy with your current circumstances? Or are you just living for that once a year, 7 day holiday? When was the last time you did something spontaneous or something that wasn’t on the ‘To Do List’? How often do we actually put our phones down and take a break? A break from all the background noise, away from social media and spend time alone.  When was the last time you were completely alone with your own thoughts? How are we ever supposed to know who we are, what we value, what we want and the purpose of our existence, if we never take time out to think about it? I mean… have you thought about whether you actually like the person you have become or are becoming?

I remember one of my lecturers once asking ‘Do you think about your character?’ I remember thinking ‘of course’ but the scared sheep in me decided not to put her hand up. I mean who wants to put their hand up and express their opinion with nearly 300 other students on a Thursday morning? Not me, I’m happy going unnoticed. I remember other students laughing at the question, as if it was low down on their life priorities, as if they couldn’t understand why someone would even see the importance in engaging in such thinking?

img_9401For me, knowing who I am is a priority! Having purpose is a priority! Why? Because those Friday nights tun ups are only going to grow monotonous. Those new shoes will only make you feel so good for so long. A boyfriend or girlfriend giving you words of affirmation is only going to fall on deaf ears (until you start believing those words for yourself).

I always find it interesting what people choose to write in their Instagram bio. One has only 150 characters to describe to the world who they are. And I know people may think it’s not that deep, but it saddens me when people write ‘Law Student’ for example. That’s what you do, not who you are.

Now I’m not saying that I have everything figured out at all, but I’m on the journey of prayerfully trying to figure it all out. My motto, perfectly formatted and summarised over curry with my friends last Saturday night (my best words are definitely produced over food and a supportive, free talking environment) …

‘God is giving me a clear purpose, just wait for it…’

So you may be thinking, Olivia all this character, purpose and knowing whom you are talk is highly unnecessary, I’m with the other students in that lecture theatre, it’s low on my priority list. So why is living with purpose so important to you?

Living with purpose makes me unsatisfied with comfortably sitting in my comfort zone. Living with purpose makes me seek what God intends for me to do with my life. Living with purpose makes me focused on the end of goal. Living with purpose prevents me from allowing anyone to knock me off track. Living with purpose prevents me from just giving up on life.

Knowing who I am ensures that I know my worth and therefore will not tolerate anyone in my life that wants to treat me less than I deserve. Knowing who I am prevents me from listening to those lies the devil carefully formulates- the ones intended to destroy my self- worth, the ones that say I’m a failure or that I’m not good enough. Knowing who I am makes me love myself. Knowing who I am inspires me to encourage others to learn who they are. Knowing who I am stops me from settling.

Examining my character helps me realise my strengths, the things that I am good at, and the things that I enjoy doing, the qualities that will benefit my future. It also makes me realise my weaknesses, the parts of me that need improvement, the parts of myself that I am determined to work on. Knowing this gives me self-awareness (I am so passionate about self-awareness!) Self-awareness is a central part of emotional intelligence (if you want to be successful in your career and relationships research this!)

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” -Tim Duncan

So I challenge you to do something different. Take time out alone, maybe sit in a park or coffee shop and think about who you are, think about your strengths and weaknesses. Think about what you want from life. Think about your purpose. You do not want to look back ten years from now and realise you wasted your time or that you’re not in the career you want to be in or that you’re married to a person who you are massively incompatible with. If you don’t know where to begin, pray, ask God where to begin and what he wants from you. Think about your character, think what you like and dislike about it and adjust things. Remember that you’re never too old to change your course in life. And if not now, then when? Stop being comfortable and start living to your maximum potential! 

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” {Jeremiah 29:11}

‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’- Nelson Mandela

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