I was fortunate to attend a free seminar by Francis Kong and I learned insightful things on how to deal with the different seasons of life. These are reflections I would like to share with you.
- The Survival Stage
This is common to fresh graduates, wherein the ultimate goal is to find a job that can provide for one’s basic needs until the next payday. This stage could be very difficult and stressful, yet perseverance and aspiration to excel are traits that can be developed in this season.
- The Success Stage
This is when one is satisfied with the lifestyle he or she possesses. It is when one is able to experience the little luxuries of life and more often than not, people would think that it is the best stage. Thus, this season is long and people have the tendency to be in their comfort zone.
- The Significant Stage
This is the season when one lives with a sense of purpose; not for himself alone, but for the benefit of other people. Those who are in this stage believe that there is more to life than accumulating the riches of the world. By raising the bar, performing beyond boundaries and taking advantage of his or her experiences and learning, one can be blessed to bless others.
Now, we might ask, do we have to be millionaires in order to be significant? Can we extend help even if we are poor? Can we become useful to others if we are still in the survival stage?
Note that the measure of success is not on what the person looks, what he does, or what he has, but on how he connects the dots and handles different aspects in his life: his emotions, finances, and relationships.
Reason should be prioritized over emotion. Forgiveness does not change the past, instead, it enlarges the future. The most important things in life are not material things but relationships. Be like an ant who prepares for the winter and is willing to carry weight more than his own body.
Let me share with you the story I once read from the book Be All You Can Be by John Maxwell. A man hired a logger and said that he’ll double what the logger receives in the logging camp if he’ll take the blunt end of his axe and just pound the log all day. The logger didn’t have to cut one piece of wood. He just needed to take the end that is blunt and hit it as hard as he can, as he normally would if he were logging. The man worked for half a day and then he quit. The logger said, “Because everytime I move an axe, I have to see the chips fly. If I don’t see the chips fly, it’s no fun.”
We are made for a purpose. We are created to do good works. We will not attain the fullness of joy if we’re still using the wrong ends of our axes, and there are no chips flying.
Consider the trials and challenges you face as a way to unlock our utmost potential in life; to set goals and not be content to settle for second best. Realize, too, that God gave everything He could give so that we could have the very best of life. As Pascal said, “In the heart of every person, there’s a hole that only God can fill.”
Hands and feet equipped to pursue your purpose.
A mission that defines your journey and sets the direction.
Protection from the elements that weaken us.
A constant source of strength and hope on the horizon.
Resolve to respond the right way no matter what.
You don’t need to have a high position, the title, power, and influence in order to feel significant. Life shouldn’t always involve money and it shouldn’t be about gaining popularity or getting famous either. Being significant means touching lives, one person at a time. It means making a difference by choosing to care even when you’re not expected to, listening even if it is inconvenient for you, sharing your skills and knowledge at your own cost, and making yourself available when somebody needs you.