1

You Are Not Your Job

I recently read an article about Matthew Bowers. In the article, Matthew was expressing his concern about what he referred to as an “alarming shift” in his mindset concerning his career. What alarmed him was the fact that he had recently discovered that his identity was no longer exclusively tied to his job.

“I always saw myself as a high-performance individual who was focused solely on working my way up to VP, but lately I’ve been worried that I may be developing aspects of my personality that have nothing to do with climbing the corporate ladder,” said Bowers, 42, noting that he has recently observed in himself an “unhealthy” level of preoccupation with personal interests, activities, and relationships that can in no way give him a leg up professionally. “Just the other day, I was telling my boss about my son’s soccer game—at work, mind you—and he responded by calling me ‘a real family man.’ My boss called me that. It was a huge wake-up call.” TheOnion.com

After his “wake-up call” Matthew determined that he would return to his roots, which for him included working until at least 9 pm each night, and missing his kids soccer games and piano recitals.

I can relate too Matthew’s story. In the past I have found it easy to get caught up in my career at the expense of everything else. I have a feeling I’m not alone. For many of us work is often where we spend most of our time, energy and attention.

[box] Knowing that your job is not your identity is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

You Are Not Your Job

No matter how much you may love your job (or not), you have a life outside of your career. If you are reading this you probably have a wife and kids. You probably also have some interesting side projects that keep you busy. You are not your job!

We work for a variety of reasons. At a basic level, we work to pay our bills. In some cases, our jobs provide us with a creative outlet, a way to grow, contribute to a team, and a sense of fulfillment.

I like the way that Jonathan Fields puts this in his book, Career Renegade:

“Much to the contrary of what we’ve been told for the better part of our lives, we do not exist for the sole purpose of paying our bills, grooming our kids to be able to do the same, and maybe, someday, retiring to finally enjoy life, should we ever reach that point. We are here to let our lights shine as brightly as possible, to drink in the joy of friendship and family, to serve and better the greater community, and to tap into and inspire passion into everything we do. We are here to come alive. In doing so, we serve as an example to others that a life beyond muddling is not only possible, but mandatory.”

Even if your job provides you will all of that, and provides a major portion of your identity – you are not your job!

You Are Defined By Who You Are – Not What You Do

Have you ever noticed that whenever you meet someone new, they usually ask the question, “What do you do?”

This starts when we are children. Every 5-year old has an answer to question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From an early age we taught that we need to be something. We are taught that we need to connect our identity to our career. As we grow older, people are impressed (or not) with what you do.

Wouldn’t it be great if people wanted to get to know us for who we are instead of what we do? It is who we are, and not what we do that makes an impact on the lives of others.  

You are a worthy human being – no matter what your job is!

It doesn’t matter if you have a job, are between jobs, own your own business (or are owned by it), are bankrupt, or are still trying to figure out what you’re going to be when you grow up – you are not your job. It is who you are, and not what you do, that makes a difference in the world.

Be proud of who you are, for you are not defined by what you do.

Question: Are you defined by what you do or who your are?

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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3

5 Warning Signs That Your Life Is Out Of Control – And What To Do About It

Your Life Might Be Out Of Control If…

You are constantly overbooked…

Your workspace is out of control…

You can’t remember the last time that you spent time with your friends and family…

Your temper is flaring up more often…

You have a hard time sleeping…

If you experience one or more of these 5 warning signs, your life might be seriously out of balance.

[box] Having control of your life is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

A Life Without Balance

Being out of balance often leads to stress and anxiety which can manifest itself in many ways. If you are finding that people getting on your nerves more than usual, you might be struggling with work-life balance.

I find that when my life is out of balance, my sleep is not restful, or I stay up too late trying to unwind. If you are finding sleep hard to come by, or just not finding enough hours in a day to sleep well, you are may need to check your life balance.

The Balance Solution

We all struggle with balance at some point in our lives. Trying to manage all the areas of our life – career, finances, relationships, health,  is extremely difficult. That’s why it’s imperative to have a plan that you can follow so that you can balance all the areas of your life effectively and make continuous progress towards your life goals.

There are dozens of great resources out there that teach you how to create a plan for your life, and I highly recommend that you develop one. 

These steps will help you to develop a basic life plan:

1. Determine Your Key Areas Of Focus – List the six areas of your life that are most important to you. Some examples include your health, relationships, finances, career, and spiritual life.

2. Determine Your Vision – Ask yourself, “In a perfect world what would each of these areas look like?” Be as specific as possible and write out your vision for each area.

3. Determine Your Goals – Write at least one goal for each of these areas based on the vision you created in the first step. Think about what it will take to achieve your vision for each of these areas and write it down.

4. Determine Next Steps – List the next step that you need to take to make each one of your goals a reality. You don’t need to know each step, just one specific next step for each goal. Once you complete a step towards a goal, write down the next specific step for that goal.

5. Measure Your Progress –  Check your plan once a week and make sure that you are making progress toward each goal. Make sure that you have completed one step toward each goal and that you always know what your next steps are.

Congratulations, you now have a plan for your life. Do you know that 97% of people don’t have a plan. They have no idea where their life is headed or what they want to accomplish with their lives.

Do you want to have more motivation, be more productive, and be more fulfilled? If so, create a plan for your life and take at least one step each week toward making your plan a reality.

Question: What have you accomplished as a result of having a plan for your life? Comment below

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

 

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5

Learn To Say No So You Can Say Yes

Our lives are busy. We have so many commitments.

We’re committed to our church. We’re committed to our work. We’re committed to our family. We’re committed to friends. We’re committed to people we don’t even know sometimes!

These commitments are all things we’ve said yes to. There’s a problem with that.

When we say yes to everything that comes our way, we’re saying NO to a lot of other things.

For example:

You commit to spending all day Sunday, part of your day Wednesday, and various other days of the week at church. You were asked so you said yes.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with helping at church. In fact, it’s something we should all do.

However, when we begin to over-commit we begin saying NO to other important facets of life.

We say no to giving our spouse attention. We say no to spending time with our sons. We say no to our friends who we’ve neglect.

Maybe you’re not a church-goer but you’re committed to your work. The same applies here.

You agree to work late Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because you were asked.

No big deal, you thought.

Then you realize your son has his varsity football game on Friday nights. Oh! And on Wednesday you wanted to go to the home improvement class at your local Lowes store. And, you didn’t remember, Monday nights were going to be date nights with your beautiful wife.

Ouch! Can you see how those well meaning yeses made you say no to some very important aspects of your life?

We do this all the time and don’t realize it. We give up the important for some urgent matter that takes our time. We say yes only to say no to something else.

[box] Knowing when to say no is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

You Can Stop This

Don’t fret young man! You don’t have to get caught in this trap of yes, no, yes, no.

You know that this is a trap we all fall into now. You can stop this!

How?

Realize you’re not Superman: Did you ever read the Superman comic books growing up? It seemed Superman was where ever he was needed. He showed up in the blink of an eye!

He could do this, after all. He’s Superman.

You’re not. You don’t have the ability to quickly zoom between places. It takes time and you only have a limited amount of time.

Stop trying to be Superman. Be you and be present where you’re most needed.

Realize you’re not the only one that can do the job: We’ve all fallen into this lie. We think we’re the only one for the job. No one else can do it, at least not as well as YOU can.

But that’s not the truth. If you step down or away, someone else will step up to fill your position.

They’ll have time to volunteer at church or to work the late hours.

You can say no because someone else will be there.

Realize you have limited time: I believe this is the one that gets us all. We’ll gladly budget our money. Money will magically (yeah right) disappear when we don’t watch it.

We place a huge value upon money but rarely do we think of the value of our time.

Have you thought about time? Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t get back the time that has already past. It’s done and gone.

Realize your time is limited and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

All this to get to the point that we have to learn to say no to many things in life. That request from your boss, be willing to say “Sorry boss, I have prior commitments to my family. The urge to volunteer more at the church? You can say “Sorry guys, I love God and love to serve Him but I also have commitments at home that I need to say YES to.”

When you begin taking a pro-active approach to managing your time, you’ll begin to find yourself spending time more wisely.

Question: What do you need to say NO to more often? What’s holding you back? Let’s talk about it in the comment section below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/JosephLalondeResized1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]This is a guest post by Joseph Lalonde. He is a former youth leader and leadership blogger at JMLalonde.com. Joseph shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. With him on twitter or at his blog. Joseph also has a free eBook that you can own by clicking here. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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Photo Credit: Henry Burrows

1

How Just Saying No Will Help You To Create A Remarkable Life

I have failed in so many areas of my life over the last few years that I can’t even begin to count them all. For me it’s a little bit of everything. Never really completing tasks, and when I do complete something it’s only really half way complete.

This is the result of never having the time to do everything that I have committed too. I am starting to realize that I am overcommitted and overwhelmed.

Now I am looking at all the areas in my life and searching for things that I can eliminate, so that I can invest in the things that really matter.  

Maybe your life feels this way too…

[box] Knowing when to say no is one of the keys to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

Are You Over-Committed?

As men, we want to accomplish everything, and we want to spend our time doing what really matters to us. We think that since we are men, we can get it all done. We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish, and have a hard time saying no to things that we are asked to do.  

We also live in a “yes” culture. A culture where “yes” is the expected answer, and we feel guilty when we have too say no to a reasonable request.  This can make it very hard to say no, and can leave many of us over-committed, overworked, and overwhelmed as a result.

Learn How To Say No!

At some point, we come to the realization that we can’t get it all done. We can’t say yes every time that we are asked to do something. We begin to understand that saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. We begin to understand that saying yes to everything means putting the things that matter most to us at risk.

Maybe you are at the point in your life where you realize that you are overcommitted, overworked and overwhelmed. Maybe you are at the point in your life when you need to begin to choose your opportunities, and not try to accomplish everything. Maybe you are at a place in your life where you just need to learn to say no.

So, How do You Say No?

In the past I have said yes to many things that I didn’t have the time to do right. I said yes because I felt guilty saying no and didn’t want to offend anyone. Many times I found myself saying yes because saying no is not easy. I have found that these responses are helpful when someone asks me to do something that I didn’t really want to commit too:

1. “I’m sorry, but this is not a good fit for me right now.” This is a polite way of saying that either this is not the right opportunity for you, or it is something that you just don’t have time for right now.

2. “Let me think about it and I will get back to you.” This gives you the time to think about what you are being asked to do, consider your options, and it removes the pressure to make a decision right now

3. “I can’t do this, but I can …” This allows you to keep your options open when you are actually interested in the opportunity, and really don’t have the time right now.

I Said No, Now What?

Saying no is one step down the path to creating a remarkable life. Saying no will help you restore a sense of balance, and help you add some margin to your busy life.

When you say no, you begin to create the space that you need to step back and decide what really matters to you.  Saying no is a decision that allows you to live your life in a way that prevents you from being overworked and overwhelmed.  

How Can I Use The Margin That I Created By Saying “No?”

  • Saying “No” Frees Up Time For What Matters Most To You – You are the only one that can determine what matters most to you. For me it is spending time with my family. For you it might be your family, friends, or even a hobby. Saying no will free up the time that you need for whatever it is that it important to you.
  • Saying “No” Frees Up Time To Prioritize Your Life – Saying no to things, even great things that aren’t priorities in your life,  frees up time focus on the things that matter most to you.
  • Saying “No” Reduces Your Stress – Let’s face it, saying “yes” to everything is a major cause of stress.  Just saying no adds the margin that you need to reduce the chronic stress that will damage your health.
  • Saying No Frees Up Time For Other Opportunities – Have you ever had to say no to something because you were already over-committed? Saying no will free up the time that you need to be able to say yes to the to the things that matter the most to you.

Once you have said “yes” to your priorities in life, you are in a great position to say “no” to the things that matter less. You will have the clarity to manage your priorities rather than to be managed by them. You will have the time for the things that will have the largest positive impact on your life. You will be on the road to having a remarkable life.

Learn how to say “no” to the good, so that you can say “yes” too the best and create a remarkable life.

Question: What can you say “no” to today?

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

 

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1

Seeking The Advice Of Other Men

This past year I took a big leap and made the decision to reinvent myself. As a small business owner, I knew I was meant to make a direct impact on people’s lives. Three years of running a specialty furniture business taught me countless lessons, but it was missing the opportunity to develop people in a way I knew I was made to offer.

Before owning a business, I trained leaders with a non-profit, and loved the work. I was looking to do something similar yet in a different direction, and I needed the advice of other men. I turned to two men who have worked for years in consulting and leadership development. One is a peer, the other could be my father.

For the past 6 months, they’ve been helping me learn about this line of work. Friendships grew with both men, and they affirmed my strengths for developing leaders. I’m now working with an emerging national leadership consultancy. As I’m growing in this field, our friendships have paced right along.

[box] Having the right men in your life is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

Over the years, crucial junctures in my life have turned out for the better because of the advice of other men whose wisdom was worth hearing. If you’re in need of advice, doing the following can help you get the most out of those conversations:

1. Seek out someone you trust for their character and respect for their expertise. If they’ve proven themselves in the area you need help with, they will have more to offer than someone you know who just has an opinion.

2. Go out of your way to make time to fit into their schedule, and offer to take them to breakfast or lunch if that works for them.

3. Make a list of the questions you need answering, and bring them to your meeting.

4. Plan on listening a lot, and if you’re the talkative type, make a conscious effort to let the other person do the talking. 

5. After the meeting, thank them, and then determine what decisions need to be made and what actions need to be taken.

Because of the advice I’ve received from my two friends, I am much more confident about my decision and am walking in the wisdom of best practices they passed onto me. Acting on their input, I believe I have a much greater chance at success.

Are you are in need of the advice of other men? Who do you know in your life that fits the above criteria? Reach out to them and ask if you can meet. Prepare for your conversation, and determine what you need to do next with the wisdom they give you.

Who are the men that you can reach out to for advice today?

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Jeff-Raymond.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] This is a guest post by Jeff Raymond. Jeff Raymond is a Senior Associate with GiANT Worldwide, where he coaches executives on how they can become leaders worth following. He lives in College Station, Texas with his wife Julie with their four children. Jeff loves writing, traveling, and the outdoors.[/author_info] [/author][/box]

 

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Photo Credit: Antony Stanley

2

10 Kinds Of Friends Every Man Needs

According to news reporter Walter Winchell,  “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” As a man we have acquaintances, and then we have friends. A real friend is one that sticks with you through thick and thin.

Honestly most men lack real friends. We tend to operate with shallow relationships. This is due to that fact that friendship requires intimacy, and most men will run for the hills instead.

I read an article awhile back that well brought all this to light.

“Of all people in America, adult, white, heterosexual men have the fewest friends. Moreover, the friendships they have, if they’re with other men, provide less emotional support and involve lower levels of self-disclosure and trust than other types of friendships. When men get together, they’re more likely to do stuff than have a conversation.”

This article resonates with me as it speaks a great deal of truth. We usually would rather hunt, fish, or watch a game than talk to each other. However there are certain types of friends every man needs in their life, whether they admit it or not. Through the callous exterior all men can sheepishly admit that these guys really exist in their life. Sometimes one friend embodies several types, but we need them just the same.

[box] Having the right men in your life is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

 

1. Sensai – Every guy has that friend who is chock full of snippets of wisdom. Whether they have a quote for all occasions or sage advice for every season. sensai friendsThey have the calm and guidance like the Jedi master Yoda. He may not be short and green, but he is the friend that always has the answers you seek. This is the friend that will share tidbits of knowledge at just the right time. In his own whimsical way he adds value to everyone he meets.

 

 

2. Tech Geek – Got that friend who spends hours in front of his T.V. playing video games? Maybe he is the one that built his own gaming computer from Tech Geek friendsthe ground up because AlienWare just didn’t cut it. This guy is the one that never went to school but knows more about coding, hacking than best black or white hat out there. He is the friend you call on when your WiFi won’t work or you got a virus playing around on the web. Not always the friend that you call on to grab a beer, but they are dependable in their own awkward ways.

 

3. Sidekick – Batman had Robin, Earl had Randy, Jay had Bob, the list goes on there is always a sidekick. There is that one close friend who is sidekick friendsgenerally regarded lesser to the one he accompanies. We all have them, they are the one that follows in our shadow. They only talk highly about us to others and yet usually get mistreated. This friend will tag along even when it is awkward just to be a part of the party. They are the friend that will give you the shirt off his back in any time of need.
 
4. Glad Hander – We all know one of these guys. He is a social climber. This is the guy that knows everyone who knows someone. Need something glad hander friendsdone, he will know someone who can do it. Usually this guy is a great networker and makes friends easily. Many times this friendship comes across a bit superficial, and at times offensive, and yet can be a great friend indeed.

 

 

 

5. Married Guy – Whether you are married or single there is always that married guy that’s a bit of a sap. He always turns you down for a guys’ night out, married man friendsor even just to meet for coffee. He is always busy with tee-ball, work, babysitting, or whatever. This is the friend that has kids, been married forever, and never lets anyone forget it. A great friend to have, be he can be a bit of a downer as he is always busy and wants to share all about it.

 

 

6. Penny-Pincher – In every group of friends there is always that one that cannot afford to do anything. You know that there is no way money can be penny pincher friendsthat tight. Even so he never seems to have enough for whatever it is. Sometimes he even conveniently forgets his wallet whenever the bill comes due. This is the guy that will always know how to find the best deal and will share his knowledge of frugality with you.

 

 

7. Workaholic – Nothing wrong with a hardworking man earning his keep. That has its limits and when your friend works night and day just trying workaholic man friendsto make ends meet. Or maybe he is always too busy working to ‘do lunch’ or hang out with the guys. The corporate ladder is great to climb as long as you don’t leave your friends behind. A friend many times will end up divorced and alone. Generally this friend will need a friend like you to give his life balance.

 

 

8. Christian – Religion can be a slippery slope at times, especially with guys. The machoism of most men prevents them from sharing their heart. Christian Religious Man friendsMany times this means they will read their Bible and go to church, just not tell their buddies. It is no wonder that churches are struggling with keeping men in the pews, when men don’t share that they are there. Usually there will be that one friend that will pray when you eat together. Maybe he will say ‘bless you’ when you sneeze. Either way having this friend can add to your core in times of need. A man who is unashamed will treat your friendship as you really are his brother, not just to call you his ‘bro’.

 

9. Work Buddy – This is the guy that wants to be your friend at work. He usually will bond with one or two peers at the workplace. You may only work buddy friendshang out at work and that is perfectly fine. Many times it is best for work to be work. However even at the office every guy needs a guy that he can rely on. This will be the guy that you can vent to in the thick of thing and rely on to pitch in if needed. Generally they stay just work buddies, maybe catch a beer for happy hour but usually don’t cross over into the usual friend group.

 

 

10. Jack-of-all-trades – You know that guy that can fix your car with some duct tape and a paper clip. The one that always has the pickup truck jack of all trades friendswhen it is time to move. Always shows up with a 12-pack to just watch the game when you had a rough week. This is the guy who pitches in whenever he is needed. His timing is impeccable, showing up without being called. He is the one that is not afraid to get dirty. He will help you with things that matter, just because they matter to you.

 

Best friend of all – Your Dog – This is the friend that is loyal through it all. Friends may come and go, your dog will always stick by you. With the Best Friends Dogunconditional spirit and his wagging tail at the end of the day, he is the one that will always be your friend. No matter what you wear, the habits you hide or anything else he will be by your side. Unlike your friends and family, a dog is one that accepts you for who you are.

 

We all serve a purpose, and are made to be friends with others. It is our responsibility to choose our friends wisely. Even more so it is ours to be a good friend indeed. Whether you have a hundred friends or just a few, being one that is supportive and loyal is what matters most

As a man we can hope to have a few true friend in life. If there is a man who has been a friend to you, why not let them know? Feel free to comment below your thoughts and then share this post with your friends.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Charles-Johnston.png[/author_image] [author_info]Charles is a husband, father to furkids, and mentor looking to leave this world a little better than he found it. He is the author of SecondIron’s Blog which is based upon years of experience, both his own and that of others that have impacted him on his journey. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

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2

4 Types of Men That You Need In Your Life

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ― Jim Rohn

I have been thinking a lot lately about the idea that we’re only as good as the five people that we spend the most time with. I think that a lot of my struggles have come from trying to go it alone. I have found that if I surround myself with men who encourage and challenge me, it helps me to become a better man.

Maybe you are in the same situation. If so, you’re not alone!

[box] Having the right men in your life is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

The title of a recent post on Salon.com was American men’s hidden crisis: They need more friends!” The article says “that of all people in America, adult, white, heterosexual men have the fewest friends. Moreover, the friendships they have, if they’re with other men, provide less emotional support and involve lower levels of self-disclosure and trust than other types of friendships.

You might find it encouraging to know that you’re not alone in this, although it might not feel that way.

Who you surround yourself with makes a huge difference in your life, and when you’re surrounded by the wrong people, it has a huge negative impact on you.

If you find that you spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and flinging a lot of mud, but never moving forward, it might be because of the people that you surround yourself with.

 

How Do You Surround Yourself With The Right Men?

My problem has been that I have not always surrounded myself with the right people. I am a total introvert and I have a problem with meeting new people. In the interest of being completely honest, I don’t have a lot of men friends. I don’t hang out with the wrong people… just very few people. I have found that I have a lot of resistance to forming relationships with other men.  

In the past, I connected with a group of men from my church. We would meet every Friday morning, and we would also plan regular “man dates” for dinner, movies, etc.

Over the last year, I have been meeting every Monday morning with a group of 3 other men. This has made a huge difference in my life and it is one of the things that I credit with helping me become a better man, a better husband, and a better father.

I met these men through a mutual friend, and although the three of us live in different parts of the country we meet every week on Skype. We are committed to helping each other to grow and reach our goals.

You might meet a group of guys at work, a social activity, or at church. However you meet them, you need to have 4 types of men in your life.

 

The 4 Types Of Men That You Need In Your Life

It is always nice to have a group of men that you can turn to for prayer, advice, or just to listen to you vent. Statistics show that having guy friends will increase your chances of living a long, happy life.

Unfortunately having a bunch of fair-weather friends won’t do the trick. You need a diverse, well-rounded group of guys that will stick with you through thick and thin. The following four types of friends are just what you need to become a better man, and a better husband and father.

1. The Best Friend – Every man needs a loyal non-judgmental friend who will support him no matter what. This is the kind of friend who lets you be you.  Someone who knows all of your deepest and darkest secrets, and still loves you all the same. When your world is falling apart, it is your best who helps you stay focused on what really matters.

2. The Trustworthy Confidant – There are certain situations in life where we need to hear the harsh truth. That’s where your trustworthy confidant comes in. He will listen to you, provide honest constructive advice, and not share your secrets with anyone else.

3. The Wise Mentor – We all need a friend who inspires us to be a better man, a better husband, and a better father without making us feel inadequate. Your wise mentor is simply someone who is a few steps ahead of you in life, and has enough wisdom and patience to guide you in the right direction. He can anyone that you look up to and want to be more like.

4. The Polar Opposite – As men, we tend to develop friendships with others who are just like us. Men who share the same values and beliefs that we have. Developing a friendship with someone who has a different world-view, will help you to learn and to see things differently.

With a best friend, a trustworthy confidant, a wise mentor, and a polar opposite in your life, you’re destined to become a better husband and father. If you put yourself in the company of other high achieving, driven, focused men, you will become like them.

Question: What can you do today to begin to form relationships with the 4 men that you need in your life? Comment Below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box]

[box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

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Photo Credit: Bob Bob

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7 Secrets to Choosing the Right Tools for Achieving Your Goals

We all know the importance of setting goals for ourselves, but many people haven’t realized the great value a good goal setting tool can offer. Selecting the right tool or setting up a right goal tracking system, not only can help you clarify and organize your goals, but more importantly, it can significantly increase your chance of reaching them faster with less effort.

[box] Setting goals is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

 

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5 Myths About Bible Reading

If I asked you, “What are your most important priorities?” my guess is that “God” would be at the top of the list. As Christian men, we want to honor our Creator and live according to God’s principles.

Once when Jesus was asked about priorities, he said this one should take the top spot: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30, NIV).

Most of us struggle with putting God first in our schedules, particularly in the form of Bible reading. The Barna Group, a premiere research organization, reports that only 37% of Americans read the Bible once a week or more.

In the same report, the Barna Group also shares this shocking finding: ”Among those who say their Bible reading decreased in the last year, the number-one reason was busyness: 40% report being too busy with life’s responsibilities (job, family, etc.), an increase of seven points from just one year ago.”

Two truths emerge here: Most of us don’t read the Bible regularly, and that trend is increasing because we feel too busy. How do we counteract this trend and make time for Bible reading?

The answer is not just in managing your time better. It’s about changing your perspective on Bible reading. Here are five myths that hinder spiritual growth and how to address them.

[box] Managing your priorities is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

Myth #1: Your Bible reading has to mirror what someone else is doing.

In the Christian community we tend to compare ourselves to others. If we see Joe reading the Bible a certain way or using a certain plan, we tell ourselves that we should be doing the same thing.

But Joe’s plan may not be what you want or need in this season of your life. It’s important to read the Bible in a way that fits your schedule and needs. We can certainly learn from others, but we should never blindly copy them.

Myth #2: Your Bible reading should stay the same from year to year.

One of the biggest enemies of Bible reading is boredom. Make some changes from year to year to keep things interesting.

A few suggestions to spur your creativity:

Read in a different version

Read on a phone or table rather than a printed Bible (or vice-versa)

Listen to audio rather than reading

Read with a partner or group

Share verses on social media

Share your progress with friends (you can do this with the YouVersion app)

Myth #3: Your Bible reading has to take a large chunk of time.

Having a meaningful time with God in his word doesn’t have to take all morning. This year I decided to read through the Bible using a plan from the YouVersion app.  It only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. (One of the great features of the YouVersion app is the “catch me up feature” that shifts the whole plan forward if you miss a day or two.)

At other times I’ve listened to the Bible on my 30-minute  daily commute. (You can do this through the YouVersion app also, or with CD’s or mp3’s.) This doesn’t add any extra time to my day. You could do the same when you exercise or do chores.

Myth #4: Your Bible reading has to be in the morning.

There is a notion in the Christian community that the most spiritual people get up very early in the morning and spend an hour or two in Bible study and prayer. This is a construct that is based on legalism, not grace. If you’re not a morning person, you shouldn’t feel guilty about doing your Bible reading at some other time of day.

As men, we tend to think of everything as a task to be completed. But Bible reading is not about a task; it’s about a relationship with God. It’s about building our faith and knowledge, not just checking something off a list.

My wife doesn’t care when I say “I love you.” She just cares that I say it. The same is true for Bible reading. The act of doing it is more important than the time of day it happens.

Myth #5: Your Bible reading is the most important indicator of a spiritual life.

Bible reading is a key part of your spiritual growth, but it’s not the only part. What really matters is putting into practice what you are learning. If you’re reading about love, generosity, faith or worship, but don’t integrate more of these elements into your life, you have defeated the whole purpose.

In summary: The goal of Bible reading isn’t to complete a task, it’s to become more like Christ. Once we begin to destroy many of the myths surrounding Bible reading, we are free to read God’s word with joy and know that we are truly pursing the most important priority.

I challenge you to put first things first. Decide on a Bible reading plan and set aside a little time each day (no matter when it is) and watch how God begins to transform your heart and mind in 2015!

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box]

[box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Kent-Sanders-new-headshot-color-3-copy.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] This is a guest post by Kent Sanders who writes about art and the creative process at kentsanders.net and is the author of a guide to Evernote for church leaders. He is also Professor of Worship at St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, Missouri. You can connect with him on his blog and on Twitter. [/author_info][/author][/box]

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Photo Credit: Ryk Neethling

How Dealing With The Big Rocks First Helps You To Achieve Your Dreams

There is a story that is often told in Time Management Circles. It is often credited to Steven Covey, and it goes like this…

One day an expert was giving a presentation to a class of MBA students about managing their priorities. To illustrate his point, he placed a one-gallon wide-mouth glass jar on the counter.  He then placed a handful of fist sized rocks into the jar. We he couldn’t fit anymore rocks in the jar, he asked, “Is it full?” The class enthusiastically responded “YES!” To which the expert replied “not yet.”

He then reached under the counter and grabbed a bag of gravel. He added the gravel too the jar, and tapped it down until it filled all of the spaces between the rocks,  and he couldn’t fit anymore in the jar.  Again he asked, “Is it full?” and again the class responded “YES.” He again told them that it wasn’t full yet.

Smiling, he reached under the counter again, and this time pulled out a bag of sand. He used the sand to fill all of the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. When he couldn’t pour anymore sand into the jar, he asked once again, “Is it full?” This time the class was sure that the jar was full, and they replied, “Yes, it is full!” The the man opened his water bottle, poured it into the jar until it was ready to overflow, and said, “It is full now!”

 

[box] Managing you “big rocks” is a key to creating the life of your dreams. Click here to get my free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. [/box]

The Moral Of The Story

The moral of the story is that you must focus on your “big rocks” first, if you want too make sure that you accomplish the things that are most important to you. The minor things in your life will always fill in the blank spaces between your big rocks.

Unfortunately, some of us spend too much time on the sand and water, and never seem to find the time for what matters most – our “big rocks.” Don’t spend the next few years focused on your sand and water, start to focus on your big rocks today.

Another point that is often missed in this story is that, eventually the jar is full! If you were to try to put more water into the jar it would overflow. The same is true for your life, you only have 168 hours in a week.

Over-scheduling yourself will always lead to missed opportunities, conflicts, overwhelm and fatigue – all signs that your jar is overflowing. When this happens, and it will, it is time to step back and evaluate how you are filling your jar. As long as you are putting the big rocks in first, you will be on the path to success in life.

What Are Your Big Rocks?

What are the big rocks in your life? A project that you want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? Teaching or mentoring others? If you don’t schedule these “big rocks”  you’ll never get them all in.

How To Manage Your Big Rocks

1. Choose your “big rocks.” The best way to do this is to know your priorities. If you are not sure of your priorities start here. You should have 3-5 things that are a priority to you this year. Once you have developed your list of priorities, list them in a Word document, Spreadsheet, or simply write them on a sheet of paper.

2. Know your “Why.” Knowing what your “big rocks” are is the key achieving your dreams, but knowing your “why” is the key to staying motivated too achieve them. Why do you want to be a better husband? Why do you want to be a better father? Why do you want to earn some extra income? Why are you willing to make sacrifices that you need to make to make it all happen? Identifying your “why” helps you to stay motivated, and it gives you the ability to say no to those things that don’t help make your “why” happen. Think about your “why” for each of you “big rocks” and add it to your list directly below each of your “big rocks.”

3. Ask yourself what things that you need to accomplish this year for you make progress on your each of your “big rocks.” What things would help you become a better husband and father? What things would improve your finances? What can you do to improve your career? You might even want to discuss this with your spouse, children, and/or your boss. Write each of your answers under your related “big rock. “ This doesn’t have to be a comprehensive list, but try to capture at least one next action for each or your “big rocks.”

4. Place each of these items on your calendar before you schedule any other activities. You might even want to schedule important dates while you are at it. For example, your wife and children’s birthdays, your anniversary, and any other dates that are important too you. Once you have scheduled your “big rocks”, your gravel, sand, and water will fill in the blank spaces on your calendar.

5. Check your calendar at the beginning of each day (or the night before) to make sure that you schedule your most important activities for the day, before everything else gets in the way.

6. Review your calendar and your to-do list on a regular basis too make sure that you are on track to accomplish your “big rocks.” This will help to ensure that you accomplishing the things that truly matter to you.

How do you manage your time? Are you getting the big rocks in, or are you filling your days with sand and water – the endless distractions and minor tasks that take up time but don’t advance your goals? Take some time today to identify your big rocks.

How can you manage your big rocks more effectively? Comment below.

[box] Are you new to Live Your Life On Purpose? Welcome, and thanks for visiting! If you liked this post, consider signing-up to receive our future posts directly in your inbox. We look forward to keeping in touch! If you have questions about this post, want to learn more about it, or you want to know how you can implement this in your own life, you are welcome to contact me here.[/box] [box] [author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://liveyourlifeonpurpose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Headshot.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info] Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help men become better husbands and fathers. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends, and helping others achieve all that they were created to be. [/author_info] [/author][/box]

Photo credit: Damian Bakarcic

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Photo Credit: Irwin Scott