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Are you ready to stop drifting?

Do you know what you REALLY want?

Do you even have a clue? 

Is that a possible source of your frustration, maybe even depression?

If that’s you, then stay tuned. 

In this post I’ll give you hope and clue you in to a big secret that could really help. 

What do you want?

Let’s start with “What do you want?” 

That sounds like an easy question, but how do you answer it? Do you really know, or are you just making up something that sounds good.

“What do you want” is one of my favorite questions to ask people. Guess what most people tell me.  Go on guess.

That’s right, most people have no idea. They wish they knew, but when they’re really honest, they can’t tell you what they want.

However, there is one thing all those people who don’t know what they want they have in common, whether they said they knew what they wanted or they were clueless, everyone said they wanted to make a difference somehow.

How about you, do you want to make a difference?

But here’s the problem, just what kind of difference are you going to make if you don’t know what you want? The sad truth is that most people aren’t purposely going in any direction, so they just drift through life. 

Drifting is letting the tides and currents of life take you for a ride and feeling powerless to do anything about it.

Drifting and Depression

Drifting can be a major cause of frustration, and even depression.

I don’t know if you know this or not, but depression is at an epidemic level everywhere. Here are some scary facts: 

  • depression affects 1 in 10 Americans adults each year, that’s over 18 million adults (a year
  • It Is the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44.4
  • depression is the primary reason why someone dies of suicide about every 12 minutes, that’s over 41,000 people a year
  • the federal government’s health statisticians figure that about one in every 10 Americans takes an antidepressant

Folks, that’s crazy! What on earth is happening?

Rather than medicating the symptom, why not attack the cause?

Major Life Decisions 

Most of our major life decisions are made between the ages of 25 to 30. That’s when you have begun your career life and found that you either chose wisely (or your parent chose wisely for you, or you just got lucky and fell into something you love) or if you are like most people you find yourself in a career that, at best is just OK, or you really don’t like.

Your good career choice, or not so good choice, affects your relationships, other decisions like what kind of home you live in, your location, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, your hobbies, and your abuses”.

Drifting and Abuse

I once heard it said that “Without purpose abuse is inevitable”. Abuse could be everything from abusing your time by binge watching Netflix, to drinking too much, to taking drugs, or even abusing the ones you love. What’s the cause of all that abuse…no purpose.

Maybe you aren’t making the difference you want because you’re wearing golden hand cuffs and you feel trapped. You are wearing Golden Hand Cuffs if you have a good paying career that you hate, but you’re too scared to quit because you like the money.

Or maybe you’re just drifting. You’re just going through the motions and have no idea how you got there, or how to do anything about it.

Drifting leads to struggle. 

For some, struggle is a real fight for survival. But for most of us struggle is that  paycheck to paycheck kind of life where you’re just working for the weekend, and praying you make it to retirement so you can really live, not realizing that most retirees’ biggest worry is not dying before their money runs out.

Frankly, that sucks. How do I know? Because drifting is exactly what I did.

Are you ready to stop drifting?

Let me tell you a little about my story and how I found some answers that might help you.

I grew up with good parents who loved me. I received a good education and went to a good college. I had the career I wanted and married the woman of my dreams. I lived in a good house and drove good cars. Life was good.

But something was missing. Here’s what happened:

I was 29 years old. A captain in the Marine Corps and a Cobra Helicopter pilot on a big grey boat in the middle of the Persian Gulf. I was married for less than a year to the woman of my dreams, had a nice house in Southern California, and drove a sports car. Basically, I was living the life I had imagined since I was a little kid. But as I just said, something was missing.

I vividly remember laying in my rack on that Navy ship one night in December and being struck with an awful feeling. This career I chose, as cool as it might be, and as proud as I was of being a Marine Officer, was not what I was supposed to do with my life. I didn’t have any burning desire to be the best, in fact I was just coasting or drifting and it landed me here.

I remember asking God that night if this was it? Is this all there was, and should I just get good with it? To my utter surprise He answered. I got the overwhelming sensation that, no, this wasn’t it, and I needed to get on with finding out what I was put on the planet to do.

The Marine commander on that ship was a brand-new Colonel and greatly admired. He was married to a Naval Officer, so he was in a position that I might find myself in if I decided to stay in the Marines. One night I had the opportunity to ask him how he had made his career decisions and balanced life with his wife. The Colonel was very open about the difficult decisions he had to make along the way and the sacrifices he made to continue his career. To my ears, his answers did not seem enthusiastic, and only confirmed what I knew I had to do.

So, that night I decided to resign my commission. The problem was that I had no idea what I should do and there was no one I could find that could answer my questions. Even though I had made a decision, I drifted for two more years before I did anything about it.

Deciding and acting are not the same thing.

Have you ever heard the story about 3 cats on a fence? Here is my version.

When Mary and I were newlyweds, we lived in a nice neighborhood in Encinitas, California. The development we lived in was brand new and all the neighbors moved in at about the same time as we did. The new homes did not come with landscaping so on weekends you would find most of the neighbors doing the same thing as us…working on our yards. That meant putting up six-foot-tall wood privacy fences. I thought the fences were so that the neighbors couldn’t see into our tiny backyard, but I found out there was another reason.

It seemed that almost everyone on our street had pets. We had a golden retriever and a black lab, the guys across the street had two boxers, and everyone else had cats. We would often walk our dogs with the neighbors’ dogs in the canyon behind our house, frequently running into the native Southern California wildlife. It was not unusual to see tarantulas, a rattlesnake or two, and coyotes on our walks.

The cats in the neighborhood were unbelievably lazy. It was not unusual to have to drive my car around one of the neighborhood felines that was stretched out taking a nap in the middle of the road. Then one day things started to change for our local cats. The coyotes discovered them. Only a few tufts of cat hair remained where the lazy street cat once slept. The guys across the street, and next to the couple

with the boxers, had their front window screen pushed in by a coyote that grabbed their cat off the windowsill.

That is when I discovered the second purpose of the privacy fences. The remaining cats in our neighborhood realized their lives were in danger, especially after dark. As a defensive maneuver they would hang out on the top of the six-foot fences. Sometimes there would be a few of them on the same fence and they could get pretty noisy.

One night our backyard sounded like the cats were getting way too rowdy. I went outside to find three cats perched on the top of my fence. Not being a cat lover, I picked up an old boot and threw it at the cats to scare them off. The boot hit the fence and two of the cats decided to get off.

How many cats were left on my fence? If you say one, you would answer the way most would, but the answer is three. Just because two of the cats decided to get off the fence does not mean they actually did.

Deciding and acting are not the same thing.

Eventually I actually did submit my resignation, but not before deploying overseas one last time. While deployed I called home to talk to Mary and found out we now had our own part time business. Neither one of knew anything about business but Mary, who is definitely the smarter of the two of us, heard they talk about financial freedom, and she was all over that. That’s how we ended up with an Amway business.

When I got home from my last deployment I got a job with a Pharmaceutical company, Mary started working for a logistics company and we both started our Amway business. I know a lot of people that did not have a good experience with any multilevel business, but we did. We were moderately successful, even though we didn’t last, but it was through our Amway business mentor that we became acquainted with success principles and a Personal Development program.

After being turned on to books about success principles, I discovered I had no purpose. The more I looked for my purpose the more frustrated I became. I read everything I could get my hands on that related to purpose, only to receive a good understanding of what purpose was but without any idea of how to find mine.

I listened to pastors and business gurus who often spoke about purpose, and one of them even wrote an all-time bestselling book about the subject. It was good information, but again, no one could tell me how to find my purpose. It seemed as if God miraculously revealed His purpose to some special people, but not to everyone. That didn’t sit right with me. I was frustrated because I didn’t just want to know about purpose, I wanted to know mine!

Somewhat by accident, I discovered that I was searching for the right thing but in the wrong direction. Before you can discover your purpose, you need to know what your heart desires. 

The secret to the desire of your heart is finding your Special GIFT. You will naturally want to use your Special GIFT. Doesn’t that just make sense.

But, I had never heard that I had a gift, let alone a special GIFT.

Here’s the good news: Everyone has a Special GIFT.  It is not miraculously revealed to some and not others; everyone is born with one. The desire of your heart is to use your Special GIFT. And your purpose is to employ it. 

My Mission

My mission is to get the word out that: 

You have a Special Gift

Employing it is your Purpose 

And operating in it is how you make a difference

I found this answer buried in a success book, but Saint Peter said it best:

“As each of you has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 

This is not just some “religious speak” for churchgoers. It is sage wisdom that has been hidden in plain sight for two thousand years.

As you go with me on this Transformers journey, you’ll begin to realize that each person, yup, even you, has a Special GIFT. 

I hope that learning this gets you excited, hopeful, and curious; 

excited that there is something special inside of you, 

hopeful that it will provide answers to questions you have always had, 

and curious to discover your specific Special GIFT. 

In the intro I mentioned a big secret – Here it is:

don’t search for purpose, find your GIFT instead.