A friend and business partner told me about an experience he had recently when his father was told that he was being moved into hospice care. The father, in his nineties knew what that meant. No words were spoken, just tears welling up in his eyes. There is a verse in the Bible under Hebrews 9:27, ‘And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment.’ Weather you believe in the Bible or not, I think we’d all agree that our physical bodies all have an appointment with death. With that said, my question is, “How have you lived?”
Knowing that there’s a limit on the days of our lives, does that mean to go out and binge party? You’ll find some people who believe that if they only live once they should go out and pursue every pleasurable activity that they can get their hands on only to realize that superficial pleasurable activities pass by as quickly as they are experienced leaving no real fulfillment. No true happiness found there. Others without any respect to their lives live as though they have a thousand years and live complacently. Those apathetic lives waste the precious gift of life that they have been given. And yet others are a product of our materialistic world and simply rate their lives as a result of their comfort and security that their money provides (from a paycheck or business), making no lasting difference to anything or anyone else other than themselves. I ask this question a lot, “Does your job or your business define you?”
I believe that living a life of fulfillment comes down to these two areas. What have you done daily in an attempt to achieve the full potential of all of your God given talents and have you really made a difference in other people’s lives? I’ll bet that if you focus on trying to do these two things, that at the end of your appointed time on earth, you’ll feel the peace and joy that comes from living a life of fulfillment. You see, a phenomenon that is only unique to the 20th and 21st centuries, is go to school, get good grades, get a good job, and retire to the comfort of your retirement. In other words, for the first time in humanity, we plan our lives around our jobs and retirements.
How many of us would agree that there is so much more to life than that? For example, the bulk of our real education actually happens after school is over. In past cultures, education was associated with learning life skills as a form of fulfillment. In other words, there is an inert hunger inside each of us to learn and the bulk of real learning happens after school is over. In addition to that most of our learning isn’t necessarily around how the planets are aligning this month. Studies show that most of us want to learn in areas that will enrich our lives, like relationships. Because of the importance of relationships, the art and science of personal development has really grown over the years. Also, most people, since they haven’t learned much about how to achieve the autonomy to pursue their dreams, want to know more about the mastery of finances. This leads to learning about how to be free enough to pursue their passions in life. Those are some of the reasons I am passionate about ‘LIFE’ (Personal / Financial / Corporate). 'LIFE' not only provides life changing information to help us with the important areas of our lives but it teaches us to focus on how we can make a difference in other people's lives, in the areas that they feel are important to them. Over the last several months, I’ve had the good fortune to hear multiple testimonies from people whose life became more fulfilled because of the association and learning from ‘LIFE’ (Personal / Financial / Corporate).
After studying these reasons, we begin to realize that it’s what we do for others that really makes a difference in the fulfillment of our lives. Not only does making a difference in other people’s lives make a difference but it leads to leaving a legacy. Deep down, each of us would like something that preserves the work we do on earth after we are here. For the majority of us the way we can reach that level of fulfillment is when making money no longer defines how we live, and on the other hand is used to help others. Isn’t it what we do after we make enough money that really defines who we really are? I love the idea that after that point in ‘LIFE’ is reached, that people can find out what their real purpose is. Wouldn’t it be richly rewarding if we could learn how to lead people to their own personal fulfillment? The late Dr. Myles Monroe wrote, “The shortest distance to leadership is service.”
Is it possible that there would be a group a people devoted to incentivizing making a difference in our world today, knowing that from making a difference comes fulfillment? But that may be where the real battle lies for our fulfillment. It may be that within our very core being resides a need to make a difference in our culture that is in decay. My friend and mentor, Orrin Woodward gave me a book that has had a profound effect on my life’s mission to make a difference in the world. James Montgomery Boice writes in his book, ‘Foundations of God’s City, “Today more than one observer argues that the barbarians are not only coming but are over the drawbridge, across the moat and in the city… The signs of the collapse of Western culture are on every hand… No, this time the invaders have come from within. We have bred them in our families and trained them in our classrooms. They inhabit our legislatures, our courts, our film studios, and our churches.”
When it’s all said and done in your life, will there be more said than done? Don’t wait till the end and you’ve been given the announcement that your appointment has come and recognize that you missed your opportunity to do everything that you could’ve while you were in this world. Remember the second part to Hebrews 9:27, “After this comes the judgement.” Os Guiness summarizes it in his book, ‘The Call,’ “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction to live out as a response to his summons and service.” When your appointment comes will your tears be of regret or fulfillment? God Bless, George Guzzardo