Check Your Internal Mirror

Faced with a deadend? Make sure the roadblock is not you!

his heart’s desire was really to pursue dentistry. He became a minister to please his parents,” says Steen. “If you find yourself thinking, ‘God has made me to do something that I hate,’ you need to think again, because I don’t believe that ever happens.”

Failing to recognize the importance of a strong finish. Endings are as important as beginnings, maybe more. Athletes in track are taught to “run through the tape”4to not slow up until they are well beyond the finish line. Many a runner has lost a race in the final tenths of a second by forgetting this lesson. Golfers, tennis players, and baseball players all know the most important effort takes place after the ball is hit4with the follow through.

Unfortunately, we tend to focus more on great beginnings than great endings. If we reversed that order, we’d greatly enhance our peak performance.

Think about it: We prepare ourselves to have a great interview, but start to relax the minute we get the job. We get caught up in having a great wedding instead of focusing on having a great marriage.

Every ending becomes the beginning of something, so how you leave a thing is very important. It’s true that you only get one chance to make a first impression, but there’s another expression that’s equally key: Always leave them wanting more. The last impression can also be the most lasting one.

Take a hard look into your “internal mirror.” Begin by making a list of what’s most important to you4relationships, goals, activities, for example. Also, make an honest and balanced assessment of yourself4your strengths as well as your weaknesses.What brings you a sense of purpose, joy, accomplishment, peace? Is there a direct correlation between what is important to you and how you spend your hours each day? If not, what changes can you make to spend more time pursuing those things that give you a sense of purpose?

The answers won’t come all at once. Schedule regular time, perhaps on Sunday evenings, to assess your sense of purpose and direction. Eventually, you will zero in on the activities and relationships that serve your true, internally determined purpose, and can begin weeding out the people and pursuits that are distracting you from serving it.

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