Establishing a Life Objective
By Rick Warren
— May 24, 2009
“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed” (Proverbs 29:18 MSG).
Many people set goals, but few people ever set a Life Objective. Goals relate to separate parts of your life: your career, finances, family, retirement, etc. But a Life Objective sets the direction of your whole life.
Your Life Objective is the big picture. There are four tremendous benefits of thinking through and writing down a Life Objective:
1. It reduces frustration
by simplifying decision-making. Every day you’re faced with many, often complex, choices. Having a Life Objective gives you a standard by which to evaluate which alternative is best for you.
2. It increases motivation.
Your Life Objective should inspire you to get up in the morning and persist when you feel like giving up: “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed” (Proverbs 29:18 MSG).
3. It allows concentration.
Success is largely the result of focusing on one thing and doing it well. The U.S. news anchor Dan Rather used to have a plaque on his desk that said, “Will what I’m doing right now benefit that broadcast?” A Life Objective helps you focus your time, energy, and resources.
4. It attracts cooperation.
It is an observable fact that when you decide exactly where you want to go in life, many other people will want to go along with you. People follow those who’ve clearly figured out who they are and what they are here for.
Find some time this week to get alone in a quiet place to start thinking about your Life Objective. Here are three steps to begin with:
1. Identify your talents and gifts.
Ask “What am I good at?” and “What do I really enjoy doing because I do it well?” When God designed you, he put certain characteristics and abilities into your DNA structure. That combination of traits makes you unique! God wants you to do what he has gifted you to do!
2. Review your experiences.
Ask “What have I learned?” Our greatest lessons come from our hurts and pains. These need to be factored into a Life Objective.
3. Decide what is really important. The urgent is not always the important.
William James, the father of American psychology once said, “The best use of your life is to invest it in that which outlasts it.” So ask, “What will last the longest?”