The sparrows and chickadees are emptying my bird feeders at record speed since the temperatures have dropped in the mornings and evenings. Sometimes I wonder, “why my bird feeder?” My backyard is average and small in comparison to neighbouring yards. If I was a bird, I think I would choose a less barren place with bird baths, ponds, and clusters of trees.
I am happy to see them though, these birds that come in multiples to feed on seeds just for them. They do not know the joy they are giving to me.
They are just being themselves.
I am in a season of decision-making when it comes to employment. To help make decisions, I’ve asked myself if my values, skills, and life-style will be satisfied, a good question. However, I’d forgotten one significant question.
How can I help? Where can my skills be used to help others?
I needed to shift the focus off me to others.
What’s amazing though, is in this shift off me to others, I see how my values, skills, and lifestyle will naturally be satisfied.
For when we are living out our purpose for others, we are naturally fulfilled.
When we are living out our purpose for others, we are naturally fulfilled.
Purposeful Decision Making
Determine your passion
Think back to a time you felt fulfilled. What happened that day? Describe where you were, who you interacted with, and what you were doing.
I remember one day when I walked to my car after a working day, feeling fully satisfied and joyful. Nothing spectacular had happened that particular day. Our office did not win the lottery, for example! However, I had fun conversations with clients, laughs with co-workers, and learned a new skill from management. The services I provided for all who I interacted with that day gave them what they needed, and in return I was fulfilled by their presence.
Determine your skills
Ask others what they see as your skills and how you help them. And let your life speak. In other words, listen to the affirmations you receive from those you trust and respect. Take in and believe in the positive feedback you receive!
Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.” God uses others to help you discover your purpose.
Recently I was affirmed from several people I respect, commenting on my skill of dealing with others in a calm manner that creates harmony and de-escalates situations. “It’s a talent,” one person said. Another said “Wherever you decide to work, you will be a blessing and they will be lucky to have you.” Wow. Hearing this helped affirm that my skills are needed and valuable.
Determine your values
Write down up to 10 things that are important to you. Then number those 10 things in order of importance. This can be hard, so take your time. Once you have your top 5 values, post them in a place you will see daily. Now whenever you need to make a decision, ask how this decision will support your values. If your values are reflected, you are on the right-track!
Proverbs 19:1 ESV says “Better is a poor person who walks in integrity than one who is crooked in speech and a fool.” Life is a lot less complicated when how you live does not conflict with your values.
One of my top three values is integrity. It’s important to me that my decision moves me toward integrity with myself and others. Honesty and transparency are important to me. I’ve learned from previous employment that if I do not believe fully that what I am offering helps others, my integrity is challenged leading to stress and even illness. I also learned that making decisions reflecting my integrity over money leads to a fulfilling decision.
Be yourself. The world needs you.
Our purpose, values, talents and skills determine our direction. Sometimes it is a direction that might completely surprise us! Sometimes it is a direction that seems like a barren place, but then fulfills others and ourselves beyond our expectations.
Be yourself. The world needs you.
Now I am off again to fill-up my bird-feeder….