When people discover my website and see my slogan, they often wonder what it means to live intelligently. They ask if it is really possible to live intelligently or if it’s just a slogan…or maybe an illusion.
If you believe an Intelligent Designer made us, and we were made in his image, then without a doubt we were not meant to live a life of self-defeating behaviors that keep us living below our capabilities. I believe we are designed with the ability to live intelligent lives, so we are the light to the world we are called to be.
Since we all have within us the ability to live an intelligent life, why don’t we?
The 5 Roadblocks:
Human Hangups. We are not perfect. We have faults. We can either deny them or accept them. But, accepting them doesn’t mean we have to continue to live in them.
Awareness is the first step in behavior change. We cannot change that which we are unaware of.
So we need to be aware that the mind left unattended will drift toward the negative. Pretty soon we’re filling our minds with thoughts about ourselves, others, and life that serve no good purpose and, in fact, are detrimental to our wellbeing.
We tell ourselves things (self-talk) we'd never say to our best friends...but say it to ourselves and accept it as truth.
And since we have a fallen nature, the Enemy takes joy in our struggle, ready to pounce on our weakness, because in a weakened state we cannot serve a larger purpose or live a larger life.
Harmful Habits. It's unlikely that most people start out with the intention of living a life and making choices that are self-destructive.
I’ve coached 100’s of people and I’ve not yet had anyone tell me that they set out to gain 50 pounds…but they did.
I’ve not had anyone tell me that they started working more and more, staying longer at the office, so that they could ruin the relationships that are most important…but they do.
Almost all of our harmful habits slowly develop over time, without much intent. Once developed, those habits (and the consequences of doing so) can become so much apart of who we are, it’s often hard to imagine living a different way.
Hurtful Handful. Who's in our life? The famous Jim Rohn quote, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with," is a good reflection point. We're not created to live this life alone, but in relationship.
A bond of two or three working in harmony creates a stronger bond. But what if one of those in your life is creating disharmony? What if they're stinky glue instead of sticky glue?
The people in our life influence us. If you have or had young kids, which group of friends do you want them hanging out with? Why is that? Are you as critical about who you're hanging out with?
So ask yourself, do you have people in your life who pick you up or take you down (known as the elevator principle)? Maybe it's time to release the stench. Or, if it’s a covenant relationship, do you need to make a commitment to re-invest and rebuild?
Hazy Horizon. It's easy to get caught up managing (or surviving) the day-to-day challenges.
The switch-tasking working parent is stretched thin trying to balance daily responsibilities and can often feel guilty about taking time for herself.
The aspiring business owner is struggling to build and grow a business, meet payroll, and satisfy customers and can end up feeling trapped and like there's no way out.
The supermom feels pressure to volunteer at school or church and keep up the home, while managing the kids' schedules and activities, and takes on a martyr mentality leaving no time for her self.
Through all those scenarios, it's easy to lose track of a dream...a vision...a desire for brighter future.
We can lose sight of our long-term purpose and goals because we're stuck in tunnel vision, only seeing what's in store for today. As a result, the sense of excitement we could be feeling by getting clarity about a better future is lost.
Hope Hides. Over time our hope of a better future can begin to fade.
The previous life, the hopeful future we felt years ago, is but a distant memory. The old pants in the closet might as well be tossed because there's no hope of fitting into them again. What was once a vibrant, healthy relationship seems like it must have been a dream.
Time is not necessarily a healer. In fact, without intentional action, it’s often an impediment. As time passes, we’re often resigned to feeling like this is just the way life is going to be.
We think a better future isn’t possible now, because it’s been this way for so long. And when we do attempt to change, our past experiences and failures start to predominate our thinking and diminish our confidence…and hope is hidden.
With all those working against us, it can be easy to doubt that living an intelligent life is even a possibility. But, the past does not have to equal the future. Because we’ve been gifted with intelligence, we’ve also been given the ability to choose and the power to help us with those choices. So, what’s not working in your life? What choices can you make to begin living the intelligent life and bust through the roadblock that's in your way?