What will you be when you grow up?

If you are in your thirties or forties you might have noticed what I’m about to share: it seems that everytime we get together and start talking about something (despite the level of seriousness) we eventually make references to some piece of pop-culture.  Being someone who watched entirely too much television and played way too many video games when I was younger my comments usually involve one of these two things.  I’m not complaining, mind you, just making observations.  This particular style of communicating is just one of the signature elements of our generation.

Another signature element to our generation is the concept, taken up by Madison Avenue, that when we grow old we’re not really growing old–we’re growing up.  Retirement is not just an end to work, but the beginning of the dream job that we’ve always wanted.  Part of the reason I think this marketing strategy has become so successful is that we have come to believe that the career and life we are now living was not our choice.

When exactly did we give in to the idea that I have no control over my own life?  Who did I think had it?  I’ve known people who gave up their dream job somewhere between High School graduation and their first job after college.  Others I’ve known lost it at their first college submission.  Some people, like me, never even bothered to come up with a plan until suddenly they had that life-changing moment where the two by four of common sense smacked them up side the head!  Mine happened twice: after I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer then again at a Financial Peace University seminar.

In case you fall into one of these aforementioned groups: the person in control of your life is you.  I’m sure some of you believe in fate, karma, destiny, etc.  Even some Christians (who should totally know better!) think that they have no say in the daily functions of their own life!

I hate to bust everyone’s bubble but just like you make the decisions (either by intentional thought or the lack thereof) that cause you to mess up you are also capable of making the decisions that make the correct choices for your life.  The Bible says ‘He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down without walls”.

We live in a society that wants something from you.  Madison Avenue wants your money (along with several other large entities); other people (work, family, etc.) want your time and attention.  This is a fact that will never end, and that’s not a bad thing!  The bad part is when you resign yourself to the pity party mentality.

     “Poor me!  I’ll never get ahead!  I’ll never get to be what I want or do what I want!”  This is a toxic thought.  If you leave yourself out of the decisions of your own life than what you get it what everyone else wants your life to be like.

Do you need to work?  Yes!  Does it have to be a job you hate? No!  You can have the job you want by taking the steps to make it happen.  Will you have to  give something up, make work a little harder to get that life you want?  Yes.  Will it be inconvenient?  Maybe, but if you want something bad enough and make the plans, put in the time and stay focused–you can have it.

It’s time for our generation to grow up.  We may not be the oldest generation alive, but we need to get with the program and start taking responsibilities for our own lives instead of making excuses.  If you don’t like the way your life is going something needs to change.  When I lost my house, lost my job, and had to move my family–when my dad died and I had to stop relying on him as the patriach–I had to grow up.  Life happens to you whether you want it to or not.  However, I can tell you this from experience–you’ll like your life better if you decide what it’s going to look like.  When I decided to choose to follow the Lord’s will for my life that’s when I saw the truth.  I let society determine the course of my life because I was an inactive participant.  Now I feel healthier, wealthier, and wiser.  I even love my job for the first time in my life.  Take the step:  choose to get involved in your own life–so you have one!