Many of us discuss obtaining a career instead of having just a job. Not just any career, but our dream career or calling, shall I say, is what we want. This drive for living out a vision has become increasingly more prevalent in today society and those who live within it.
Maslow’s Hierarchy for decades has been a very nice theory, something nice to try in practice at best. Aspirations to climb from survival to living one’s ultimate vision was not a focus of the common people, the masses. Should we have expected it to be, given that it followed a time of intense poverty, the Great Depression and a period where people were being massively slaughtered for no reason? To live was probably aspiration enough for many. Unfortunately, our environment, society has a great influence and in that time, limitation on how we think, what we want, what we seek.
Today people actually want to climb up the Maslow hierarchy. Survival is not enough. More people are returning to an old practice of meditation, seeking what God has for their lives. The obvious earthly picture and day to day mandate is no longer enough.
The only question for many of us is how do we do it? How do we go from survival (eating, sleeping, clothing and shelter) to self- actualization (realizing our purpose, creating, contributing to society, not only finding meaning, but making meaning in life)? And how patient should we be in that journey from survival to self– actualization? I cannot say definitively that the answer is the same for everyone. However, the optimistic side of me wants to believe that there is a formula, a formula to follow in order to get to where we want to be in life.
In popular New Age thinking, you will hear a snippet from the Bible or something like it that says: Write a vision and make it plain. Many choose to believe today, if we simply say what we want and focus on it wholeheartedly, it shall come to pass. I definitely believe that increased hope is power in itself. However, I believe that my true peace and joy will only come from that thing or those things and experiences that are authored by God. God’s voice in it, I know is the required ingredient for any long term success and/ or peace for me.
Many will say that it is foolish to have a plan B when you already have a plan A. Will Smith has made such a statement. Steve Harvey has made such a statement. These are very “successful” individuals. Which makes me ponder in highly polarized directions, how valid is what they say? On one hand, I want to strongly agree with what they say because they have been and are “successful.” On the other hand, it could be easy for them to say such things because they are financially successful. Does it make a difference if we are the only ones dependent on ourselves of if others are as well? When we have children looking at us with mouths to feed and educational costs to pay, a beautiful dream that encompasses a trip to Oz with no yellow brick road is much harder to sell and ditching plan B seems like nothing beyond fantasy. Could the proper approach be not black and white, but gray? Can we have such comfort in ambiguity? I believe that we must rejoice and celebrate whatever we have, whether it is a plan C, D, or B. However, if God has given us plan A, we must ALWAYS walk toward that plan and keep sight of it. As long as he tells us that it is real, we must never stop asking God for that yellow brick road. We must never stop looking for that yellow brick road. Even when it seems very far and the destination is not completely known it is important for us to start walking as soon as we see and / or discover the first slither of that yellow brick road. It may be an inch. It may be a mile. It may be a day. It may be a week. It may be a year. It may be several years. However, we should never give up on a dream that God has given us. If He has given it to us He will also provide the directions. We must be flexible in how we receive the directions. We cannot require God to give us all of the directions at once or in our timing. It may be on step of the directions at a time. He may give us one step in the direction and then not give us the other for a very long time. If there's any time in life to have patience, it is to have patience with God. He is the owner of all time. He can give more or he can take away. So as I write this, I inspire myself to keep moving to plan A as I celebrate my plan B. I hope that you are inspired to keep or start moving to plan A while you celebrate your plan B. Bless you and your endeavors.