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Eight Critical Life Questions for a Fresh Start


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The following set of questions are posted on Bob Buford’s blog Active energy.  One of his readers sent him these questions as a way to think about how to begin the new year.  While it’s already two months into the year, I felt these questions are still relevant because it’s artificial to think about setting goals only in January.  As most people know, new year’s resolutions usually become past memories by late February or early March.  In any case, it’s good to remember that goal setting is a one-time event; it has to be regularly visited and revisited, readjust, and rethought.

Here’s my best thought on the following questions:

Who am I?

  • I’m God’s beloved, fearfully and wonderfully made.  I was lost, but now I’m found.  I was blind, but now I see.  I am a follower of Jesus and his ways.  My life is not my own, but his.  Not my will, but His be done.
  • I’m also a husband to my wife and a father to my children.
  • I’m a teacher by heart, a scholar by training, and a technologist by accident.

What are my strengths?

  • I’m passionate about what I do, giving it 110%.  I expect high standards from myself and from others.  I think outside the box, challenging status-quo. I love ideas, especially innovative ones.

What is my place in the world?

  • I’m called to be a teacher, someone who guides, instructs, and mentors others to their potential.

What do I value most and are my areas of greatest priority in life?

  • I value my faith in Jesus, my family, and social justice (through education).

What is my mission, purpose, and plan?

  • My life purpose is to bring God glory through educating and mentoring others so that they can reach their potential.

How much am I willing to suffer or pay for what I value most in life and are my areas of greatest priority?

  • I’d like to say that I’m willing to leave my well-paying job to pursue what I value and invest in my areas of greatest priority, but I’m not there yet.

How does the way I spend my time align with what I value most and are my greatest priorities?

  • I spend an inordinate amount of time in my work, mainly supporting other faculty and educating them about teaching with technology, but I don’t know whether that really aligns with what I value most and are my greatest priority.

Write down what it would look like if things were going just the way I want them to be.

  • I would be working for an international organization that focuses on educating the least of these.  I would love to have my children be involved in some meaningful way.  I would be operating both at the “front lines” and back in the “think tank.”
I have to admit that these are really hard questions to answer.  I don’t know if it’s because I don’t really know what I want or because I know what I want but unable to express it.

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