Each month, I meet with a group of men a little older than I am. We walk together through a curriculum designed to help us find our strengths and passions and act on them. These men challenge and encourage me.
Lately, I’ve been really struggling with a difficult (and ugly) career change. If I could make a clean break, it wouldn’t be so difficult, but because I’m married into the family that owns the business, well…I really can’t get away from it.
A struggle that has been attacking me, and that attacks us all, is the nagging jealousy of someone else’s success. When I was there, things weren’t allowed to go this smoothly. If I were there, I would make different (and better) decisions. If I were there….
As embarrassing as it is to admit, we might even wish that someone or something would fail without us.
The salve for these deep wounds of the heart came from an unlikely source. In a video session, Kay Warren introduced me to the WITTY principle found in John 21:22. Peter, asking Christ about the actions of another disciple, is gently rebuked. “If I want him to remain until I return, (W)hat (I)s (T)hat (T)o (Y)ou? As for you, follow me!”
Jesus basically says, “So what? Focus on what you’re doing.” Discover and find affirmation for your strengths and talents, line them up with your passions, and make it work for the greater good.
Whether you’re Christian or not, this is a powerful statement. By turning and coveting another person’s success or focusing your energy on wishing him ill, you’re short-changing your own success and working your own demise.
It’s a hard lesson to learn and a harder one to practice, but beginning today I will focus on what I can do to live my own purpose.