I was out of coffee recently with a young adult and we were talking about her future. She echoed the similar sentiment that many other young adults have which is essentially this:
I just don't want to miss what God has for me.
If there's one thing we obsess over as young adults, its our future. Of course our future deserves thought and intentionality. We should be passionately pursuing it but instead we as humans tend to be anxiously pursuing it.
When we worry we hurry. We want to make our future happen. So we recognize frustration at a job, tension in a relationship, sense of dryness in a spiritual life, boredom in a season as possible signposts to exit off our trajectory and head down a different one. Until one day we realize we have got to a place, a future we don't like or that was never meant for us. A false future.
How to move forward into the future you've always wanted:
Build a tribe around you to make you better
I think your destiny is less about WHAT you're supposed to do but WHO you are supposed to do it with. So find the people around you who are modeling where you want to go. Find people who have gone before you and have walked through your life stage to coach you through it. Find someone who is similar in strengths and personality with you and ask them how they have dealt with the personality traits that can sabotage. Usually those relationships are walking down a path or have walked down that path and you can simply follow them or at least they can point you in the right direction. Proverbs 13:20 says, "Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble." So find good friends. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to intentionally pursue friendships and relationships with people who are smarter, more skilled and simply ‘better’ than me. To become a better person and leader, spend time with people who are better than you. A better me leads to a better future for me.
Be known as a person of faithfulness
Being committed to something that goes beyond just your emotions is a challenge for most young adults. Maybe that’s why faithfulness seems rare...not just in marriage but also in life. Culture teaches us to dispose of anything or anyone we don’t like. So do the opposite. Learn how to be dependable, consistent and loyal, holding to what you know is right even when you feel like it.
Choose a community and be devoted to them
Friendship circles change when you leave school, get married and even change jobs. In the midst of all that change, find a few friends and stick with them for life. Most people can only handle 5 really close relationships in their life. You are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So choose those 5 well and build into those relationships deeply. Show me your friends and I'll show you your future. Find your community and get rooted in the soil of these relationships.
Let your weakness be your weakness and call it a day
We try to improve our weaknesses to be good at everything. You’ll never be great at everything. So instead of trying to improve your weaknesses...manage them don't ignore them. Instead focus improving your strengths. Once you realize you’re only great at a few things, you’re free to become even greater at them. Take Strengthsfinders test. Take personality tests. Take time to talk to those who know you best and interview those closest to you to take an inventory of what they think you do best. Pour your time, energy and resources into what you do well. That’s the difference between being good at something and being best at something.
Map out the "high roads in life" and take them often
The high road is the hard road. But it’s the best road. People will try to pull you off the high road again and again. The high road and God's future are most likely the SAME ROAD. Want to know if you're on the right path towards God's future? Be humble, honoring those ahead of you and blessing those behind you. If you are prideful, a dishonoring person and someone who is creating division and strife then you better check where you're at because that road leads to nowhere. But if you choose to take the high road often, you can look back and see the view of your life that you can be proud of. Jesus said it best in Philippians 2:3-4, "Do not act out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with humility think of others as being better than yourselves. 4 Do not be concerned about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others."
Relentlessly pursue self-awareness or in other words "read the room"
Self-aware people make the best leaders and are easy people to hang out with in life. Probably most of your favorite people in life are the people who are self-aware. But self-awareness doesn’t come naturally. Selfishness makes me naturally blind to what is happening around me. So "read the room" and if you can't then find someone who can...they're called a "wingman" (and I guess "winggirl" because "wing woman" just sounds ... ).
Push through the dry seasons
Trust me when I say you will have times when your relationships, career and spiritual life will seem flat. Remember why you are there and don't forget it. What was the last thing God spoke to you in prayer (via a Scripture, song, church, spiritual friend, quietly in prayer, etc).. Revisit those words often. Unless God has changed His mind, that's where you are supposed to be. That's why God says to pray about everything. Because then your yes to these decisions in your life have meaning even when you don't feel like it does. Let your emotions catch up with your obedience because you don't always have to "feel it" but you should always obey it. So be obedient and follow God above all else.
Anything else you would suggest?