Woody always falls asleep so fast. Every night when we snuggle into bed, before I can even get my mind to settle down his breathing slows and I can tell he is already in dreamland. Sometimes, just to be sure I’m right, I whisper “I love you” to see if he will respond. Occasionally I get a faint reply, but most often my whisper ascends beyond his sleeping ears into the night.
"how do you fall asleep so fast?"
Intrigued by how he manages to consistently fall asleep so quickly and easily I decided he must have a secret. So one night I simply asked him right before he drifted off, “Woody, how do you fall asleep so fast?” He said, “I think it’s because I know what I want to do.”
While this seemed straightforward enough, it certainly didn’t help me sleep. No, this kept my brain wide-awake pondering the deeper meaning of this comment. I realized the major impact this simple principle has on the bigger picture of our lives. Just as Woody falls asleep with ease birthed by intention, it became clear to me that knowing and naming what you want to do is the secret to taking the action to do it. In light of this, I’d like to ask you what this led me to ask myself, “Do you know what you want to do?”
I think figuring this out is essential to living our best lives. All too often we get swept into the busy routines of our lives and in turn neglect what we were put on this earth to do—almost by accident. I can’t help but think how drastically this would change if we would just pause to ask ourselves “what do I want to do?”
I’m convinced that not only do we forget to ask ourselves this question, but more tragically, we forget that the answer actually matters. It’s true, you and I were created to do important things. Those things are planted deep within us and if we don’t pay attention to them, the world will miss the big things we were specifically created to give.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
Whether you realize it or not, you were created for a purpose. Your passions and talents are not accidents; rather, they are intentionally knitted into the fabric of your being by a Creator who has big plans for your life.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:13-16
we are unique by design
I love what Bob Goff says in his book, Love Does, “God is the master artist and made an original version of us, a priceless one that cost everything to create. A version that can’t and won’t be created again.” Can we just sit with that for a minute? You and I are once-in-eternity creations by God. We don’t have to try to make ourselves unique because we are unique by design. Bob also understands that tapping into what we want to do is a vital part of living an amazing, influential, fulfilling and purposeful life. He says it this way, “Tell me about the God you love; tell me about what He has inspired uniquely in you; tell me about what you’re going to do about it, and a plan for your life will be pretty easy to figure out from there.”
So maybe you have a faint idea, maybe you’re still trying to figure it out, or maybe you haven’t thought about it in years. Wherever you are, I’m going to ask you again, “What do you want to do?” I’m not talking about what you want to do for dinner, what you want to do to the person who cut you in line, or what you want to do this weekend. I mean deep down what are the things that make you excited, energized, and alive? What is it that makes your eyes light up and fuels your heart with possibility? You may have to dig down deep to find it, but it’s worth it because when uncovered your purpose will be unleashed. There is something whimsical and unexplainable that happens when you start living your purpose—it’s not just you that will come alive, but others too.
So, today, name what you want to do so that you can get about the business of doing it. Naming it makes your purpose tangible and makes you accountable. Write it down, tell someone else and go for it! Go on the trip, write the blog, apply for the job, make the phone call, run the race, create the art, take the chance, name it and do it. After all, the world is just waiting to receive what only you can give.