Whether the objective is find their dream job or love their jobs more, most people misinterpret faith as simply believing that something totally unforeseen will miraculously happen to them to improve their lives based upon misplaced “hope” in the future. Even worse, some individuals use faith as a disengaging excuse to procrastinate by internalizing a mentality such as “I hope that things work out for me,” or “Things will get better for me tomorrow.”
However these philosophies relegate the empowering attributes of hope and faith into nothing more than dumb luck. Unlike the above external definition, I believe faith is internal and rather than materializing somewhere down the road, faith starts fully grounded in the present. In other words, you have the power to control your life in your current circumstances and what you do or create today, ultimately, impacts your destiny.
To better help you distinguish the inherent differences between internal and external based faith, let’s take a look at two real life examples. America’s first commercial jet service began with a Boeing 707 flight in 1958. The next month according to National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” a passenger on a soon to be obsolete propeller-driven DC-6 airliner struck up a conversation with another passenger who happened to be a Boeing engineer.
The curious traveler asked the engineer about the new jet aircraft and the engineer spoke convincingly about the rigorous testing Boeing had completed on the cutting-edge model. He went on to explain about Boeing’s extensive experience in designing jet engines. All went well until the passenger asked the most critical question, “Have you flown on the new 707 jet?” The engineer’s testimony grounded in external faith crashed and burned when he replied, “I think I’ll wait until it’s been in service awhile.”
Although the Boeing engineer believed a great deal in his company and in the aerodynamic principles of jet flight, until he stepped foot and actually flew on the Boeing 707 his faith lacked credibility.
In the late 19th century, Susan B. Anthony, a delegate to the Sons of Temperance Meeting in Albany, NY was denied to right to speak from the platform because of her gender. Immediately putting her faith into action, Anthony organized a group of like-minded advocates to form the Women’s State Temperance Society of New York, an organization dedicated to the pursuit of securing a Constitutional Amendment establishing a woman’s right to vote.
Although her campaign to include women in the 15th Amendment failed miserably and she would never get to cast a vote herself, Anthony’s dream was finally realized just before her death in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Unlike the Boeing engineer, Susan B. Anthony had the courage to act on her faith from the get go rather than waiting on coincidence or someone else to get the ball rolling.
If you knew the exact time when life as you know it would be over, what would you do differently? More specifically, if you had only one year left and had to continue working for a living, what would you change about your daily routine right now? For one thing, you would probably stop procrastinating, so here are a few useful tips I’ve learned serving clients of my career coaching company:
1. Create tomorrow, don’t maintain yesterday.
Abandon anything that doesn’t support what’s most important to you. For example, when my clients come to me for help in landing their dream job, they are making a statement to themselves that the dream job process is one of the most important aspects of their lives and should be treated as such.
2. See your challenges as opportunities.
Often when we procrastinate it’s because any challenge or obstacle in our path causes us to freeze up and say, “Not today.” Viewing what’s presented to you as an opportunity is a gift that will enable you to learn, grow, evolve and create the amount of change necessary to stop procrastinating.
3. Use resources wisely.
Resources come in such forms as energy, money and time. Instead of procrastinating, always question how you can best use your resources for each minute of the day.
4. Take action today for what you want tomorrow.
Taking action today is about actively embracing the concepts of discipline, motivation and pursuing. When we procrastinate, we simply aren’t remaining focused or in pursuit of what we truly want. When you decide to take action, your steps should be specific, achievable, realistic and timely, but “careful planning” is no excuse to procrastinate.
In my career coaching company I constantly express the importance of taking action today. In the present moment, you are tangibly demonstrating that you have faith in your future because you are proactively making decisions to align your current status in life with what you want to achieve in the long run. John Dryden once said, “They can conquer who believe they can.” And we should add, who are willing to act on their faith today rather than putting it off until tomorrow.