How to Make 2020 Your Year for Crystal Clear Personal Calling

For well over a decade I have been dreaming about a toolbox and training experience that would deliver something very special to any follower of Jesus. What is that something special? It’s the ability to really grasp the trajectory of one’s Ephesians 2:10 “good works”—what believers for centuries have called vocation or specific calling.

That dream has now come true. And the most important result of this dream-in-the-making is a new book cooked up just for you. But before I tell you about the Younique book, consider the story behind the recipe.

What happened under the radar in approximately 250 churches over five years is about to explode into the next 2,500 churches in 2020.

How does the Younique book fit in? The final step of my toolbox buildout is always the trade book. It’s the icing on the clarity cake. My license to publish is the demonstrated break-thru at every age and life stage from megachurch pastors to plumbers, from hopeful high school students to the fired-up retired. The book is entitled Younique: Designing the Life God Dreamed for You. Inside you will find a treasure chest of tools and 27 snack-able chapters. What’s the end game? It’s helping you master seven essential life design skills. Learn these and you just might find a kind of life that you didn’t know was possible.

What about you? How well can you name your special assignment from God? How free do you feel in your weekly “9-to-5”? When was the last time you set up and bowled over a simple, single goal over 90 days? Life is too short to live with only a general sense of who you are and where you are going.

Let me invite you to experience personal break-thru and make 2020 your year of crystal clarity.

Younique will be released January 7, 2020. Order your copy today!

I hope you will consider following the rollout of Younique’s expanded experiences and tools. Imagine for a moment what’s about to be available to you and your church:

  • Seven online courses that will go live with the book. As you swim and splash through the book, these are the most important pools of learning for you to take a deep dive in.
  • A Younique 90-day planner. This is the only integrated life design system in the world created just for followers of Jesus.
  • A 20/20 Vision For Life sermon series for the year 2020. Why not leverage a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity developed by one of my favorite preachers in the world, Younique cofounder Dave Rhodes?
  • A six-week small group experience called the Younique Primer. This gets Younique into the game of your groups and classes strategy. Videos are available online at Younique or through your RightNow Media subscription.

How in the world can you follow along? I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram (my favorite social platform) @will_be_clear.

Let’s together pursue crystal clarity this year. I hope we get to meet in 2020 at one of our Younique events!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Your Best You: Find Purpose

Life Younique founder Will Mancini asks this question: 

Do you see your mission in life as something created, designed, and given by God? We are called not just to follow Jesus (a common call to all people) but we are called to accomplish something specific as a one-of-a-kind saint (your special assignment from God).

Is there a process of discovering and living out your unique life call?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – The Call by Oz Guinness

The Call continues to stand as a classic, reflective work on life’s purpose. Best-selling author Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God’s call and addresses the fact that God has a specific calling for our individual lives.

Why am I here? What is God’s call in my life? How do I fit God’s call with my own individuality? How should God’s calling affect my career, my plans for the future, my concepts of success? Guinness now helps the reader discover answers to these questions, and more, through a corresponding workbook – perfect for individual or group study.

According to Guinness, “No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.” With tens of thousands of readers to date, The Call is for all who desire a purposeful, intentional life of faith.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

The journey to “discover one’s self” has many paths. There are also innumerable resources along those paths. The bookshelves – both physical and digital – are filled with volumes dedicated to helping you “discover your purpose,” “finding the true you,” and many more similar promises.

If you are serious about undertaking such a journey, beware of the inadequate answers offered by most of those resources. While not necessarily wrong, they all fall short of this truth verbalized by author Os Guinness:

Our life purpose comes from two sources at once – who we are created to be and who we are called to be. The real notion of calling is the “ultimate why” for human living.

Become an entrepreneur of life and see all of life as an enterprise transformed by his call. Count the cost, consider the risks, and set out each day on a venture to multiply your gifts and opportunities and bring glory to God and add value to our world. Answering the call is the road to purpose and fulfillment in your life.

Deep in our hearts, we all want to find and fulfill a purpose bigger than ourselves. Only such a larger purpose can inspire us to heights we know we could never reach on our own. For each of us the real purpose is personal and passionate: to know what we are here to do, and why.

The notion of calling, or vocation, is vital to each of us because it touches on the modern search for a basis for individual identity and an understanding of humanness itself.

Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.

Os Guinness, The Call

A NEXT STEP

Set aside a two-hour time block free of distractions of any kind. Divide a chart tablet into three sections, and head each one with the following:

Devotion – commitment to some purpose, willingness to serve God

Dynamism – the activeness of an energetic personality

Direction – the concentration of attention or energy on something

Author Os Guinness states, “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.”

Rereading this statement each time, take 30 minutes to reflect on each of the three categories listed on the chart tablet. Write as many words, phrases, or sentences – or draw images – that illustrate your current life in that particular area.

After you have completed all three sections, take a 20-minute prayer walk outside, away from distractions, asking God to help you focus those three areas to that you are both comforted and challenged by the calling of God in your life.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 106-1, released November 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

If Your Culture is Stuck, HOW is It Stuck?

You’ve taken a big step to read this article if you’re reading it the week it was published. It’s September, and that means you’re slammed. You are either launching or have recently launched initiatives for the fall. If you have kids to get into the school routine, that only compounds the busyness.

Will this September get your organization and your people moving forward? Will this fall’s initiatives make a difference? Or will it be a fast-moving treadmill, drawing a lot of energy but not getting anywhere?

Last September was as busy for leaders everywhere as this one is. But did it get them as far as they hoped it would? Or are they merely back to doing more of the same as last year—maybe a little more, maybe a little less, maybe some changes around the edges, but essentially making the same swift strokes to keep the organization’s head above water?

If you feel that your organization’s disciplemaking culture is stuck, you are not alone. Many leaders feel that way.

When we’re stuck, our instincts push us to try a little harder or maybe to flip some switches and turn some dials that are easy to reach.

But culture shift isn’t primarily about technique. It’s primarily about relationship—the relationship between your organization and the individuals that make it up. Until the relationship changes, the culture won’t.

There is not just one kind of stuck relationship, however. To understand how to move your culture forward, you first need to understand what the relationship between organization and people is like today. You diagnose it by asking two questions:

  • Is my organization clear about its unique calling from God?
  • Are individuals in my organization clear about their unique calling from God?

These two questions yield four answers that indicate where your organization is now and where it needs to go next.

Relationship #1: “What are we doing?”

When organizational clarity is low, the organization may help people, but without a clear vision, its leaders’ hope for the future defaults to merely engaging more people. Likewise, when personal clarity is also low, an individual may be loyal to the organization while it delivers what he or she likes. But without a clear vision, the individual defaults to seeking personal gratification, even if it is defined in spiritual terms.

No matter what good things might be happening in the organization, when organizational clarity and personal clarity are both low, the organization has gotten stuck in “preservation mode.” No organization starts out this way. There was always a fire, a zeal, a cause that people took a risk to make real. But it’s common for organizations to become victims of their own success. With so much to keep track of and with so many people who joined for different reasons than those at the beginning, it becomes hard to remain clear on what the organization does and why and how it does it. Under these conditions, the unconscious, default vision for both the organization and its people is “keep what we like and get more of it.” Together they spin in circles.

Relationship #2: “We can do it! You can help.”

When organizational clarity is high, the organization has a compelling discipleship vision and a robust capacity to form believers accordingly. Yet it needs volunteers to make the machine run, so leaders recruit people to fill slots to keep producing. However, when personal clarity is low, individuals in the organization essentially become part cogs in the machine, part products that the organization manufactures. They are passive in the process even if they are busily involved with it.

Some individuals may resist the organization’s vision because it threatens to upset the place, people, and programs they hold dear. Some like the vision in principle but keep their distance in practice. Many, however, wholeheartedly embrace the organization’s vision as their own, which is exactly what leaders hope will happen.

Unfortunately, when people confuse the organization’s calling with their personal calling, over time they frequently lose interest, lose faith, or lose heart. They joined the organization’s cause by filling a slot where volunteers are needed, because they have been persuaded that it is what Christ wants them to do. But in time they get restless because they come to feel like a square peg in a round hole or burned out because they don’t get fueled and impassioned by what they are doing.

Others are more content with their service. They get acknowledged and rewarded for serving in the same volunteer role for 20 or 30 years. But sometimes you may wonder, “Have we let this person down? Is it really God’s will for this person to stay in the same function all that time? Or have we kept the person in the place that was convenient for us?”

When organizational clarity is high but personal clarity is low, the organization often unintentionally, unknowingly manipulates people into positions they have no business committing to because they do not accord with their divine design. Or they keep them in positions forever that they can never leave. Volunteers become victims of the organization’s success, and sometimes they flake away feeling used. In the end, the organization is stuck in “direction mode”—that is, because it is so sure of its direction, it is equally sure about how to direct others. Ironically, organizations fail to reach the disciple-making goals they sincerely believe in because they subtly come to count their people more as human resources than as individuals on unique journeys with God.

Relationship #3: “You can do it! We can’t help.”

When organizational clarity is low but personal clarity is high, the organization is blessed with individuals who attempt to bring their passion and personal clarity to the organization. The problem is that the organization’s leaders don’t know how the individual’s dream fits with the organization because it doesn’t know how anything fits. The consistent justification for the activities it does is that it is in the habit of doing them. So leaders are often thrilled at first by the energy and vision of the new person, but the good times don’t last.

For example, the organization may want the leader to channel her talent into a neat, prefabricated box of volunteering. But if the person persists in pursuing the unique vision God gave her and cannot find a home for it in the organization, she will eventually redirect her service, money, and time away from the organization that she used to give there.

Sometimes this happens in the name of being “missional.” An organization sees itself as succeeding when it urges its people to follow their respective callings out into the world, but it provides them no support or equipment to succeed in mission there. It may desire to be a great “sending” church, but its impact isn’t sustained as individuals get exhausted without the help of the body of Christ.

Alternatively, the organization may embrace multiple driven, dynamic leaders, but their visions are incompatible. Like vandals spraying graffiti, they make great art, but they paint where they don’t belong. As each one tries to steer the organization according to their own passion, conflict erupts or else the organization breaks down into disunited, self-contained silos. In all these scenarios, the organization is stuck in “permission mode,” allowing people to function but seeing scant impact because of wasted, contradictory, and unsustained energy.

Relationship #4: “See what we can do together?”

When both organizational and personal clarity are high, the organization functions as an Olympic team. It recruits, trains, and equips people to be world-class leaders, devoted to the same goal of success in obeying the Great Commission. Each individual is a champion, both performing solo and contributing in community in a variety of ways according to their unique talents.

When both personal and organizational clarity share first place, individuals pursuing God’s dream for them and the organization pursuing God’s dream for it are not an either-or choice but a both-and reality. Both individual uniqueness and organizational unity are at a maximum. The organization sees the irreplaceable value of each individual, and the individuals recognize that without the organization, they will not fully live out God’s calling on their lives. Each side is fueled and renewed by the other’s success, an ongoing, upward spiral.

When an organization is in “mobilization mode,” even when God does lead an individual on from the organization, the person isn’t considered to be lost but to be sent. When an organization equally prioritizes clarity for itself and clarity for its people, both realize their calling and the blessing of making an impact that resonates far into the future.

Productive collision

I encountered a great illustration of this principle when one of my daughters studied chemistry. In chemistry, a productive collision occurs when the correct side of one molecule smashes into the correct side of another with enough energy to burst their molecular bonds and re-form into something new. When an oxygen molecule is part of the collision, it releases a great deal of energy. This is called combustion, commonly experienced as fire.

When breakthrough clarity both for an organization and for individuals collide productively, they combine into something much stronger than either of them alone, and they unleash extraordinary energy, power, and movement. In short, when an organization and its people both know their special callings from God, the collision lights a fire for him that cannot be quenched.

> Read more from Kelly.


 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Kannwischer

Kelly Kannwischer

Kelly has spent her vocational life as a not-for-profit executive, consultant and development professional. Former to becoming the CEO of Younique, Kelly founded OptUp Consulting, served THINK Together as the Chief Engagement Officer, and led Vanguard University as a Vice President and President of the Vanguard University Foundation. Kelly graduated from the University of Virginia and earned her Masters degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is married to Rev. Dr. Richard Kannwischer and is the proud mother of Danica (age 15) and Ashby (age 13).

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Life Design Essential #1: Uncover the Only You

We live in a world where every artificial thing is designed. Whether it is the car we ride in, the streets we drive on, the lights that illuminate the road, or the building that is our destination, some person or group of people had to decide on the layout, operation, and mechanisms of the journey described above.

Your life has a design, too.

Design doesn’t just work for cars and roads and streetlights and buildings, and all the hundreds of thousands of components that make those things up. You can use design thinking to discover the life God has uniquely created for you. It is a life that is meaningful, joyful, and fulfilling.

Several years ago, Auxano founder Will Mancini launched Life Younique, a training company that certifies church leaders to offer gospel-centered life design through their church. Will, along with co-founder Dave Rhodes, is passionate about helping people get life mission right – what exactly is the best way to know and name what God has created you to do?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly

In The Rhythm of Life Matthew Kelly exposes the lifestyle challenges and problems that face us in this age obsessed with noise, speed, and perpetual activity. Kelly’s message rings out with a truth that is challenging and unmistakably attractive Who you become is infinitely more important than what you do, or what you have. Are you ready to meet the best version of yourself?

The Rhythm of Life is a brilliant and clear-eyed rejection of the chaotic lifestyle that has captured the world, written with common sense, humor, and extraordinary insight. This book is destined to change lives.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

What is the brief and bold big idea that best captures today what God made you to do?

Think of it as a golden compass pointing the way or a silver golden thread that weaves through every activity of your life. It’s the enduring rally cry of team-you; it’s the victory banner waving over everything you do.

Ideally, every priority, project, and penny is filtered through, guided by and championed through this concept. Imagine every person in your sphere of influence being blessed better, served stronger, and loved longer because you form a unique life mission every day.

Translate a wide variety of life-awareness and self-awareness into a meaningful, practical, and simple understanding of what God has made only you to do.

Who you become is infinitely more important than what you do or what you have. The meaning and purpose of life is for you to become the best version of yourself.

In the diagram below, Point A represents you right now – here and today – with all your strengths and weaknesses, faults, failings, flaws, defects, talents, abilities, and potential.

Point B represents you as the person you were created to be – perfectly. If you close your eyes for a few moments and imagine the better person you know you can be in any areas of your life, and then multiply that vision to include the better person you know you can be in every area of your life, that is the person you have become when you reach point B – the best version of yourself.

At every point along the path closer to point B, we more fully recognize, appreciate, and use our talents and abilities and are more dedicated to our development – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

At each point along the path toward point B, there is a more harmonious relationship among our needs, desires, and talents. Through this process of transformation, we begin to reach our once hidden potential. At point B, through the dual process of self-discovery and discovery of God, we have overcome our fears and transformed our faults and failings into virtues.

Matthew Kelly, The Rhythm of Life

A NEXT STEP

Duplicate the drawing above on a chart tablet. Add the four words “Physically, Emotionally, Intellectually, and Spiritually” above the line between Point A and Point B.

Below the line, and under each of the words, write in actions that will help you move towards Point B. These are the best things you can do for your spouse, your children, your friends, your colleagues, your employees, your employer, your church, your nation, the human family, and yourself.

The best thing you can do is to become the-best-version-of-yourself, because it is doing with a purpose.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 101-1, released September 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

Each issue SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

>> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

 

 

 

Download PDF

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How an Actionable, Gospel-Centered Plan Makes the Difference in Your Life

The Exponential 2019 conference rebooted the age-old conversation in the church about personal call. Unlike Elvis, we at Younique don’t want “a little less conversation,” but we do want to see a lot more action.

Since the beginning of the Jesus movement, disciples have been exploring what it means to be faithful in their families, in their communities, and even in their work. Redeeming the Greek notion of work as a curse, Christian thought leaders throughout the centuries declared the dignity of work and the importance of bringing justice to social and economic systems.

Unfortunately, today’s culture has fallen into the ditch on the other side of the road from the ancient Greeks. For many modern people, work has become a religion, an identity unto itself. In a recent article in The Atlantic entitled “The Religion of Workism Is Making Americans Miserable,” Derek Thompson describes how people are turning to their work instead of their faith for meaning and fulfillment.

Meanwhile, the church is becoming attuned to both the need and the power of helping our people name their personal calling. For example, model Hailey Bieber (wife of popstar Justin Bieber) is one of many celebrities featured in a docu-series from Hillsong Church hosted by Christian businesswoman Natalie Manuel Lee. The show explores how purpose and identity play out in the modern world. In addition, many of us read books that explore these questions, from The Call, by Os Guinness, to Culture Making, by Andy Crouch, and more besides.

Believers also go to the Bible for answers. At Younique, we lean into Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 2. Paul begins by celebrating the power of the resurrection and the life we have inherited through faith in Jesus. Then he goes on in verse 10 to describe our new life through Christ as one that has purpose and potential. We are portrayed as God’s masterpiece—the Greek word is poemaWe are a one-of-a-kind work of art that is full of possibility for partnership with God in His Kingdom purposes.

This portrait of a believer’s potential is so beautiful and compelling that we naturally begin to wonder, “What about me? Who am I, and what are the good works that God has prepared in advance for me to do?”

Yet here is where the disconnect begins in the church, because it is much easier to talk about “being,” “doing,” and “going” than it is to create an actionable, gospel-centered plan to make it happen in our lives.

I recently read James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. Clear notes that there is a sharp difference between motion and action. It is easy for us to be in motion and convince ourselves that we are making progress. We run lots of programs and offer great classes believing that we are making headway in helping our people on their discipleship journey. While some of these may be effective actions, many fall into the category of mere motion—activity without impact.

Younique is our answer to the problem of how to take action in the realm of personal call. Younique is a replicable process for helping people to design their lives according to their Ephesians 2:10 calling.

We believe the vision of your church won’t be fully realized until each person in your church is released into their own personal calling. They are the hands and feet of Jesus, and God has prepared good works for them to do since before the creation of the world. Instead of asking individuals to plug in to events or programs based on the need for volunteers, what if you had a process to engage their special assignment from God where they live, work, and play?

Stop intending to help people—take action! James Clear continues to help us understand where we fall short by talking about the difference between goals and systems. Goals are where we start, but they are insufficient to deliver results. “Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.”

Younique is the system to help people be, do, and go. We are committed to installing into the local church a sustainable disciple-making process that you lead with your people. The church is the hero, empowering and equipping people to step confidently into their best for what is next.


If you haven’t yet experienced the power of Younique’s life design system, then I invite you to join us at an upcoming Younique Accelerator or one of our free webinars.

Download PDF

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Kannwischer

Kelly Kannwischer

Kelly has spent her vocational life as a not-for-profit executive, consultant and development professional. Former to becoming the CEO of Younique, Kelly founded OptUp Consulting, served THINK Together as the Chief Engagement Officer, and led Vanguard University as a Vice President and President of the Vanguard University Foundation. Kelly graduated from the University of Virginia and earned her Masters degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is married to Rev. Dr. Richard Kannwischer and is the proud mother of Danica (age 15) and Ashby (age 13).

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

3 Real-Life Examples of 10-10 Lists to Jumpstart Your Journey to Bigger Dreaming

Cory Hartman has become a good friend this past year as he began to work with me as a collaborative writer. Our big project was to complete the forthcoming book, Younique: Designing the Life God Dreamed for You. (Read the first-ever excerpt here.) Cory is a pastor and a writer who came through a Younique Accelerator. Shortly afterwards he decided to start pursuing writing full-time. I am glad he did.

He and his wife Kelly sat down and worked on their 10-10 Lists together:

Cory’s 10-10 List

Cory’s 10 (12) past

  1. I earned a doctoral degree.
  2. I got someone (I really, really liked) to marry me.
  3. I traveled across the country and saw wonders in National Parks in the West.
  4. I won on Jeopardy!
  5. I sat in on piano with a gigging band for money.
  6. I led my friend Joe to Christ.
  7. I won a Magic: The Gathering prerelease sealed deck tournament (more than once).
  8. I twice served as pastor of a church.
  9. I was in a wedding in the National Cathedral.
  10. I heard one of my kids participate in an excellent concert performance of a great work (Vivaldi’s Gloria).
  11. I co-wrote a book that will be published by an established house with my name on the cover.
  12. I performed a Bach keyboard concerto.

Cory’s 10 future

  1. I want to be part of starting a church that reaches intellectuals who don’t yet know Christ.
  2. I want to give away a million dollars of my (our) own money.
  3. I want to take a river cruise in Europe. (I’m thinking the Rhine.)
  4. I want to take a tour of ancient sites where Paul walked.
  5. I want to tour Israel with a friend who knows it well.
  6. I want to teach an entire course as a guest professor.
  7. I want to see a manifestation of genuine spiritual revival with my own eyes in a church or community.
  8. I want to give a commencement address.
  9. I want to read the entire Oxford History of the United States.
  10. I want to live by water for over a year.

Kelly’s 10-10 List

Kelly’s 10 (12) past

  1. I performed as myself as a soloist on the Mishler Theatre stage.
  2. I took a cross-country trip to California in an RV with my family.
  3. I got to see Phantom of the Opera in Toronto in the 11th row.
  4. I got an associate’s degree in insurance.
  5. I sang in a nightclub in New Jersey with legit NYC singers.
  6. I gave birth to four children.
  7. I conducted a pit orchestra at the Mishler Theatre.
  8. I auditioned for Scott Alan in New York City.
  9. I took an RV trip to Montana and got to see glaciers.
  10. My husband and I had an amazing date at the top of a revolving restaurant in New York City and saw a Broadway show.
  11. I got to see my son perform a lead role in a musical.
  12. I gave Jonathan Groff solicited performance advice.

Kelly’s 10 future

  1. I want to live in a house I own on the Massachusetts North Shore.
  2. I want to perform on Broadway.
  3. I want to help broker full reconciliation between estranged family members.
  4. I want to do a Mediterranean cruise.
  5. I want to visit the Sydney Opera House.
  6. I want always to have some chunk of time with all of our family (kids and grandkids) together every year.
  7. I want to perform in Boston.
  8. I want to ride in a hot air balloon.
  9. I want to help someone I know to see truth that enables them to walk away from destructive behavior.
  10. I want to sing the national anthem for a major professional sports team.

John’s 10-10 List

John Thielepape is the Director of Missions for a Baptist association of churches in Texas. He is a stellar dude who keeps himself sharp with the best certifications in order to train pastors. He came though Younique years ago and is finishing his 100 Life Dreams List. He sent a pic o f his 10-10 List below.

 

Much thanks to Cory, Kelly and John for granting permission to publish their lists. As you know, these are very personal.

Many of you have sent in your lists or are mentioning that you are following along with this initiative. Thank you to you even though I am not publishing them all. And, if you are following along with this #LifeDesignWithMe project, please let me know.

> Read more from Will.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Take the Single Greatest Step Toward Accelerating Your 100 Dreams List

If you are following along with the #LifeDesignWithMe adventure over a 90-day period, this is a BIG POST.

I want to show you the single greatest step toward accelerating your 100 Dreams List.

If you are just jumping in now, be sure to review STEPS ONE and TWO, from my earlier post.

STEP THREE for #LifeDesignWithMe

Step three is all about using a simple tool that I call the Life Dreams List Worksheet (You guessed that didn’t you?) But you need to quickly learn two things about the worksheet. First, you need to know about this thing we call “storylines” at Younique. Second you need to learn the five kinds of aspirations that you can have in life. These are the two elements that create the 20 Boxes of Possibility.

What are Storylines?

Storylines are the way we innovate off the idea of “life domains” that practically all life planning systems or intentional life models use. Life domains represent ways that people divide their life into categories like work, family, hobbies, etc.

Luke 2:52, for example, records that Jesus grew in wisdom and status and in favor with God and men. This introduces a simple biblical model of the areas of life in which Jesus matured. “Wisdom” represents growing emotionally and intellectually. “Stature” conveys his physical growth. “Favor with God” reveals spiritual and relational development and “favor with men” represents the social and leadership dimensions of our Savior’s life.

In Younique we survey other common domains and then we make an important pivot. (Which is why I won’t cover examples of domains in this post.) We pivot away from domains toward storylines. The primary reason is that domain thinking was developed when our lives were defined or limited by the environments we were in. For example, as a teenager, when my Dad was at his office, he was exclusively operating in a work domain. When he was home the same thing; he was at home. But in our current reality of technology and communication, it’s all too easy to lead a Fortune 500 company from your sofa at home or spend hours with your friends via technology even though you’re at the office.

Clearly this new opportunity needs a more savvy way to think about our lives. Using storylines gives you a new freedom and personalization rather than having the same fixed domains for everyone. Think of the storylines as the four primary subplots or themes running through your life. If you binged watched the TV series of your life for the last year, how would you label those four themes? This kind of lens is much more dynamic than the old domains of yesteryear. They are more accessible and powerful when you can creatively develop them. For example my four storylines go by the names: Beloved Son, (my relationship with God) Central Circle, (my relationship with my family), Olympic Contribution (my vocational calling) and Epic Adventure (my recreation and social spheres). Again, the purpose of this post isn’t to explain the meaning behind these.

How do you accelerate work on your 100 Dreams List? I want you to creatively think of your four storylines right now. How would you name the big narratives movements in your life? Why? Because its going to be ten times easier to get to 100 ideas on your life bucket list, when you have 4 different lists of 25! And best of all, it will help you make a much more well-rounded, God-honoring list.

If you are not feeling too creative that’s okay. I would rather have you jumping into your 100 Dreams List than worrying about exactly what to call your storylines. For some people that creative step comes easy. Others prefer to use an idea starter or “scaffolding storylines” that we teach at Younique. Most storylines roughly correlate to “health,” “love,” “work” and “play.” (These four categories are used by Life Design teachers Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.) Note that at Younique we don’t separate out a “faith” storyline because we see that as integrated into every storyline. So you could think of it as “health-faith,” “love-faith,” “work-faith.” and “play-faith.”

At the end of this post I will give you the Life Dreams List Worksheet. Your first step will be to either plug in the starter ideas (health, love, work and play) into your four storyline boxes OR to creatively name your own. You choose. Again, I don’t want you to get hung up, because the point is getting on with you list.

Now on to the next element that creates the 20 Boxes of Possibility– the five kinds of aspirations.

What are the Five Kinds of Aspirations?

Years ago I wrote a blog series on bucket listing. (Surprise, surprise!) I was inspired to encourage others while on a week long dream trip to Santorini Island. Out of that series came one of the most popular posts of the 600 I have written on this blog. If you want you can jump over to it, but I will summarize it below.

Aspiration #1: A THING TO DO – The most basic bucket list item is an event or experience. These one-time deals don’t usually require training or even extraordinary expense. They just require planning and prioritizing. For example Dave Rhodes, my cofounder at Younique, finally went skydiving with some friends this year.

Aspiration #2: A PLACE TO GO – Like my Santorini trip maybe you have always wanted take a special vacation. Perhaps its a crazy destination or some excellent adventure. Or maybe you want to do something simple like visiting every train trestle bridge in your county.

Aspiration #3: A SKILL TO LEARN – I have found that most people want to learn something, but never take the time to learn. This thing could be a hobby or some kind of personal discipline. Years ago I took a 3-day watercoloring class with my wife Romy. I still have a long way to go, but some day I want to be a painter.

Aspiration #4: AN OBJECTIVE TO ACHIEVE – Your goal may come in many forms: athletic, financial, professional, etc. Do you want to save your first $10,000 or make extra payments on your mortgage? Do you want to complete your first 5K or run your first Ironman?

Aspiration #5: A POSSESSION TO OBTAIN – Maybe you have always wanted to have something really specific. It could be something you collect, rent, or own. A met a guy once who collected cigar-box guitars. Last week I was with a good friend who wants to own 10 rental properties by the time he is age 55.

If you want to see a few more illustrations you can visit the original post on 5 Kinds of Aspirations to Design Your Life.

Getting Started with Life Dreams List Worksheet

Now that you are armed with the knowledge of storylines and the five kinds of aspirations, you are ready to jump into the worksheet. You are not going to believe how this will accelerate your life dreaming and list making!

The worksheet is a simple matrix with your four storylines across the top and the five kinds of aspirations down the side. That makes a 20-box grid or matrix to use as a brainstorming tool. I call it the “20 Boxes of Possibility.” The PDF is a form that can be typed into directly if you like digital, or you can print a hard copy and fill in by hand. Here are some simple steps to use the worksheet which you can download below.

STEP A: Revisit your 10-10 List and practice using the worksheet

By now you should have your first 10 ideas written down. Now you can reverse engineer these and place them on the worksheet. NOTE: This step reveals your first inclination with regard to storylines and kinds of life aspirations. Simply note what Boxes of Possibility you gravitated to at first. We will stretch your thinking from there.

STEP B: Develop your next 25 Life Dreams by using the 20 Boxes of Possibility

Take some time to reflect and dream and see what ideas arise when you consider each “box” on the worksheet. Your brainstorming gets easier because you have more specific kinds of ideas to consider. Let the Boxes of Possibility be like vitamins to your brain and jet fuel for your imagination. (Since we’re going for 25 new Life Dreams here on top of the 10 you’ve already come up with, that means you’ll have some boxes with more than one Life Dream written in.)

STEP C: Create and expand on ideas to include intimacy with God, close relationships and other people in general

One big secret to making a gospel-centered Life Dream List is using the 20 Boxes of Possibility to literally explode new ideas for how to walk with Jesus and serve others while you pursue your interests and passions. The storylines help accomplish this step, as it invites you to think holistically about your life.

For example, my current life design experiment is living and working 90 days in Aspen, Colorado. This trip was originally developed to help fulfill my Life Dream to snowboard 50 days in one season. Yet this initial idea (an objective to achieve) based on a sport I enjoy explodes with all kinds of meaning when I slow down and reflect. For example, I have enjoyed the opportunity to invest in my niece’s only opportunity in life to learn to ski. Hmmmm… how many other people might I invest in during my lifetime. And what are the implications for the gospel?

Even taking the time to write this post and carve our scores of hours to host the #LifeDesignWithMe project is an expression of my reflection. I really really want to help you dream. And I am using this special time to encourage and challenge at least 100 new people to dream 100 new dreams. That’s 10,000 new dreams by Easter. What’s even better? I am hoping that this “capture” of writing on my blog will encourage at least 100 new people every year. That’s 10,000 new dreams for the glory of God every year. (By the way if you are following me during this project please let me know!)

STEP D: Keep going until you get 35 Life Dreams recorded on your worksheet

It’s this simple: Pray then reflect. Write then reflect. Talk about it and then reflect some more until you get to 35 ideas written down. Eat and sleep only if you must. The 35 ideas is a one-third-of-the-way milestone. It’s made up of the 10 ideas from your 10-10 List and your new 25 ideas from the Boxes of Possibility.

Are you ready to get started?

Let’s do this!

Download the Life Dreams List Worksheet

Don’t forget to send a picture of your worksheet and use #100Dreams

> Read more from Will.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Apply the Great Secret of Having FOCUS in Life

My life’s greatest secret: I don’t work hard, I work focused.

(But don’t tell anyone.)

By introducing the simple power of a 90-day goal I am doing double duty with two current series. First, we are continuing to review the7 Essential Life Design Skills that I launched for the New Year. Second, I am encouraging folks to join me in a 90-day adventure of sorts by writing down 100 Life Dreams by this Easter. So I am inviting you to think about it and act on it in the same post!

Let’s cover the 7 Essential Life Skills idea first: The 90-day goal is at the heart of Essential Life Design Skill #6, Achieve Your Next Goal: bring laser focus to the most important next step in your life, over and over again. Today I want to introduce you to this essential skill with the first-ever excerpt from the forthcoming book, Younique.

You may have noticed that I released a new book last month called Clarity Spiral: The 4 Break-Thru Practices to Find the One Thing You’re Called to DoClarity Spiral is about the first essential life design skill for how to Engage Your Vocational Vision. It is a prerelease to the much bigger book Younique which will cover all of the life design skills. If you haven’t checked it out yet, the book is FREE as a downloadable PDF. (It is also now available to buy as paperback version)

Now if you have been following along with the #LifeDesignWithMe project (started 14 days ago) you already know that the 90-day window of life is very important to me. Over five years ago, when I put the toolbox together that is now the Younique Experience, a personal calling and life planning system for followers of Christ, one bedrock tool is the utilization of the 90-day season of success. Everything we do at Younique is built around a lifetime march in 90-day increments.

That’s why I am in Aspen for 90-days fulfilling one of my most dramatic bucket list goals–to snowboard 50 days in one season. That’s the fun and playful part of the next 90 days for me, but its not the only part (I’ll post more on that later.) The point is that I want you to not only start thinking about 90-days, but to join me in accomplishing a 90-day goal for yourself: To write down your own Life Dreams List with 100 well-developed, take-it-serious life dreams before this Easter.

Come on and let’s do this together! #100Dreams

Now back to the excerpt from my forthcoming book: Younique, Designing the Life God Dreamed for You.

There is something about a 90-day period—approximately one quarter of a year—that is entwined deeply with the operating system of human beings. Ninety days is roughly the length of a season in temperate climes. It is about the length of a school semester and the span of the business quarter.

Ninety days also has the intriguing characteristic of being just out of reach. It is far enough away from the here-and-now to imply a substantial journey but close enough that we can cross it with a solid burst. It is enough time for an individual to accomplish something truly significant. You would not believe what people can achieve in three months.

Top Nine Big Accomplishments in 90 Days

  1. A Moscow architectural firm will build you an environmentally friendly, 1,300-square-foot home within 90 days of order.

  2. Boot camp makes a recruit into a Marine in just under 90 days.

  3. Thru-hikers walk the Pacific Northwest Trail from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean within 90 days.

  4. A human baby in utero is fully formed and can open and close its hands and mouth by 90 days after its conception.

  5. Blogger Maneesh Sethi developed and lived out a plan to become fluent in a new language (in his case, Italian) in 90 days.

  6. John Steinbeck wrote the first draft of The Grapes of Wrath in 90 days in 1938.

  7. In 2004-05, Frenchman Vincent Riou became the first to sail around the world in a monohull vessel, solo, in under 90 days.

  8. On July 8, 1914, the Boston Braves baseball club had a record of 29-40, dead last in the National League. Over the next 90 days they won a whopping 74% of their games to win the league pennant and eventually a World Series championship.

  9. Mozart composed two piano trios; a violin sonata; two piano sonatas, including his most famous; his last three symphonies, arguably his greatest; and three other pieces of music in 90 days in 1788.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

FREE Clarity Spiral ebook: An Overview of the 4 Break-Thru Practices to Find Your One Thing in Life

As promised in my last post, I am interrupting the series on the 7 Essential Life Design Skills so you can now download my new eBook about finding your one thing in life. This book covers four practices I have used and taught to find and align your vocational vision. The Clarity Spiral also happens to be the first master tool in a Personal Vision Journey offered through Life Younique– a training company that brings gospel-centered life design to people through certified coaches in the local church.

I want to take this moment to thank you for being a blog reader. As always new content comes to you first. If you have already been through the Younique Experience, you will find totally new content in this book. If you are signed up to go through in 2019, these books will soon come with our kit.

If you really like the book, you will be able to purchase a hard copy on Amazon soon. If you are interested in a Younique small group experience you can purchase the Younique 6-week Primary by Dave Rhodes here. Dave is the cofounder of Younique.

Enjoy your FREE book!

I would love to learn a little more about you as you download the book so I have included some optional information like the decade you were born, and whether or not you work as a church staff. Again these are optional.

Download Your FREE Clarity Spiral eBook

Check out some of the chapters below!!!

> Read more from Will.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Achieve Peak Performance at Life’s 3 Crossroads

When does a human being peak? What is a person’s “succeed-by” date (as in, if you haven’t succeeded by now, forget it)?

Some feel it when they’re 25 or so, when at a professional level athletes ascend, and dancers dazzle and beauty blooms. It’s where cool is concentrated in our youth-obsessed culture. It’s easy for ambitious people to believe that if they don’t get on a 30-under-30 list, they’ll never be a world-changer.

Many feel the peak when they’re around 40. They’re performing at a high level because they have more wisdom and influence than they did in their 20s. The career is progressing nicely and family relationships are going relatively well.

Some feel the peak—or hope to—around the time they retire, usually in their 60s. They want to leave their profession in a blaze of glory, full of achievement. With decent health and with personal wealth at an all-time high, they hope to live it up in their golden years.

So when does a person peak? To get a true grasp—and to get there!—you need Essential Life Design Skill #1 (in the series of 7 skills) and the third skill we are unpacking. (Not in numerical order.) This skill is about embracing four lifelong practices to maximize your work potential and find your dream job. The four practices are:

  • Courage to know – Do you seriously know yourself (really) or do you just think that you do?
  • Experience to grow – Are you using every good and bad work experience to zero-in on what you can do best?
  • Value to show – Are you proactively negotiating how you spend your time at work as the weeks and months of your “9-5 life” go by?
  • Risk to go – Are you prepared to leave your current job when the time is right in order to steward of your one and only life?

I talk all about these four practices in my new e-book that releases tomorrow Clarity Spiral: The 4 Break-Thru Practices to Find the One Thing You’re Called to Do. But in this post, I’m proposing that these four practices for finding your one thing become especially critical at three crossroads: quarterlife, midlife, and three-quarterlife. Take a moment and consider the crucial question that people must confront at each crossroad and a corresponding prescription.

The Quarterlife Question: “What Am I Doing?”

Quarterlife crisis” labels a phenomenon that’s become almost universal among adults in their 20s. It’s a point in life where aimlessness not only plunges many into depression, but it also threatens to cut off the impact a person may have in the future.

Some people at the quarterlife crisis spend their adolescent years rebelling against parents’ or teachers’ expectations. Others are busy just surviving their dangerous decisions. Yet when these people become adults, their lack of educational success limits their vocational options.

Other people got the diploma or degree they were “supposed” to get. But they never really believed in a career path themselves, so now they’re prepared to do work they don’t care about. They might try to cope with purposelessness by living for the next pleasure (with diminishing returns) or by attempting to draw more meaning from a relationship than it can ever provide.

Still others diligently pursued a life goal they believed in, but once they get their credentials, start a job, or settle down, they find that it doesn’t provide the satisfaction they expected. As one 23-year-old put it:

No one prepares us for the decades’ worth of post-education revelations such as ‘dream jobs’ are pretty hard to come by (but by the way, unemployment isn’t), having a real job is not like an episode of Mad Men, and finding ‘the one’ is virtually impossible.

The Quarterlife Prescription: Commit to Purposeful, Productive Activity Despite Uncertainty

Purposeful, productive activity could be a line of work, raising children, a place to serve, or all of the above. The critical thing is the ability to put up with the drudgery, weight of responsibility, lack of appreciation, and even your own mistakes as a part of the learning process to bring value to the world in general and the workplace world in particular.

In his studies of ministry leaders’ vocational journeys, J. Robert Clinton found that the typical first few years after preparation for their vocation were “provisional ministry.” Clinton gave it that name because it wasn’t clear whether the person would stick with the ministry path or switch to a different career. For those who stuck with it, however, provisional ministry kicked off a 10- to 20-year period of learning to be competent and in some ways excellent at their vocation.

The most important thing about this transition isn’t that you pick the perfect path in life. It’s that you pick some path in life. It doesn’t have to be the last one—in fact, it almost certainly won’t be. But it has to make you willing to devote yourself to getting good at something that does good in the world. That’s the way you find out what you’re good at (and not good at). Then it becomes the launchpad for your next leap.

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out a good path to take on your own. There’s help out there, which I’ll share at the end of this post.

The Midlife Question: “Is There Something More?”

Many people are surprised that no matter how ardently they commit to a calling in their 20s, it doesn’t sustain them through their whole adulthood. In fact, by age 35 they may begin having serious doubts about it.

Some people get unsettled because of success. Like a player who beats a video game, they’re bored playing it even though they’re good at it. What’s the new challenge that strikes the “sweet spot” of their personal calling?

Other people get unsettled because of failure—or at least, they didn’t get as much success as they had hoped they would. Now they don’t get as much attention either; they’re no longer groomed as up-and-comers but are taken for granted as middle-and-stayers.

Most people probably experience some combination of success and failure. They demonstrate proficiency in what they do, but the path to greater achievement gets a little harder to find.

At midlife people look for a new way to activate and advance their personal calling. But now the stakes are much higher than they were at quarterlife. Loads of people hang on what you do or don’t do: workmates, customers, church members, volunteer organizations, friends, parents, and far above them all your children and spouse. And on top of your relational obligations, your financial obligations are much greater than they once were.

The Midlife Prescription: Take the Risk to Follow Your Calling by Specializing Even More

Robert Clinton found that ministry leaders reach a point at midlife where they need to become more specialized to become more effective. In other words, to contribute more to the kingdom, leaders have to concentrate their efforts on the specific things they do best in the specific sphere and scope where they are most useful.

However, getting into that zone isn’t easy! It often disrupts the life of the leader and those around them in a big way. Because it’s so risky, many—maybe even most—don’t take that path. They remain competent generalists, but they’re no longer growing in effectiveness; they might even start declining.

By contrast, those who take the risks required of specialization find their impact increasing in ways they can hardly imagine. But to take that big step of faith, you need a strong conviction about the good works that God dreamed only you would do. Once again, fortunately, you don’t have to gain this conviction alone, as I’ll share below.

The Three-Quarterlife Question: “What Will Outlive Me?”

People who navigate the midlife transition successfully find that it leads to a new challenge that they don’t expect. In fact, their very success may have set them up to stumble at this crucial point.

Until roughly age 55, your fruitfulness is tied to your activity. If you took the necessary risks at midlife, your activity has probably been exceptionally productive.

But as you approach the three-quarter mark of life, you become ever more aware that you won’t be doing stuff forever. Your faculties are deteriorating. It is more apparent in practical ways that someday you will die. Will the fruit of your labor disappear when you do? What legacy are you going to leave? Will you have borne “fruit that will last” (John 15:16 NIV)?

The Three-Quarterlife Prescription: Make Your Ultimate Contribution to the World by Guiding Others Not Doing It Yourself

Robert Clinton wrote about a leader’s accomplishment that sums up their ministry long after they’re gone. He called it “ultimate contribution.” Because ultimate contribution is about leaving a legacy, it almost always involves preparing people who will carry on your work when your time is done. That means shifting your focus from doing to developing, from mastery to mentoring.

This transition can take different forms depending on your personality and gifting. It could mean evolving your leadership style toward collaborating and coaching and away from planning and directing. It could mean going full time in a job in the training or education field for the first time. It could mean concentrating your creative work on a magnum opus that younger generations will study. It could mean moving from “pro” to “caddie” by deliberately taking a new position as a loyal subordinate, such as a lead pastor who becomes an associate pastor or a parent who supportively assists their grown children as parents.

These are all big-time moves that require as much willingness to change as the transitions you navigated at quarterlife and midlife. This is not easy, because as you age, the energy you have to allocate becomes more limited than ever. In most cases, you can’t do legacy-making activity unless you stop much of what you’ve been doing up to this point, which happens to be stuff you are very good at it and receive applause for. In fact, what you have been doing probably pays better. Therefore you have to determine the nature of your payday: is it a bigger paycheck at age 67 or a greater legacy? For the few people who even make it to this life-stage crisis, fewer still navigate it with great intention.

But those who successfully navigate this crossroads make an impact that remains on this earth long after they stop working and even after they stop breathing. “They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green” (Ps. 92:14 CSB).

Help at the Three Crossroads

The challenges at quarterlife, midlife, and three-quarterlife are all different. But in this respect they are the same: to overcome them, you need grow in clarity about your special calling from God.

Younique was created to help people do just that.

Younique equips people to know and name their life’s purpose, which is especially valuable at the quarterlife crossroads.

Younique equips people to focus their calling and inspires them to take “risk to go,” which is especially valuable at the midlife crossroads.

Younique equips people to discern and embrace their ultimate contribution to the world, which is especially valuable at the three-quarterlife crossroads.

At the beginning of this post I asked, “When does a human being peak?” Depending on how you look at it, your strength starts declining at any of these crossroads. That’s just a part of this mortal life.

But for a servant of God, that’s not the whole story. Your impact—your fruit—can increase your whole life long. You can even hit peak after you’ve left it for good! God will perpetuate your effectiveness from generation to generation if you follow his calling at every crossroads of your life.

Don’t forget, my free e-book launches tomorrow!

In addition, as I navigate my own crossroads at age 49 this year, I want to help others dream and plan while I dream and plan. So I am launching an initiative to help you complete your 100 Life Dream List by Easter 2019. I’ll be guiding you from Aspen as I fulfill the bucket list dream that I share more about here. #LifeDesignWithMe

Cory Hartman contributed to this post.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

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