This post is the fourth installment of my Bucket List series, prompted by my bucket list trip to Santorini island.

It's very important to diagnose your life concerning the common obstacles that keep you from things like setting goals, defining your personal vision or achieving our life dreams. I believe there are five primary blockades to consider.

Obstacle #1 BUSYNESS

It comes at no surprise that those driven by goals and vision have a lot going on. Busyness is deadly to a meaningful life. An adrenalin addiction of speed may keep us frantically living in the wrong direction. John Ortberg tells a story of a sage who changed his life by focusing on one piece of advice: "Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."

Obstacle #2: IMITATION

Strangely, many people don't take the time to discern their dreams, because they choose to live, by default, the dreams they see in others. They hear an inspiring story. The are influenced by family tradition. They are invited to take a trip with a friend. They get the pool because the neighbors got one. These situations certainly aren't bad. But they can prevent someone from the self-discovery and beauty of achieving something that God has uniquely designed for them.

Obstacle #3: FEAR

It's scary to dream big. Any aspiration one might hope for illuminates a gap between current reality and future possibility. This gap for many presents a problem. Do I live with a gap (a hope, a horizon, a goal) knowing I might fail? For many, the notion of certain security is more attractive than possible failure. Dreamless living sets in.


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Obstacle #4: DISTRACTION

Everybody has things they like to do. I'm talking about fun little things like hobbies, routines,  television, games, and the all of the knick knack things that fill our lives. One for me is video games. Again these things are probably not a problem in themselves. But sometimes, we can give an inordinate amount of time to these things. When this happens the opportunity cost of time wages war against the higher purposes of our lives. Yesterday, my daughter and I were playing Call of Duty. The game keeps a record of the amount of time that an individual plays and displays the information publicly for others to see. During one of our games an opponent had logged 31 days of gameplay.

Obstacle #5: EXPECTATION

The fifth obstacle is the expectations of others and its prevalent in many forms. The first form is the deep-rooted expectations placed upon us as we are growing up. Maybe our parents didn't take certain kind of vacations. Another would be an expectation of workplace culture or a boss. Maybe its not customary to take more than one week off at a time. But the most difficult expectations come in your current family structure and the most important relationships in your life. Maybe there is something you would love to do, but your spouse thinks its crazy. Or maybe your colleagues at work would make fun of you for being an idealist. Unfortunately, the layers of expectation day after day, year after year, can keep us disconnected from our deeper aspirations.

Take some time to diagnose your situation. What obstacles are around right now? What dreams begin to resurface as your consider these obstacles?

Topics: Date: Jul 27, 2012 Tags: bucket list / goals / life planning / personal vision