Fulfillment: Begin with the End in Mind

“Begin with the end in mind.”
–Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do with your life today? Go ahead. Take a few moments to think about it. Even jot down some answers on a piece of paper. Don’t worry, I won’t judge. I’d just stare at you from behind. Creepy. Answering this question honestly helps reveal what you believe to be are your greatest desires and what currently brings you happiness and fulfillment. Dig deep. Be honest. We’re not looking for Christian-ese answers.

So if money wasn’t an issue, what would you do? Perhaps you’d relate to one of these:

I’d spend my days traveling around the world.
I’d buy that BMW I’ve always wanted.
I’d spend more time with my family.
I’d live in a fancy house inside a fancy neighborhood.
I’d help other people in need.
I’d quit my job and do something that I love.
I’d own the latest gadgets.
I’d read more.
I’d take up a hobby.
I’d be doing the things that I want to do.

The question helps us examine ourselves to get to the root of what we believe brings us fulfillment. Now some of the things on your list are probably noble and good. Spending more time with your family and helping others are certainly good things to do. The rest of the items on your list might need more evaluation. But here’s my point. We already think we know what brings us fulfillment in life based on our experiences, our observations, and what people tell us (i.e. media). But for many of us, we actually don’t know what true, godly fulfillment looks like.

Did you ever stop to consider that God already knows what would bring you the greatest fulfillment in life? I had already suggested that our greatest fulfillment in life should come from knowing God and doing the things that greatly matter to Him. Let me give you the top three things that greatly matter to God based on the passages we looked at in the previous post.

1. Love God with every fiber of your being (i.e. heart, soul, mind, strength).
2. Love others as much as you love yourself.
3. Make disciples.

In his classic work, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes that the second habit is to “begin with the end in mind.” When we meet God face to face, I highly doubt He’s going to be impressed by your shiny new BMW, or how many countries you visited, or how many awards and trophies you won. But I can guarantee this: He’s going to be very concerned about your relationship with Him, your relationship with others, and whether or not you participated in the making of disciples of all nations. These are the things that should bring us the greatest fulfillment in life. And so, if money wasn’t an issue, what would you do with your life today? This time around, frame your answer within God’s idea of fulfillment and not yours.