It was just as the first chapter is titled, Random Scenes.
As I began reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, I found the writing disjointed, jerky and well, random. I almost put it down before I really got started.
And that would have been a tragedy.
Fortunately curiosity took over and I wondered, what if Donald wrote it this way on purpose? What if this was part of a larger message that the book contained. Well, now I couldn’t put it down. I had to find out how it played out.
I needed to know what this story was all about.
In reflection I see how our lives start out the same way. Disjointed, a collection of odd pieces here and random bits there.
Then at some point, like a person weaving a beautiful tapestry, this beautiful picture comes together and all the different colours create an incredible piece of art, a masterpiece. That is, if we choose to see it.
Our story makes sense when we obey certain principles, otherwise our experiences in life are just random, instead of being an incredible novel told by the master storyteller.
One thing that really challenged me was that if our life is going to tell a good story it has to involve risk.
Isn’t that what we spent a good chunk of our life trying to avoid?
And isn’t that what all the different kinds of insurances are about, avoiding risk? And aren’t we being sold to everyday stuff to make our lives easier?
There is no getting away from it. No product or insurance can change it.
A good story is about facing conflict with courage.
But who chooses that on purpose?
I know there’s been many a time in my life where I’ve done all I could to avoid risk + conflict.
And then there are times when I’ve faced it head on and lived to tell the tale. Through the struggle I’ve grown, changed for the better and become stronger.
Conflict helped me to live a more meaningful life + a better story.
Isn’t that what we want to see in a hero? So why can’t the hero be you and me? Why aren’t we rising up to be the hero of our story?
Fear. It always comes back to fear.
It’s all around us, at each opportunity. And we can choose to let it stop us and live a meaningless life or we can choose to live a good story afraid.
We can choose to face our fears. And we can choose to embrace conflict + risk, and live a purposeful, meaningful story called life.
Through this book Donald Miller showed me how to get a second chance at life the first time around, just like the back cover says.
Through his journey I leant what makes a good story + a good life.
It challenged me about the kind of roles my family were playing in our story. I no longer wanted my story to be stolen by the promise of an easy life.
Sure we’ve got through plenty of challenges together already. But it was time to rise up again, this time to the challenge of living a better story.
It was time to change my story once again.
And to do that I needed to change the stories I was telling myself. Because the stories I told myself were writing the script I was living out in life.
Change was the key. Because life is a journey of change. And change is what the Christian life is about in a nut shell. Change that leads us to live a more meaningful life.
When I thought about life as a journey of change, the way to life a better story, I lost the urgency of the todo list and learnt how to embrace the moment.
The only moment we have is right now. And the choice before us if whether it’ll be a meaningful part of our story.
Reading this book will have you yearning to see life differently, to live life from a new perspective. Because each new day is a fresh opportunity to live a better story.
So what’s your story?
Download and use the free Notes pages below, from my printable planner kits, and work through the three steps below so you can start to live a more meaningful life + a better story.
1. Collect : Make a list
Using the Priority Grid page, write down the different kinds of activities that you do over the coming week in one of the four grids. It’ll show you just what kind of activity fills your day. If it helps you can also keep a log of how long you spend doing that activity.
Now on the Notes page make a list of all the commitments that you have right now. Add to that all the things that are nagging at you, things you know need your attention, but you’ve been ignoring or putting off.
2. Reflect : Journal your thoughts
On another Notes page I want you to write 5 sentences about something in your life right now your thankful for. Really feel it.
Gratitude is always a good place to start. It’s like smelling coffee beans when your shopping for a new fragrance. It clears your mind.
Use the who, what, when, where and why to dive in deeper with your journalling. You can write more if you want to, don’t filter your thoughts, no one else is going to see it.
3. Connect : Make a plan
Circle or mark three things you can take off your list to lighten your load of responsibilities. What can you delegate? What can you postpone until a later time? What can you dismiss all together?
How much time will that give back to you this week?
Then use another copy of the Notes page to list the kinds of activity you need and want to be doing, to be the best you + live your best life. Include the things that need your attention, unfinished business at home or work, debts, health and relationship issues that need your attention.
On a clean page of the Priority Grid I want you to write down in the appropriate grid, activities + tasks you need to do to get those different areas of your life to the place they need to be.
- Maybe you need more sleep so you write down a time that you are committing to going to bed in the evening.
- Do you need to add some exercise into your daily routine or how about some creative time on the weekend?
- Is it time to make a financial plan to pay down debt and start that savings account you’ve been putting off.
Are you like me and need to schedule some more fun into your day? Often times us planner lovers can be too focused on getting things done and not make time for play.
I’d suggest reducing the amount of things your trying to do or extending deadlines where you can so that you have more space to enjoy life too!
#tip : Remember self care is just about taking care of your self and your life so that your able to be the best you + live your best life!
Now that you have your before + after Priority Grids filled out, you can easily see where the time is coming from to invest in the new you.
Don’t be put off by how much you may have written down. You only need to work on one thing at a time to make progress.
Start putting those activities + tasks on the calendar and guard that time. Don’t let something less important take it’s spot.
You can do this!
For help using your time more intentionally and feel a greater sense of control in your day, grab your copy of the FUSElife Planner Playbook.
Reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Year by Donald Miller will teach you to see life differently, to live life from a new perspective. Because each new day is a fresh opportunity to live a better story + a more meaningful life.