In 2010, I received a gift that came with a 40 day commitment. I opened The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and signed on the dotted line, literally, to “commit the next 40 days of my life to discovering God’s purpose for my life.” But, then, I had reservations. I was getting tired of the inspirational, self-help books, because my life never seemed to change no matter the steps I had taken to improve myself and makeover my life.
The Purpose Driven Life was given to me by a friend after having an hour conversation about my road to self-discovery. I wasn’t working, my career path was unclear-I knew what I didn’t want to do but couldn’t envision what I wanted to do-I had experienced a health scare, and was struggling with relationships (friends and romantic). While I didn’t disclose all of those details to my friend, he clearly sensed I needed some assistance in getting myself together. He had read the book as well and suggested that it might be good for me too. After weeks of him asking me if I had purchased the book and listening to me say, “No, not yet,” he took it upon himself to spearhead my spiritual journey by purchasing the book and its optional journal.
Now, four years later, I still reflect on the important lessons I gathered from the 40 day commitment. And, more importantly, I am able to see the growth that has occurred on my bumpy journey. Whenever befuddlement, fear, discouragement and hurt resurrect in my life, I read and repeat my favorite excerpts to get me back on track.
1. “Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering.”
2. “Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches, or other externals-hoping each change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart.”
3. “You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies.”
4. “It is not enough to say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless.”
5. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
6. “Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make. Your commitments can develop you or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you.”
7. “To change your life, you must change the way you think.”
8. “…your character is the sum total of your habits. You can’t claim to be kind unless you are habitually kind-you show kindness without even thinking about it. You can’t claim to have integrity unless it is your habit to always be honest.”
9. “Don’t ignore your interests.”
10. “ ‘If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.’ ”
Eve Everett is quiet and quirky, crazy and flaky, cool and fun and, above all, A Flawed Girl. It has taken her some time to become honest with herself about herself. She is now taking baby steps to Embracing Eve-learning to forgive without punishment and enjoy life without complaint. Follow her on twitter @afgconversation to learn about her and her upcoming project A Flawed Girl’s Conversation.