At Inzet, both Jan and I “take our own medicine.” We are passionate about what we do, because what we do at Inzet helps us both to come closer to living out God’s purpose for our lives. I’m not saying that Inzet is a tool that will allow you to “arrive” at a “nirvana state,” fully engaged in life, but it will get you closer and you definitely won’t be the same. This is what happened to me and what a better way to explain the Inzet to Purpose program, but with my story…
I was stuck myself. I had run a successful printing company and then a successful consulting company, but something was missing. What was missing was “PURPOSE!” I didn’t know WHY I was doing what I was doing and needed to go through the Inzet to Purpose Program in order to realign my thinking and refocus on God’s purpose for me and my peace in that. The first step in the process was to take a look back. Not a cursory look, but a deep dive. To be honest, I never wanted to do that. I thought that people in “therapy” did that, but not me. I wanted to push ahead and continue to blaze a new and fresh trail. Sometimes that trail we “blaze” is aimless and we find ourselves going round and round the mountain and never getting anywhere. That was my case! Once I started looking back, I started to notice trends in my life that I always used as positive motivation. One major trend was that I always seemed to be the underdog. Whether it was sports or business, I was the one scratching my way up from the bottom. I did that so much in my life that I started getting celebrated for it. “Oh, that guy never gives up. Look at him, he has no talent, but man is he a hard worker!” So, my identity revolved around being an overcomer. I thought it was my calling in life to tackle the hardest projects and show everyone that I could succeed. How wrong I was! After having this mentality for so many years, I never could imagine seeing myself as anything else. This thinking had permeated to every facet of my life. I had to drive myself harder than anyone else, because I had no talent (I thought), so therefore, I had to drive everyone else that way. My family, my employees, my clients…EVERYONE! That was what I became good at, I THOUGHT! When I took that hard look back and saw that trend throughout my stories, I finally realized that I had taken a strength and made intolerable and not very effective for relationship building, or ANYTHING really.
Being an introvert, I have to be honest, relationship building wasn’t high on my list, so it didn’t really matter if I pushed people away. A matter of fact, I used it to push people away, so I wouldn’t have to deal with their “gray area”…the muddiness of emotions and feelings. As I looked back and realized what I was doing and then vetted that through the Inzet lens (life is ALL about relationships), I realized how wrong my thinking (and actions) had been. So NOW WHAT? As I worked through the second phase of the program, I had to realign and repurpose the good strengths I had developed during the ups and downs of my life. If we trust God (another Inzet pillar) and know that He allows everything (even if He didn’t cause it), I HAD to relook at my life and learn from it. That is what phase 2 allowed me to do, but again, THEN WHAT?
Then what, was phase 3. In phase 3, we started to look ahead with a new perspective. I was able to think about everything I had been through in my life, both good and bad, and focus on my purpose. I realized that my purpose had always been encouraging people to live out their purpose to the fullest. When I looked back, I saw all the people I helped and all the people I wanted to help and soon realized that my purpose was helping them! Now, in the past, I went about that purpose all wrong and it felt unsettled and therefore purposeless. I wasn’t motivating ANYONE, even though my heart was right, because my actions were full of pride, judgement and high expectations. I never really understood the relationship building side of leading people toward purpose. I never met people “where they were at,” because I wanted to get to their purpose (and operationalize it) a lot more quickly than they could fathom. As you can guess, it was more about ME and the process of growth and less about the other person moving at their own pace and actually owning their own growth.
As I mentioned above, I can’t say that I have arrived, but I’m so much more aware of who I am in Christ, what my God-given strengths are, how to use those strengthens to live out my purpose and how important relationships are. I can’t wait to see how God continues to allow me to personally grow and help others be all they can be, while getting closer to God and living out His ultimate purpose for their lives!