I think it was maybe thirty years ago my niece asked my opinion about what to do with her life, and the advice I gave her seemed so good, I made it my own goal. It was for a Christian perspective, but recently I rethought the question for a guy who probably lacks that advantage. So here is the "Right" answer, what I wish I could tell him if I thought he'd listen. It's basically the same thing, but in reverse order.
The best thing you can do with your life is to find out what God wants you to do and be, and then be and do that. God is Good, and He knew what he was doing when He made you. You will be most satisfied and happy if you are in the center of where God made you to be. Don't waste your effort and energy trying to be somebody other than what God made you. You can do that -- especially in our economy, there are people who love (to get paid for) helping you be something other than what God made you -- but you won't be happy with the result.
Some guy came to Jesus and asked him how to be a success, and Jesus
gave him a simple answer in two parts. They are the same two parts God
gave Moses, and they apply to all people everywhere, even if they don't
know it (but the Apostle Paul told the church in Rome that everybody really
does know it). The two parts (plus one I sort of added) are:
The main thing God tells you in the Bible -- check it out, don't just
take my (or anybody else's) word for it -- besides that God is #1, is
If you help other people, if you Make the World a Better Place, then many -- perhaps most -- people will think of you as "good" and they will be right! You will feel good about yourself. That helps a lot with the motivation. So you see, I'm starting at the back of the secular version. Being Good trumps everything.
What about luck? There's no such thing, God is in charge. When I use the word "luck" (and I do sometimes) I am careful to spell it P-R-O-V-I-D-E-N-C-E, God will provide, and God is Good, so whatever God gives you to work with, it will be Good for you. That's "Good" with a capital "G". Sometimes it doesn't feel so good, like when God had this bet with Satan, and the Bad Guys came and took everything away. God told Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, he gets everything Right." The Devil retorted, "Of course, silly, you paid him to!" So the bet was, if Job lost everything, he would stop the #1 thing. God said not. He won the bet, but of course He couldn't tell Job that was what He was doing, it would have spoiled the bet. In the end, He paid it all back double. Not a bad investment. God is Good. We do not know how God will square up the accounts, but He will. Our job is to Do The Right Thing with what we have, like Job.
So how do we Do The Right Thing? God made you good at something. Find out what it is, then practice doing it. Use it to Make the World a Better Place. It takes effort, but it's Good effort, it will feel good when other people benefit.
And when you know you are doing Good, when you are doing what God made you good at, you will want to do it. That's motivation, the tail that wags the dog. Maybe not 24/7: God made us to need rest. It's in our nature, created in the Image of God, and God rested the Seventh day. So take a day off and think God-thoughts on that day. It will charge you up for doing GR things the rest of the week.
So now, go back and read the secular version, but think about how God made it so. It's what I did, and here well past my Biblical "threescore and ten" I have no regrets. Well, I screwed up a lot, but mostly it was Clue Deficit Disorder. I did the best I could with what I had. Mostly. God is into erasing the mistakes.
Rev. 2019 May 18