“The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?” … “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request. I also said to the king, “If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors … instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah. And please give me a letter [to] the manager of the king’s forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself.” And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me”. Nehemiah 2:4-8
Your vision must have a dollar figure attached to it and plan behind it. It’s not okay to say, “I want to be rich”; or “I want to be comfortable”; or “I want to own a house”; or “I want to travel,” etc. The vision for your ideal lifestyle needs a price tag in a monthly amount. If you want to live in a certain house, how much will it cost to own and maintain? How much will you need for annual holidays; for someone to clean your home; for you to drive the car you want; to wear the clothes you like to wear; for you the give the money away you want; to do the things God has placed in your heart to do.
How? Start shopping – not to buy – but to do research, to become informed. Start finding out what inspires you and how much does it cost. While you’re ‘shopping’ pay attention to what God is speaking to you about what inspires you. There are clues in there for opportunities to earn income to fund those desires.
Go to open houses, visit travel agents, sit in cars, look in stores you wouldn’t normally shop in, research charities, go online, talk to people, go places, write notes, keep files, and do what any informed buyer would do. If you have an idea you’d like to take a year off with your family and live in a foreign land, then find out the cost. Find out who and how you’ll have things looked after at home; where you’ll go; where you’ll live, and all the prices if you were to do it today. Even if you think you won’t live out your vision for five to ten years, you can find out the costs today, then update your figures later, or learn to apply financial math calculations to project likely increases.
When you know the price of your dream; of your desired lifestyle; of your life outside of your current working and income situation, it becomes more tangible and you will find yourself praying differently, speaking differently, and believing differently! Otherwise you’re giving up control of your life to what comes your way and what you think might be ‘realistic’ based on what you can currently see around you. At best, you’d be adopting a lifestyle of “averages”. Is your life just average, or is your life unique and personal? This is not a hard process unless you choose to listen to the voice of lack, regret, fear, and self-pity. This is about exercising faith. Without this step, even if you won a lottery (which I don’t recommend, but use as an analogy), you wouldn’t know how to use the money which is one reason why cash windfalls don’t usually produce lasting change in someone’s life. Enjoy this process. It’s far easier than living a life of “coulda, shoulda and woulda.”