The Gap Between You and Your Dreams

By: Jim Murphy


  1. Most people make the mistake of spending their days trying to improve their circumstances through better results.
  2. The key is to clarify the vision of the type of person you want to become, the person you were born to become, and move towards that vision.
  3. Have strict boundaries around that vision and remove all that’s not in line with the person you’re created to become.
  4. Cultivate your vision every day by walking in love.
  5. You’ll know you’re living your dreams when your great passion meets the world’s great needs.

NOTE: The first ever Inner Excellence YWAM Homes of Hope Retreat was amazing. 

Click here to see the highlight video. Don’t miss the next one!


“[The word vocation] comes from the Latin vocare, to call, and means the work a man is called to by God.

There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of Society, say, or the Super-ego, or Self-Interest.

By and large a good rule for finding out is this. The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you’ve presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you’ve missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you’re bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your patients much either.

Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Frederick Buechner, Wishful thinking

The deepest hunger

The deepest hunger of the human heart is to be fully known and fully loved. We’re all in search of deep rest, wanting to fully relax with nothing that needs to be done to improve our character or status, only things we get to do or long to do.

Most of us haven’t learned this is our greatest need (after food, shelter and water of course), and because we haven’t learned it, we continually circle around it, trying to find that success or money or status that will finally bring us lasting peace, that real rest that allows us to put the doing down each day. But, it never comes.

Instead, we spend our days chasing our tail, and in doing so we miss so much. We miss the amazing small moments that come like a gentle kiss from a soft breeze, the warm hug of the sun’s early morning rays…

Because we spend so much of our lives striving for success to “live our dreams,” we actually miss out on the true dream, which is to feel fully alive, to live with absolute fullness of life.

That life is missed because of three main things:

  1. too many thoughts
  2. too much negative energy and judgment
  3. self-conscousness (concern for self)

Because of the anxiety we have from too many concerns, we never settle down and implement the first three disciplines of Inner Excellence:

  1. Examine your life.
  2. Simplify your life.
  3. Slow down your life (be still).

The first discipline is to examine your life, because as Thoreau said, the unexamined life is not worth living. We must learn who we are so we can find our deep gladness that meets the world’s great need.

Then we need to eliminate all that’s not the me I’m going to be so I can become the me I’m meant to be. Most people have way too much in their lives to ever uncover their true selves. They get pulled in endless directions and end up confused and stressed.

The most common mistake is to think your true self is what you’re most passionate about. This is a big mistake because what your most passionate about may be the worst thing for you.

For many, their greatest passion is feeling pleasure (perhaps from sex or drugs or alcohol or whatever your vice is). Feeding this passion usually makes life worse, not better.

That’s why what Buechner says is to find your deep gladness, not your passion. What is it that makes you immensely grateful, because in gratitude we find inner peace, and inner peace and inner strength are directly correlated.

The Gap

The gap between you and your dreams is the distance between your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger. For every single person on the planet, there is a place where the two meet, and that place is the sweet spot of your life.

To close the gap is to walk in love; that is, to arrange your days so you’re experiencing deep contentment, joy and confidence in your daily life. There’s no deep contentment without sacrificial, unconditional love–the kind that we all desperately live for.

When you share that love every day, then it overflows out of your heart to those around you. In those moments the gap becomes not something to mind, but something to observe with deep gladness. Slowly but surely, your life will become less busy with clutter that’s not you and more filled with joy that is completely you.

Let me know how it’s going for you!

Love Jim

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