Vacations to Myrtle Beach were a summer staple for me growing up. I have a lot of vivid memories from all of those beach trips, but some of the best ones are of my mom and me searching all over the place for some special something that I had my heart set on. For example, one year, there was this particular pair of tennis shoes that I wanted, and we had no luck finding them anywhere around here. (Remember, this is way before the era of Amazon.) So that week at the beach, in and among time on the beach and at the pool, water slides, and putt putt, we went searching all over Myrtle Beach for these shoes. That year it was shoes, but it was always something. I always had that one thing that I wanted so badly that it would somehow shape our vacation and my entire experience.

We go after the things we care about. We will give our time, our money, our emotions when we care. That’s great. And I think we all know that. No big revelation. But here is the problem. When I was a kid, it seemed like it was so much easier. I cared about a pair of shoes. So we spent time and money and effort trying to find those shoes. I was willing to sacrifice other things that were less important for the thing that I really wanted. As an adult, things are not quite so clear as they once seemed.

I recently have found myself struggling to come to terms with what I care about and what I find to be important. News flash. It’s not always what you think it is or even what you want it to be. When I was 13 years old at the beach, it would have been one thing for me to declare to my mom that I couldn’t live without these shoes and then head out to the beach every day to play in the ocean never to mention them again.

And I think that is where I have found myself to be. I have been making statements that I care about things that I know I am supposed to care about. And then instead of pouring myself into those things, I have just been walking out onto the beach and playing in the ocean. My actions have betrayed my thoughts and my words.

For me, this has been a personal struggle, but we all fight these battles every day in every area of our lives. Whether it is your relationship with your spouse or your job or business, we will follow the path where our hearts lead us, not our mouths. What are you passionate about? What gets you really excited? What are the things that you are willing to sacrifice for? Follow those trails and they will lead you back to what really matter to you. My hope for you is that you find those things to be exactly what you hoped they would be.