Activated - - NEWS - Chris Mizrany is a web de­signer, pho­tog­ra­pher, and mis­sion­ary with Help­ing Hand in Cape Town, South Africa. By Chris Mizrany

I don’t imag­ine that the word “spread­sheet” in­vokes ex­cite­ment or joy in any but the most hard­core of of­fice war­riors. I know it sure doesn’t for me.

Nev­er­the­less, this week I needed to overhaul one of our spread­sheets, adding func­tion­al­ity, such as a con­stant au­to­matic tally of items gone out in a month, re­main­ing stock, break­down of item stock into var­i­ous cat­e­gories, etc. Oh joy!

I ended up bat­tling it out for al­most an hour with the main for­mula. First, not all the cells could be in­cluded, for some rea­son, then the A and B col­umns had some kind of dis­agree­ment re­sult­ing in the cat­e­gory sep­a­ra­tion be­ing messed up, and on it went!

I did even­tu­ally get it right and am now the proud creator of a more com­plete and use­ful spread­sheet. You know what I learned through that gru­el­ing process, though? It’s only right if it’s all right. It did me no good to have the for­mula mostly right, or even re­write it in clever ways—I did try! It only worked when ev­ery part of it was in or­der and cor­rect. Then it worked beau­ti­fully!

It’s like our life! All parts—spir­i­tual, phys­i­cal, emo­tional—need to be in their cor­rect place for us to func­tion as we were meant to. Oth­er­wise, we’ll soon see that things aren’t adding up cor­rectly. The only way for us to be whole and pur­pose-filled is to have our lives in or­der.

And you know what I dis­cov­ered—too late—that makes things even eas­ier? There’s a list of pre­set func­tions and for­mu­las (math, data, fi­nan­cial, etc.) that you can ap­ply. Even if you don’t know much about spread­sheets at all, those for­mu­las can help you get things right.

And there’s a Great Book full of ad­vice and wis­dom on var­i­ous top­ics (faith, de­ci­sion-mak­ing, etc.), which we can ap­ply to our lives! Even bet­ter, we have a pa­tient Men­tor, who can help us out with per­sonal, tar­geted in­struc­tion.

Also worth not­ing is that the more we study and prac­tice, the bet­ter pre­pared we are. We gain knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence that we can use later on. I’ll never again strug­gle with a spread­sheet like I strug­gled that day. I’ve learned some­thing. I’m mov­ing for­ward.

Maybe you feel you need to take stock of your life but aren’t sure how or what to do. My ad­vice? Don’t waste your time and en­ergy. Read the Book. Ask the Men­tor. Get it right.

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