Few people consider how the decisions we make set course for the outcomes & consequences we experience, good and bad! Always take the road less travelled!
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Regardless what our goals might be in life, we all have immediate tasks, routine responsibilities, and projects that we must invest into if we are to move in a forward direction and make any degree of progress in life.
Unfortunately, when we have goals that are of genuine importance to us, many people find it difficult to maintain focus, remain faithful to their priorities and do what is required to fulfil these tasks in the most thorough way and time efficient ways.
Instead, many people procrastinate, put the ‘important stuff’ off until later, or even just ignore them completely.
I recently had a conversation with a girl I know who was concerned that she might be going mad. She shared with me how desperately she wanted companionship, to get married someday, and even start a family.
The ‘main’ problem that she had, though, was that week in, week out she would ‘hit’ the town on a weekend, drinking with her work colleagues, flirting with random guys and waking up the next morning next to one (or more) of them. She felt sad because the only guys that she seemed to attract were those who just wanted her to get ‘more drunk’ and take her home for sex. More often than not, she’d end up going home with them.
Now, it would be easy to judge someone for conducting themselves like this, but she openly confessed how little she understood herself. Her exact words were, “I don’t understand myself.”
She shared with me how at the start of each week, she’d feel dirty and used, out of pocket and with bruises that she couldn’t even remember getting. She didn’t want to live her life like this, but she seemed to be ‘stuck’ in some terribly vicious cycle.
She hated feeling drunk, and the negative emotions that often accompanied this state of existence it, but then, when the next weekend came around, she would go back out with her colleagues, doing the same things, going to the same places and meeting the types of guys. She hoped that ‘the next time’ would be different, but unfortunately, it never was.
She couldn’t understand why week in, week out; she would consistently commit her time to doing what she hated, while so seldom getting round to doing the things she wanted. She confessed how consuming too much alcohol would ‘turn her’ into someone that she didn’t like being.
She knew that the person she’d become on a Friday and Saturday night was preventing her from experiencing the kind of life that she genuinely wanted – but she found it difficult to change. The reason why she wouldn’t change, was because she found change difficult.
She said, “I don’t understand myself, I want to do what is right for me, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the things I hate then get angry at myself for being someone I don’t like being!”
“It’s like I’ve got two different minds, at war inside of my head. One of these minds wants me to conduct myself in a mature and responsible way – because I want to be respected by people, yet the other one screams at me to keep on living my life the way that I currently am doing.
I know who I’d like to be, and I know what I want to do with my life, but there’s this power inside me that’s at war with my mind – it always seems to sabotage my best intentions to live a better life. I know what I want to do with my life, but I just can’t seem to do it.
It’s like the right decisions I make never result in actions. Something’s broken inside of me, I can feel it, and it gets me almost every time! Is this normal? Does anyone else have this problem – or am I just crazy?”
Over the years, I have spent time with people who have told me that they want to stop drinking, or stop gambling, or being so destructive in the context of their relationships – yet, when it comes to changing, they just won’t do it.
In my experience, most people don’t have a problem regarding knowing what they want from life, or even in knowing who they want to become. The biggest problem that people have seems to be taking the appropriate action.
Few people consider how the short-term decisions we make set course for the long-term outcomes and consequences we go on to experience. Good and bad!
You’re choosing right now how you’re going to respond to what I’m saying here! You could be saying to yourself: “Ok I’m intrigued” or, you could reject everything I’ve said so far because you don’t understand it? Either way, the action you take will be based upon a decision you made, stemming from a belief that you already have.
Charles Kettering was the head of research for General Motors (U.S.A) for over 27 years. He was an American inventor who became famous for inventing the electric ignition for cars – if he hadn’t done this we’d all still be breaking our fingers on cranking handle engines!
Charles once said, “I fully expect to spend the rest of my life in the future; therefore, I want to be reasonably sure what kind of future it’s going to be!”
I believe that Charles was sagacious. As a man of scientific understanding, he understood that the only direction he could move in life was forward.
For Charles, moving forward meant making hard decisions, mature choices, committing to a definitive set of plans & learning the lessons that needed to be embraced along the way.
Moving forward in life demands that we refuse to accept things ‘as they are’, and commit to building the ‘ideal’ kinds of life that we genuinely want.
Sitting back and waiting gets no-one nowhere. Taking the least road of resistance develops no-one in maturity and character. Charles Kettering seemed to have embraced the truth that if he were to build a significant life that stood for something, the strength of his willpower would determine how high and how far he’d be able to build.
Most people give little thought to much beyond what will make them feel better about themselves today. We call this instant gratification. Instant gratification is about basing our decisions upon short-term preferences, opposed to fulfilling our long-term vision, needs and goals.
Making significant advances in life demands commitment, effort, perseverance and persistence. Making significant advances in life will often come at the cost of instant gratification and our short-lived pleasures.
Today, I encourage you to commit only to decisions that will move you forward in life. Take the road less travelled and make the decisions that most people won’t make. Because this is where freedom is found, on the path that most people won’t take.
A wise man once said, “The highway to hell is broad, and many people take that road. But the road to life is narrow, and there will be many obstacles along the way – the road is steep, and only a few people ever find it.”
Be one of those people.
To help you on this journey, (if you choose to take it), answer the following three questions as honestly as possible. Because if you do, the answers ‘should’ point you in the right direction of the path that you must take.
Qu 1) What would you commit your life to if you no longer needed to make money?
Qu 2) What would you commit your life to if you no longer needed to make a name for yourself?
Qu 3) What would you commit your life to if you only had 12 months left to live and wanted to make a difference?
Oh, and by the way … how you answer these questions, will determine how much fulfilment you experience on a day by day basis!
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