What is it about little decisions that they can have such impact on our lives? How can we know when we make a decision what the consequences might be for us?
In the article Turning Points for LIFE, TEAM LIFE leadership guru Chris Brady talks about the long-term consequences for our decisions. From his own life, he shows how to correctly treat them for their most beneficial long-term effects.
What may seem like little decisions at the time can have massive and lasting impact on the course of our lives. We change direction and go down a road from which we can never return.
The interesting thing about major turning points in our lives is that they are not always obvious. Let’s face it, we make thousands of decisions a year. Some that seem major sometimes don’t turn out to be. Some that seems minor can sometimes change the course of our lives forever. It is sometimes impossible to tell if the next decision will be a big one, leading to a turning point, or just another miniscule moment that will soon be lost under the dust of time and faded memories.
The lesson? Choose well at each decision. Never underestimate the potential of tiny things having big ramifications.
The lesson within the lesson? There really aren’t that many major turning points in life. If you don’t believe me, map out your own life by moving backwards through your circumstances. How did you end up living where you’re living, working where you’re working, married to whom you’re married, etc.? If you trace it back, you’ll likely find somewhere between 3 and 10 major turning points in your life, many of which you couldn’t have seen coming.
An observation on these lessons: The most successful people (such as my buddy Tim Marks) seem to make decisions the quickest and with the least amount of angst, but then stick to those decisions with more tenacity than others. To me this is a strange paradox, but I’ve seen it demonstrated so many times I believe it to be the rule.
Conclusion: Turning points are rare but significant in your life. Choose wisely from the myriad of choices proffered to you each day, as any one of them could have unforseen and lasting implications. However, it is not necessary to become paralyzed or burdened by the decisions you’ll face. Perhaps the worst thing to do is over analyze. Go with your gut, pray for guidance, and stick to the directions you choose.
In my life, I seldom treated my turning points this wisely, or at least recognized they so quickly. I did what seemed right, with little thought to long-term consequences.
One was to accept an offer to sing at our church. It led to performing with a man I’d met recently. After church, he asked me out. Several years later, I married him.
Another was deciding what college I should attend, after I graduated junior college. My choice led to meeting Cindy, who grew to become one of my best friends, and my mentor.
I’ve had others, but these are enough. What turning points have you had?
Take some time, as Chris suggests, to write them down. Consider the path your life has taken, where your choices have led you. When you are faced with a decision, treat it with the care and thoughtfulness Chris suggests.