Are Your Decisions Destroying You?
One of the most difficult truths in life to accept is the fact that “our decisions determine our destiny.”
As simple as this lesson is, it’s also one of the most humbling lessons to learn. When we look at our day to day schedules, routines, and appointments, we’ve become so accustomed to making decisions (on the run), that we typically react instead of anticipate; making decisions casually, instead of purposefully.
Why is this such a big deal? Because even the most minor decisions can have monumental consequences. Just look at some of the casual decisions we have to make on any given morning:
– What time should I get up in the morning?
– What should I wear?
– What should I eat this morning?
– What should I listen to on my commute to work or class?
– What task should I tackle first at work?
Now at first glance, these daily decisions seem somewhat minor. But if you look closer, even “small decisions,” made (consistently), can influence our destiny. So let’s revisit each of these decisions, shall we.
1) What time should I get up in the morning?
Making a conscious and informed decision about what time to get up can influence how much quiet time you have before you go to work (to meditate, pray, or plan); whether or not you’re forced to speed through traffic (increasing the risk of accident or reducing it); whether or not you’re rushing to get out of the house and forgetting to do something important (like turning off the iron, locking the door, etc.). All of these things can contribute to your stress level.
2) What should I wear?
If made consciously, your attire can affect your attitude (and perception) on the job. When you look good, you feel good, and when you think you look bad, you feel bad. How you dress in the morning also communicates something about yourself to others. Are you confident, lazy, clean, competent, tasteful, etc.? Our appearance makes an impression whether we like it or not. Ultimately, this decision (made consistently) could influence your ability to get a raise, promotion, or land and contract on a big deal.
3) What should I eat?
Need I say, you are what you eat? And over time, if you eat crap, you’re going to feel like crap. And when you start feeling like crap, you start looking like crap. Is there anything more important than our health? Well, our daily decisions on what we choose to eat or not eat indicate how serious we are about our health.
4) What should I listen to on my commute to work (or in my down time)?
They say that radio is like bubble gum for the ears – it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. What if you changed what you listened to in the morning from sports talk radio, political commentary, news, or music to something that is spiritually uplifting (i.e., praise and worship music), emotionally inspiring (i.e., a powerful sermon or feel good testimonials), or educationally enhancing (i.e., foreign language instruction, how to be more productive on the job, or a skill-based CD), do you think you could eventually end up in a better place spiritually, emotionally, mentally, financially, physically, and socially? Of course you would.
5) What task should I tackle first?
What if instead of responding to what’s most urgent, you decided to focus on what’s most important, do you think you might feel better about the start of your day? Do you think you might be more productive? As decision makers, we all procrastinate on something – because we don’t like to face the real consequences associated with our lack of motivation. But putting “first things first” and making a conscious effort not to deviate from that plan, we will definitely find ourselves on the road to success instead of the detour to stress.
And these are only decisions we make before 10 a.m. What about those that occur later on in the day, like:
- Should I workout today?
- Should I eat dinner with my family?
- Should I take my work home with me?
- When should I call it quits today?
- What time should I go to bed?
I think you get the point. But just for educational purposes. Look at the last five decisions, and ask yourself, “How could each of these immediate decisions potentially influence my long-term success?” You’ll see indeed, that “our decisions definitely do determine our destiny.” So I challenge you today to make some “destiny decisions.” Go for it!
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9