Theodore Roosevelt was on his way to deliver a campaign speech on October 14, 1912 when, according to History.com, a man by the name of John Schrank took a gun out and shot Roosevelt in the chest. Fortunately for Roosevelt, he had folded his 50-page speech and placed it in his coat pocket—which is the reason the bullet didn’t hit his lung or his heart. With the bullet lodged in his chest, he went on to deliver the speech. During it, he uttered a now-famous line: “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose.”
It’s crazy to think how history would be different had Roosevelt placed that speech on the other side of his chest or held on to it instead of putting it in his coat. It was a seemingly insignificant decision, but it had life-changing consequences. I’m not sure we always realize the significance of our decisions. Research says we make thousands of decisions every day, some seemingly more important than others. Some decisions (or lack of decisions) have a tremendous impact. Here are 5 potential life-changing decisions you can make every day.Little investments in bettering yourself daily can have huge impacts later in life.
1. Decide to better yourself.
Albert Einstein once said, “The day you stop learning is the day you die.” It takes humility to realize we don’t have it all together, and we still have room to grow. You can wake up every day and decide to learn or better yourself. This could be physically, mentally, spiritually, financially, or in some other way. This daily life-changing decision is exponentially more critical for those of us who are married or have kids. Like the power of compounding interest, little investments in bettering yourself daily can have huge impacts later in life.
2. Decide to sacrifice for others.
There is no more significant way to show your love to others than to sacrificially lay down your wants, desires, or even life for others. You can make a massive impact on your family, coworkers, and community through sacrifice and generosity. I recently watched my dad shave his head in solidarity with my mom, who is going through cancer treatment. That small act of sacrifice may not mean much to you as you read this, but it meant the world to my mom. I guarantee there is a small act of sacrifice you can make to others around you that will mean the world to them today.
3. Decide to leave a lasting mark.
Another decision you can make today is deciding what legacy you want to leave. At the beginning of summer, our student ministry said goodbye to our senior class. We celebrated, blessed, and thanked them for their impact on us. A sixth-grade girl looked at me and said, “This is really cool.” I replied, “You realize you’re going to be a senior one day, right? What kind of legacy are you going to start leaving now?” She looked at me wide-eyed, but I could tell her wheels were turning as she thought about it. Don’t wait to start making an impact. Do it now.
4. Decide to love your family well.
A friend of mine has said, “No one in the universe will care more that you existed than the people living in your own home.” One of the best life-changing decisions you can make is to love your family well. Please don’t overthink this one. You probably already know what your family needs and how to love them well. Put the phone down and love them. Of course, if you seek to better yourself, sacrifice for others, and leave a lasting mark, chances are good you are already doing this for your family.
5. Decide not to quit.
No matter what you decide to do, never stop deciding to move forward. The reality is that if you choose to do one or all these things regularly, you will fail. So what? If you fail and mess up trying to make significant, life-changing decisions that benefit yourself and others, what did you lose? But if you succeed, what could that mean for yourself and others? Decide today that you will make a focused effort in these areas and resolve never to quit.
Sound off: Which of these life-changing decisions is the toughest one for you and why?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think the decisions we make every day are important?”