The times when it’s easy to choose the right path are beautiful. The door is wide open with big arrows pointing the way and we just know we have done the correct thing. That is the way it was the night I met my wife. I wasn’t looking for her. My social life was full. I was a musician living a dream—young, learning, growing, and maturing into a man. I never knew what I was missing until she came into my life. No decision has ever been easier for me.
Most of the time, figuring out how to choose the right path is complicated, foggy, and filled with anxiety. As our responsibilities grow and more people depend on us, it becomes even more difficult. We need experience, wisdom, patience, and courage to find the correct way. Here are 5 factors for determining how to choose the right path.
Faith and Values
As Roy Disney once said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” What does your moral foundation and faith say? Learn to trust these guides and work to strengthen them. Just be careful because they can be confused by self-serving emotions and desires. As Mr. Disney implied in his quote, it is important to be clear about what your values are and to follow them.
Your past matters a lot in these moments. By this time, we’ve all made good decisions and poor ones. Take that experience and apply it to the current circumstances. What did you learn from each instance?
Positives and Negatives
List both the positives and negatives about the decision at hand. Which side is more weighted? Who stands to gain the most if a particular path is chosen and who stands to lose? Decisions have consequences, and it’s wise to determine all possible outcomes. The last thing we want is to gain significantly in one area but lose devastatingly in several others. The idea is to go with the best possible chance of overall success.
PatienceActing hastily often leads to unforeseen complications and a new set of difficulties.
According to John Quincy Adams, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” If there is no need to rush your decision, then, by all means, do not. Take it to prayer. Acting hastily often leads to unforeseen complications and a new set of difficulties. Move slowly and thoughtfully.
Strive to be a man who is able to rise to the challenge. We can’t shrink away from difficulty. Seek wisdom and have the courage to step out of your comfort zone.
Sound off: What is a big decision you recently had to make, and how did it turn out?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you do when you need to make an important decision?”