All of us have had the experience of thinking we had made a firm, solid commitment and decision about something and then, when we actually got into a real-life situation involving that same decision, we discovered that we had not really made a decision or a commitment at all; we had only experienced “wishful thinking”!
There is a big difference between wishful thinking and pre-determined dedication. Wishful thinking is when you have lots of good ideas and intentions that you plan on keeping when similar circumstances arise in your life. But pre-determined dedication is different. Predetermined dedication involves making a firm commitment about your course of action in a certain situation before that situation actually happens. Then, when the situation does arise, you do not even have to think about what you are going to do because you have already made up your mind in advance and are committed to carrying out your decision. Let me give you a few examples.
When the “opportunity clock” goes off at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, that is a very poor time to decide whether you want to get up or sleep a little longer. If you really want to get up at 6 o’clock, when the alarm goes off, you will get up. I know that all of us have hit the snooze button from time to time. However, a few more minutes of sleep really is not going to make that much difference in your day. However, a few minutes of having to “hurry up” to make up for lost time, may create a lot more stress if you are running behind all day long as a result of not living with pre-determined dedication.
Another example is in the area of food. I have determined that there are certain foods I will not eat. When those specific foods are offered to me, I can simply smile and say, “No, thank you.” My pre-determined dedication and commitment allows me to refrain from those foods because they are not good for me, though they may taste really good.
Have you ever spent more money than you had? The reason could possibly be you lacked pre-determined dedication. Deciding before you go shopping what you can and cannot purchase will keep you from living beyond your means. You see, the real issue is not money; it is a lack of pre-determined dedication.
How many of us have said something when we really should have kept our mouths shut and our words to ourselves? It is far better to decide, before you ever get around certain people or certain topics, that you will only say what is good, pure, and positive. But I can assure you that decision needs to be made right now while you are reading this Tip, rather than waiting for the next argument you get into over politics, religion or some other heated issue. I have already decided NOT to talk about other people unless I am saying something good. That trait alone has saved me a lot of heartache…and apologies!
All of us have watched movies, television, or other entertainment that we knew was not good for us. We watched situations take place that did damage to our emotional or spiritual well-being. Our subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is not real, so our emotions will respond as though what is happening on the screen is real. I would strongly suggest deciding what you will and will not expose to your eyes and ears to before it ever happens. This is particularly important for men. Since I have never been a woman, I am not 100% sure about this, but I know that all men, myself included, need to be careful what we watch with our eyes, lest we expose ourselves to something that ends up damaging our emotions, and creating problems in our relationships.
If you are single and still involved in dating, have you determined in advance what you will and will not do? The time to decide that issue is not in the heat of a passionate moment! Not having a commitment and a pre-determined dedication could cause a short-term situation to have long-term consequences, such as unexpected pregnancies or diseases that could affect you the rest of your life!
Over forty years ago I was counseling a young teen-age couple who had ended up getting pregnant. They were understandably upset to find themselves in such a position. The young girl said, “I don’t want to do things that are wrong, but sometimes when we are at the drive-in, I just don’t use my best judgment.” I asked if she had ever considered not going to the drive-in and allowing herself to be put in that kind of situation. She looked at me with all honesty and said, “No, I’ve never thought of that.” Because that young couple had no pre-determined dedication, there was a quick marriage, and a child was born a few months later.
I think by now that you understand what pre-determined dedication is all about. You cannot wait until the last minute when circumstances are beyond your control to decide what you will and will not do in a certain situation. You must decide that outcome well in advance.
It is not my intention to step on anyone’s toes, but rather to help all of us be wise when it comes to making smart choices and good decisions. I trust that you will consider this principle and begin making pre-determined dedication a daily part of your practice and thinking patterns. In my opinion, the best time to begin doing that would be today!
Tip: Live with pre-determined dedication!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm