A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Tip of the Week
Tip: Stop trying to make right decisions!
In 1975, I met an individual by the name of Charles “Tremendous” Jones. He was a wonderful public speaker who could mesmerize an audience for hours at a time. He was insightful, wise, knowledgeable, humorous, and most of all, interesting! I had never heard anyone quite like him. He had a profound impact on my life.
One day while we were having lunch together I asked him how he learned to make right decisions in his life. With a big grin on his face, he said, “A man was once asked how he got to be so successful. He answered by saying, ‘By making right decisions!’ He was then asked how he learned to make right decisions. He answered, ‘By making wrong decisions!’ ” Charlie was making the point that the way you learn is often by making mistakes and he told me that he certainly had made some big ones, too.
As we continued to talk that day so many years ago, he made a statement that completely shocked me. He said, “God never created anybody who knew how to make a right decision. What He did was create people who know how to make good decisions and then make them right!” He went on to explain that in every endeavor in life, regardless of the decision you make, there are going to be challenges that may cause you to question that decision. For example, he said that if you decide to get married, it may seem like the right thing to do at the time, but later on when challenges come, you may wonder if it was the right decision after all. The decision to have children may seem right too, but when you are faced with the issues that come with them growing up, you may wonder what in the world possessed you to do that!
Charlie went on to say that it really isn’t about making “perfect” or “right” decisions all the time. The real secret is in making a decision based on the best information you have at the moment and then making that decision the right one. When challenges or unexpected events occur, sure it may be necessary to make mid-course corrections, but be confident in the fact that you made a good choice to begin with and stick with it to completion. In other words, make it right! The wisdom that Charlie shared with me that day is some of the best I’ve ever received and is still ringing in my ears these thirty-eight years later!
When you approach life this way, it really does take the regret and guilt away from making mistakes. The nature of decision-making (and life) is that mistakes will be made. But, we do not need to let that keep us from making any decision at all.
Think about how many people purchased a home in the last decade only to have the housing market go down. It may take years to recover from that real estate investment, but who would have thought that would turn out to be a wrong decision? For many, buying a home is a right choice, however, that does not preclude the real estate market from taking a turn for the worst unexpectedly from time to time.
Of course, we know that there is no question about some decisions being right. For example, it is always right to be kind and gracious to others. It is always right to tell the truth. It is always right to be honest and honorable in our dealings with other people. And, it is always right to be a person of character and integrity with high morals and standards. But, having said that, it seems to me that most of the decisions we make on a daily basis are not in that realm at all. All of us face financial choices, relationship issues, spiritual beliefs, and interpersonal challenges in which we need guidance. We definitely want to make the right decision when it comes to those issues because they will lead us to grow and develop better results in our life. However, if we choose poorly, it could cause us to face unexpected hardships. But, isn’t that where the rubber meets the road? That is when we must make a decision based on whatever information and wisdom we have at the time and then make it right, regardless of the outcome, consequences or cost.
This may be a Tip that requires a little extra thought and wisdom on your part. The next time you need to make a decision, why not try looking at it from this perspective? Just one time, do not think of it in terms of whether or not it is the right decision, but think about it in terms of whether or not it is the wisest decision you can possibly make given your current set of circumstances and the information you have on hand. Then, when the decision has been made, expect there to be some mid-course corrections, but stick with the decision that you made and make it right. Watch what happens to your inner person! There will be a peace that comes over you because you realize that you really are doing the very best you can in life with the goal of being a wise person, heading in the right direction and helping other people in the process.
Wisdom that is close to forty years old and continues to work can’t be wrong! Wouldn’t you agree? Why not give it a try the next time you need to make a decision? You will be glad you did!
Tip: Stop trying to make right decisions!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm