Nothing is more jarring than to see someone you know on the six-o-clock news for doing something stupid or illegal, and now that they have been arrested, the whole world knows of their demise.
Don’t you find it odd that people you used to work with, worship with or who were in your network end up on the news? And not because of something good they did, but for something unscrupulous that has now landed them in a place they never thought they’d be…prison.
It is at those times I want to yell and remind all who will listen that your destiny is determined by your decisions and the decisions you made years ago or make today or tomorrow will be the future you are creating for yourself.
Since we instinctively know this to be true, why are so many of our friends and family shortchanging their future?
Sometimes I think to myself, seriously, aren’t they smarter than that? The answer is two-fold. Obviously, they aren’t all that smart, and they never thought they would get caught either because “everyone” is doing it, or they thought they were special and would go down in history as the one in a million who outran the system and won.
I know it seems obvious that the decisions you make today will most likely be seen at some point in your future life, yet so many good people act like they will outrun their bad decisions, so they don’t have to deal with the consequences. Or they hope the person they cheated, lied or stole from will move out of state or, dare I say it, pass away, so they’ll never have to deal with the results of past choices.
I wish it were that easy to be removed from your actions, but let me remind you of an obvious truth, it’s not just your actions, it’s the memory of your actions that will haunt you for life.
Let me state it plainly once again in case you breezed past my headline. Your destiny is determined by your decisions–the large and small ones that will play a part in your life forever.
Take a shortcut today and re-do the whole project tomorrow. Lie today and tell another lie tomorrow to cover, until one day you’re either found out, or you lose the trust of those you love and admire. Do something dumb today and regret it for the rest of your life. We all have been there, and we all carry the scars of our decisions, the good, bad and ugly.
I know it is easy to justify how sometimes things just seem to happen, but you and I know that is not true. Small bad decisions were made along the way that led you to this point of no return, you remember, don’t you? You made up a story to get yourself out of trouble; problem is, you can’t use that story again, and over time it became obvious you lied. You took just a few dollars from petty cash to get you through the end of the month, but the problem is there is always more month than money. Or you took something that did not belong to you because you thought no one saw you or no one would miss it, but then you struggle to explain how you came by the object of your theft. What I find so amazing is that for so many people it is never one big thing that causes the downfall but a history of small seemingly inconsequential things that over time make your downfall your destiny.
The staggering truth is this, who would have thought it would have been you? Certainly not you. You thought you could beat the system and maybe for a time you did until one day your actions were seen for what they were, and now, for the rest of your life, you will be known by your decisions.
How many of us have passively watched an affair that broke up a marriage? In hindsight, we could have been enough of a friend to alert their spouse. Maybe we knowingly accepted the benefit of stolen goods, and we think how can we be held accountable? We didn’t steal anything. Or we hesitantly participated in a marketing scheme because our friends said they made a few dollars and we could also.
I don’t know what it is you have participated in willingly (or not so willingly), but don’t be surprised when you have to pay the piper because the piper always comes calling. (In other words, your decision that led to your destructive destiny.)
Listen, we all wish we could go back and do things over, or different or not at all, but that is not where we are today, so how do we move past and forward, and more importantly, how do we create a destiny we can be proud of?
Well, first things first. Don’t do stupid stuff. If you have done something stupid, admit, repay and repair. And for goodness’ sake, don’t do it again, and if you are so spineless that you can’t make good decisions for your future, change your loser friends who you keep willingly following down that wrong path. For once in your life, stand up for yourself and on your own two feet, and stand strong for what is good, right and acceptable. Believe it or not, you can find your tribe of good people who will help you be your best. They don’t just appear out of thin air, but they do appear when you look around and see the ones who are steadily working for the good of others.
Now that this bit of wisdom is stated plainly, let me encourage you to consciously think of your future decisions as though they would happen today.
We often think that time will alter our reality; that’s a silly idea, and life doesn’t work that way. Why not act as if it is going to happen now–today, this instant–so you will make the best decisions for your future.
Today or very soon, you will be faced with a moment that will define your future. You’ll need to be ready to step boldly into your destiny; anything less (by decisions on your part) could alter your future.
How you choose to live the rest of your life is the legacy that others will remember you by (or judge you by), and the best way to leave a legacy that is worthy of your calling, is to be ready and determined to make the right decisions for you, your family and your future. The best news is that once you commit to standing firm for what is right, you will win every time.
Let me rabbit trail here for just a minute. I know the world around us tells us that life is simply shades of gray, and depending on your upbringing or background, you might see shades of gray in your world, but do not be misled by the world’s disorienting noise that there are no real, hard choices to be made. Life does not present itself that easily. There is still white and black, right and wrong, good and evil, and there is a bold, visible line between the two. You know it. I’m sure you’ve seen it, and one day very soon, you must decide on what side of the line you will choose to live your life. Once chosen, that is where you will find your destiny.
Allow me to give you a friendly word of caution: others will push or pull you to one side or the other, so be prepared for the battle between good and evil. Just know this, no one can ultimately put you where you don’t want to go. Once you choose a side (and it is my prayer that you chose the side that is honest, right and good), you will have made the determination of a lifetime that will undoubtedly lead to a destination that leaves a legacy for others to admire and follow. That is the darndest thing about free will–as hard as it is. You get to decide your destiny.
I came across a quote that speaks to my thought for the day. “Unsuccessful people make decisions based on their current situation; successful people make decisions based on where they want to be.” Before you step out too far, think about where you ultimately want to be.
My friends who are dirt bikers tell me that when on a ledge or steep place, the key is never to look where you don’t want to go. I find that good advice for life because we all have made a split second decision that has saved us from years of heartache and pain and some in that split second of determination have made decisions that still weigh heavy on their hearts and minds.
Friend, remember, your destiny is determined by your decisions, so slow down and be wise and think about your future as you step into your destiny.