I’ll be honest…I’ve had a lot going on lately. School hasn’t been busy, but a lot of personal struggles have taken its place. I think personal issues are a lot more difficult to deal with because they challenge me on a different level. What bothers me the most is that they’re usually out of my control. Eventually, I get to a fork in the road and don’t know what to do because I don’t want to go down either path. I get caught between a rock and a hard place. I’d venture to say a lot of us have been here, so what do you do?
You make the next right decision.
The first thing I thought when I read that in Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly was “How is that supposed to help me? There is no right decision. That’s why I’m stuck!” But there is. There always is.
When it comes down to it, we all have goals in life, whether they’re personal, athletic, professional, etc. You reach goals by taking baby steps. You make small decisions that ultimately get you where you want to go. Even in times of uncertainty or struggle, you can always find the better path by remembering what you’re trying to achieve and what your values are. Sometimes you’ll have to make sacrifices or do things you don’t want to do, but that’s okay. Life won’t always be easy, but it will always give you opportunities to grow.
Here’s a personal example. When I was little, my dad used to work at Kennedy Space Center. Every day for 12 years he would leave very early in the morning, before I woke up, just so he could pick me up from school. When I got to middle school, he was presented with a job opportunity that would require him to travel almost every week. This meant less family time, but it would help him further his career and better provide for his family. So, he took it. He traveled the rest of the time I grew up at home. There would be times that he was gone for 2 weeks, home for a weekend, and leave again. But there were also periods that he was home for months at a time.
A lot of people, including my grandma, think that he made the wrong decision at his fork in the road. He doesn’t, my mom doesn’t, and I don’t. Even though he was gone a lot, I matured much faster than my friends. I knew how to do things that many adults didn’t even know how to do. The best part is that our bond as a family grew stronger than ever. We cherished the moments when we were all together, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. My dad chased his goals, and so many other benefits came out of it. He made the next right decision.
But what happens if you make the wrong decision? To be honest, I don’t think you can. I guess I’ve developed this weird outlook on life and failure since I started college…I don’t think there’s such a thing as failure. There’s just learning experiences because failure is simply life’s way of teaching you something, and I think you can learn a lot more from failure than you can from success.
Here’s another example. I launched a nutrition business last September, and it was a failure. I had a few clients, but not even close to as many as I needed to make it worthwhile. I spent countless hours dedicating myself to the business and even spent a large sum of money getting a nutrition coaching certification. Despite all of that, I failed.
Now I could have wallowed in it and felt sorry for myself, but what good was that going to do me? Instead, I changed my outlook on failure, and actually reframed it into success. It was successful because I learned nutrition coaching isn’t really my passion. Writing blog posts is. Mental health, motivation, and helping people become their best self is.
What’s interesting is that I started my nutrition coaching concept because I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I either could have continued working a job I hated or took a risk by starting Break Free Nutrition. I took a leap of faith and started a company that ultimately failed, but I turned that failure into a success. I now do something I love. So in the end, I actually made the next right decision just like my dad did.
If you’re at a fork in the road, just make the next right decision. It’ll all fall in place from there.
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt