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Don't judge the entire book by the page you're reading now

the next best step video May 27, 2022

Don't judge the entire book by the page you're reading right now. Or even by the sentence.

Often, it takes time to reap the benefit-- or agony-- of current decisions. That is, it works both ways...

👉 Sometimes, things feel better than they really are...

👉 Sometimes, things feel worse than they really are.


Think with me... 

If you smoke today you won’t die tomorrow. If you load up a credit card with a pile of debt you won’t feel the financial pinch even next week. In fact, you could probably avoid paying the bill for a month or two and not so much as receive any delinquent notices or calls from debt collectors. 

Don’t just think of this in a negative way, though.


Consider how this works positively, too.

Seven+ years ago, I finally took the blinders off and realized I was fifty pounds overweight. So, I made a plan (a path) that included eating right each day, as well as exercising. 

I’m in great shape now, better than I’ve ever been in my entire life. But, the first day into my new path, I didn’t look or feel much different. I was still… 49.5 pounds overweight. In other words, the “current conditions” didn’t tell the entire story of what was happening. In fact, it wasn't until 45-50 days  later that the true story was being revealed.


Because of this "delayed gratification" (and delayed punishment alike!), we often disconnect current reality (that is, where we are on the path) with the ultimate destination of the path. 

The truth is that the drive from Birmingham to Montgomery (south) looks much like the drive from Birmingham to Hunstville (north). There are the same trees, the same Stuckey and Cracker Barrel stores along the way, and the same traffic.

The destinations are very different, though. And such is the same in life. 


Current conditions can be confusing. That's why you have to trust the path. 

My Dad and I hiked the Grand Canyon when I was a freshman in high school. We started at the summit and walked the 5.5 miles or so down the canyon to the place where we found a village.

On the way down, we felt great. We hit a great stride. It felt strange to us that people at the bottom were having to phone for helicopters to come rescue them- that our fellow hikers had become overly hot and too depleted of fluids to make their way back to the rim of the canyon! 

You can see where this is going!


After we reached the bottom and began the ascent back up the canyon- going through the 110-plus degree weather with no water- I understood firsthand that it would be easier to turn around, walk downhill, and call for help than it would be to keep pushing the extra 3.5 miles or so that we had remaining.

The downhill stride was an instance in which current conditions looked fine, but the path was taking us somewhere we really didn’t want to go.


Note: you may need to take drastic action if you are on a path heading in the wrong direction. However, name a single person who doesn’t look back on their life and see a few key places where they would go back and make major changes if they could!

Remember, the path is often most easily seen when you look in the rearview mirror. As such, many of us might go back and change:

🤷‍♂️Friends we spent too much time with

🤷‍♂️Others we didn’t visit enough

🤷‍♂️Money we spent in one way when it should have been spent in another 

🤷‍♂️Jobs we would have kept instead of quit- or others we would have quit

🤷‍♂️Something different we would have done at school

🤷‍♂️A place, or pivotal evening, we might have avoided altogether!

Now that we know where these paths go, we are wiser. As such, we should apply the wisdom to our current position on the path we are on...

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