November 18, 2018

Improvement Through Making Decisions

 “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?”—John 5:6 (KJV)

The man at the Pool of Bethesda had been sick for 38 years. He had practical explanations (excuses) of why his healing had been delayed. Perhaps the invalid was comfortable in his discomfort; it’s all he knew.

Jesus cut to the core of the problem by asking if the man wanted to get well. Was the man willing to make a choice to progress and lead a much more complicated life?

How to Prepare for Alterations in Life

Individuals are faced with many choices daily. Some change us forever. Others may seem to affect only a few moments of time.

97.1 WASH FM Radio posted some excellent tips about making decisions. Please listen to the 1 minute 20 second iHeart Radio podcast here. Their suggestions are summarized below, with added commentary:

Two Questions to ask When you Make Decisions
1.    Do you want to do better?

This might seem like a ridiculous question, but improvement is hard work. Progress requires investments in energy, time, and consideration.

Below are two examples of individuals who had a chance to improve themselves. One of them made groundbreaking choices that thrust her into history. The other made the decision to return to his old lifestyle.

Danny Villegas spent time in a federal prison for robbing a bank. When he was released, he went to Florida. The ex-convict ended up living in his car and spending all his money.

He decided that living behind bars was easier than trying to find a job. Danny walked into a local bank, announced that he was robbing it, and asked an employee to call the police. The offender calmly sat down while waiting to be taken into custody.—Story taken from The Power of Your Attitude: 7 Choices for a Happy and Successful Life, by Stan Toler

Kate Warne was the first female detective in U.S. history. She began her career in 1856. Warne defied the gender stereotype of concentrating only on domestic matters. But, wait; it gets better…The lady worked for the Pinkerton Agency at the height of its power. This company was the most successful private law enforcement organization in the world at that time. They tracked outlaws, worked as security guards (even for U.S. President Abraham Lincoln), and handled labor strikes.

Ms. Warne personally spied for the Union during the Civil War. She helped uncover a plot to assassinate the President. She definitely lived up to the company’s motto of, “We never sleep.”

2.    Are you willing to feel the discomfort of putting more effort into new things that will feel weird and different—knowing it might not work out right away?

It’s intimidating to stretch, feel growing pains, and take risks. My last article here was about trusting the awkward procedure of being shaped into a wiser person.

Every successful person goes through a refining process. This will include a number of rejections and delays. One example is Henry Ford. He faced great opposition. In the end, he spearheaded wide use of the assembly-line in factories. Ford also made automobiles accessible to the public for the first time.

My Conclusion

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”—Amelia Earhart

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