Over the last six weeks, I have been travelling Europe and I have been able to meet many people. In hearing the stories of those many individuals and how they have ended up where they are right now, I have realized more and more that life is a compilation of decisions—and we as human beings are the sum of our decisions.
Some decisions have visible—and sometimes drastic—reactions. Other decisions have minute and more surface level reactions.
Big decisions tend to have the biggest immediate reaction. They are easy to see coming and the results are more easily noticed after the decision has been made.
Then there are small decisions. These decisions are life-defining. For better or for worse, these small decisions actually hold more power than the big decisions. They are also the most unnoticeable—for a while.
We make these small decisions every day, every hour, and even every minute.
- We decide what we will feed our bodies and if we are going to exercise.
- We decide if we are going to show love to people or if we are going to shut down our hearts.
- We decide if we are going seek righteousness and obedience to God or if we are going to choose [insert personal temptation].
- We decide if we are going to scroll for hours on social media or if we are going to enrich our lives with meaningful content.
- We decide if we are going to let ourselves be distracted in this lightning-quick world or if we are going to slow down and align ourselves with God.
- We decide if we are going to think life-giving thoughts or life-draining thoughts.
Here’s the best way I can think of to describe small decisions:
I’ve been extremely blessed over these past few years to have the ability to travel. One thing I notice every single time I come back from one of these trips is just how much my niece and nephew have grown. It shocks me every time! It may be just 3 weeks or it may be 6 months, but each time their growth is noticeable.
Ironically, when I am with them all the time, I barely notice their growth at all, despite the measuring stick telling me otherwise!
Small decisions are like children slowly and gradually growing up before our eyes, and we don’t even notice.
Then one day, it shocks us how big they have become.
Where did the time go? How did they grow up so fast?
You will either be shocked to see that you've grown into who you desire to be or you'll be shocked to find yourself on a road you never thought possible to end up on.
The first place to look at is the small decisions of the everyday moments. They are what define a person and they are the key to living a fuller and richer life.
These moments can include situations when you have to ask yourself:
Am I going to get angry because of _______ or am I going to prayerfully surrender it to God?
Am I going to eat that dessert cause it looks so great or am I going to stick with my health plan and feel great?
The situations will be unique and different for each of us, but we all encounter these moments.
Our small decisions define us. This is why we need to consistently ask ourselves:
- What really is most important to me?
- Who do I want to be?
- Where do I want to be down the road?"
When we honestly ask and answer these questions, the vision for our life is formed.
Vision creates passion and passion creates motivation. Motivation leads to execution and execution drives the desired results.
Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)
Everyone has been dealt a different hand in life and everyone is facing different challenges. I do not know what your situation currently looks like, but whatever it is that you're longing for, it is the small decisions that will likely lead you there over time.
Albert Einstein once said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So when you ask yourself the questions above, take the time to write down your answers, create a vision based on your answers, develop a plan based on your vision…
Then jump out of the loop of insanity and start making those small decisions that grow into life defining victories—for His glory!