Are you operating in crisis mode? If so, you’re most likely being short-sighted about important decisions you make every day in your life.
It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of wrong thinking. When you’re only focused on trying to keep from going under, you’re neglecting the big picture of your life.
While it’s good to be present and focused on the here and now, if you’re not also planning for the future, you can shortchange yourself and your life by your actions.
For example, it’s easy to make wrong decisions about money when you “declare an emergency” on your finances. You may get so caught up in trying to find the money to pay the electric bill that you borrow the money you’ve got set aside for something else.
It’s also easy to fall short in our obedience to God.
If we view the end of each workday as having survived yet another crisis, it can be easy to pick up vices such as drinking, smoking, and other bad habits. After all, we deserve to let off a little steam after going through such a hard day, right?
If every day is a crisis, then we never get around to truly planning for the future—we’re too focused on merely surviving.
We end up cheating ourselves and those around us out of the fruits that come from setting and achieving long-term goals.
So, how do we avoid this trap? We have to become masters at planning simultaneously for short-term and long-term goals.
If we’re truly in a crisis, we have to manage it diligently while also planning for the future. That may mean we need to become more creative with our problem solving and not throw all our mental energy into merely making it through another day.
That may mean that we need to stop throughout the day and consciously tell ourselves to think long-term—to bring to mind the bigger goals in our life and not live for just the here-and-now.
The last thing we want to do is wake up one day and realize that we’ve wasted our whole lives putting out one fire after another—and never taking time to put in solid effort toward worthwhile life goals.
I’m very guilty of having done that. So much of my adult life has been spent trying to contain all the apparent crises, that I’ve often neglected working toward bigger goals.
Yes, I regret that tremendously. However, there’s nothing I can do about it now, except to change how I live my life from this moment forward.
That’s all that any of us can do. We certainly can’t change the past, and the future isn’t here yet. All we really have is this tiny slice of time that we call the present—right now.
What we do with this moment is the only thing we have control over.
At first glance, it may seem like I’m contradicting myself from what I said above. But, I’m actually not.
The trick is to make the most of the present so that you build toward the future, all the while learning from the mistakes of the past without dwelling on your shortcomings.
And just because we use the present in the best way we know how, doesn’t mean that everything is going to work out how we want it to. It may or it may not.
But if we put in our best effort, we will always have that to fall back on. Knowing we did our best is really all that any of us can ever hope for.
And, who knows? One day we may look up and see that we’ve achieved the goal we’ve been working toward for so long. That would be a wonderful feeling indeed.
Forget about merely trying to survive. Instead, focus on thriving in whatever environment you’re in. Don’t worry about finding the perfect job or the perfect mate — or the perfect anything for that matter.
You’re not perfect, so why should anything in your life be perfect? Make the best out of your circumstances, whatever they may be. Learn how to be content in any situation, as Paul tells us to do in Philippians 4:11.
Rely on God and trust that he will reward your efforts. The outcome may not always look like you expect it to, but don’t fret. It may actually be better than you had expected. God has the power to do that, and He loves giving good gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11).
So, don’t operate in crisis mode. Instead live life to the fullest every moment of each day.