Be Happier By Avoiding Life in Crisis Mode

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.

crisis

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. 

survival

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.

It’s Simple, Really

Much of life is actually very simple.

Building a business, getting a college degree, and walking across the country are all simple processes. Just keep doing the work day after day. Eventually, you’ll see results.

Cooking a gourmet meal is simple. Just follow the recipe and you’ll end up with a delectable dinner the whole family will enjoy.

But none of these things is easy.

It’s not easy walking to class when it’s snowing outside, then sitting through a boring lecture, only to trudge back through the snow after class is over. You end up with wet feet and a sour mood.

It’s not easy putting in long hours to be your own boss. You slave in the evenings and on weekends when everyone else you know is at home with their family, or out having a good time.
road-690087_1280
When we’re in these type of situations, we often wonder if it’s worth it to keep on. Will I gain anything in the end? Would I be better off just quitting now while I’m ahead?

No doubt these are valid questions, and we should probably take time to answer them.

But we should always remember there was a reason we began our pursuit in the first place. We had some kind of dream that grabbed hold of us and never let go. Something that got stuck in our head and wouldn’t let us forget about it.

Some kind of vision that called out and enabled us to see something better for our lives. A more fulfilling career, a business of our own, or just hanging a diploma on the wall and calling ourselves a college graduate.

Whatever it is, if it was important enough to begin it, then it’s probably important enough to finish it.

Notice I said probably. Priorities change. Life happens. Sometimes we have to stop and reorganize things. That’s OK.

That may mean we have to alter our goals to reflect our current life situation.

Sometimes that means we need to double down and work even harder to make the original dream happen.

When life smacks you in the face, it’s up to you to decide what to do.

Keep going. Or quit.

Which choice will you regret more in one year?

Now choose the other one.