Spiritual Health & Wholeness: The 3 Keys to Success in Every Area
of Your Life - The 3 Keys to Successful Decision Making


The 3 Keys to Success in Every Area of Your Life
  by Heather Inks    [© Heather Inks]

Does anyone ever wake up one day and say “hey, I want to totally screw
up the rest of my life today?” or “what can I do to  make my life
miserable and ruin a few other lives too?” or  “I can’t wait to make a
decision that will ruin my life or kill me today?” or “I can’t wait to make a
decision that I will regret for the rest of my life?“ Not usually, not if they
are what we consider  “normal” and “healthy” person.

So “why” do people make such big mistakes? Not just some people, most
people most of the time. Why do I say “most people most of the time?”
Great question! Because if you look at the statistics for divorce, unplanned
pregnancies, crimes, drug use, and even speeding tickets you will quickly
see that human beings want the finer life including a happy marriage, a
nice home, debt freedom, a great eternity, and NO self-inflicted problems
yet people are not getting what they want in life. Why? And why not?
Why Do People Make Mistakes? How Do People Make Mistakes?

Why does the average person make mistakes? When a wise or smart or talented person makes a mistake, what
contributed to a typically wise person making a blunder? And how do foolish people rack up so many mistakes
and why?

Let’s think about some of the biggest most life altering mistakes that people can make. First, I will start with the
most important mistake that can be made in your life, the question that determines where you end up when you
die. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Your spiritual destination is by far the most important decision you will ever
have to face and make because if you think earth life is miserable or long, eternity is over a million times longer
than 120 years!

The other major life altering decisions include:
Will my religious decision be merely a social club or will I live out the principles that my faith is based on?
Basically are you a hearer or a doer of the faith that you follow?
Will I be an honest person full of integrity and living based on principles or a person who is dishonest when
convenient and living based on feelings, emotions, culture, media, and the latest whim?  
Will I be a law abiding citizen or rebellious picking and choosing what laws to obey?
Who will I marry? Will I stay faithful or commit adultery?
Will I have children? Do I want a big family or a small one?
Will I go to college? What will I study?
Where will I work?  Where will I live?
Will I be a debtor (a slave to lenders) or will I be a saver and strive for debt freedom?
How much will I spend on my vehicles or will I pay cash?
And will I save for my retirement or depend on others and the government to support me?

The good news is that it is not rocket science to learn to master living on earth so that you can avoid many
troubles including a boat-load of self-inflicted ones. You cannot avoid EVERY trouble, problem, and issue in life
but people can definitely avoid the majority of problems that are happening out there. In fact, I can break it
down to just 3 keys to making great decisions. 3 keys so simple that a child can understand them and apply
them. And it does not take a president scholar to explain these 3 keys; however, this scholar is going to do just
that because I am tired of seeing people hurting and struggling in life when it just doesn’t have to be that hard,
nor does it take a whole 300 page book to explain the keys. I could make it in book form but let’s keep it short
and simple so that you can learn it all in a few minutes and get started today in avoiding screwing up your life
and the lives of those around you!  

There are 3 key principles to GREAT decision making:

1) Know your values and principles
2) Slow down when making decisions
3) Get wise counsel from successful people

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Since I promised to keep this article short and sweet, I am going to give you
the information in brief form. To get started, you need to pay attention to
each key point when you read it, then apply it in your life. It might be a good
idea to write the 3 keys to success in every area of your life and personal
notes on a piece of paper, a card, or the back of a picture in your wallet and
carry it with you!

Key #1 Know Your Values and Principles

You cannot get directions to the right place until you have decided
EXACTLY where you want to go. A wise person once said, “if you fail to
plan, you plan to fail.” The Instruction Manual for Life states “Where there is
no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.”(1) You
must have a vision, an image in your mind of the end result that you want,
which is based on your values and principles. I recommend that you based
your principles and values on a solid foundation that does not shift and
change like the teachings of Jesus Christ.

You have the choice to base your principles and values on elements that can
change including your ideas, family, friends, peers, culture, Hollywood, the
media, the news, a pastor, a sports star, or society. Unfortunately if you
choose to base your principles and values on something or someone that can
change and shift in your life, then you will encounter more problems than if
you choose an unchanging and unwavering foundation for all your values,
principles, vision, and decisions. Basing your values and principles, vision
and goals, on a foundation that can shift is like building a sandcastle at the
beach. I can promise you that the ocean will eventually come in and sweep it
out to sea.

Write your vision and most important values and principles down. For
example, you can keep a card with the ten commandments in your billfold
with your vision and most important goals on the back. An example of a
vision would be debt-freedom at 30 years old and remaining faithful in
thought, word, and deed to my spouse from marriage until death. Goals can
include investing $5 per day or $166 a month (that will make you a
millionaire in 30 to 40 years) and giving your spouse a small gift, card, or
love letter once a month to keep things romantic.

Key #2 Slow Down When Making Decisions

This key should really look like this:
DOWN!!!!!! If you don’t slow down in you life and when you make
decisions, then you are going to be LOOOOOONG SUUUUFFFEEERING or
SUFFERING LOOOOOOOOOONG! Parents "should" watch their babies
and children like hawks because it takes a child 1 second to kill themselves
choking on an object that does not belong  in their mouth. The child does not
slow down to think about #1 what they are about to do or #2 what will be
the consequence of their actions.

I live by the expression “He who is hasty sins” and I say it so much that my
toddler was repeating it and by the time she was 5, she knew what it meant
and was living by it too. It can also be said “He who is hasty makes BIG
mistakes” or “He who rushes screws up BIG TIME” or “He who is
impatient makes STUPID decisions.” The Instruction Manual for life states
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
This says many things, including #1 successful people take the TIME to
make plans (see Key #1) and #2 this leads to PROFIT. It also says #3 people
who are hasty GET to be POOR! Who wants to be poor? Raise your hand!
Who wants poverty? Raise your hand.

Taking time to PLAN is the OPPOSITE of being HASTY and rushing to
make decisions and choices. Poverty is not just for money or wealth,
poverty can include having poor health and poor relationships. For example,
when people fail to take the time to drink water and eat fruits and vegetables,
they end up eating fast food and then getting sick and dying in a painful
manner. We can choose to plan to drink several cups of water each day and
buy a vegetable platter with some dips and eat healthy each week, we don’t
have to get sick or die a painful death. Back in the old days, people fell asleep
and peacefully did not wake up when they were in their 80s. We have a
choice, we must slow down and take the time to plan for success in every
area of our lives.

The most major decisions that people make too quickly that are truly life-
altering are #1 What do I believe in? Where am I going to go when I die?
And #2 Who will I marry? People who don’t want slow down and research
a potential spiritual belief before committing do one of two things. Either
they just choose not to make a decision on what God they serve or they
commit to a religion without knowing what it is all about and become a
foolish self-deceived spiritual hypocrite. Skipping a major life altering
decision because you don’t want to take the tine to research the options is
just plain stupid and foolish. And committing to a religion that you don’t
actually follow or obey, turning what should be an intimate relationship with
God into a social club or a thing to attend once or twice a week is also
foolish. So if a person wants to follow Jesus Christ, they need to read his
biography and teachings in Matthew, John, and James--the three eye witness
Gospel writers--so they can learn how to walk the walk rather than
attempting to do something based on hear-say or someone else’s experience
or interpretation which could be wrong. Who knows, maybe the person
telling you about Jesus Christ never read His biography either! If the blind
lead the blind, they both will fail into a ditch!

"Who will I marry?" is the second most major decision in a person's life.
Before a person is ready to date or court anyone, they should be able to
support themselves and a family completely, be able to pay for a place to
live, and be able to pay for the costs associated with adult relationships
which include a vehicle for transportation, the cost of dates, and the cost of
children. If a person cannot afford these things, then they have no business
entering the arena of dating or courting. That is like trying to play
professional football when you don’t know the rules, have never played
before, and don’t have any of the equipment on, yet you jump on the field to
play a wide receiver cutting across the field in the middle of the Super Bowl.  
Additionally, there are some things that need to be practiced like learning to
write your name or ride a bicycle and there are something that don’t get
practiced in life first like giving birth or dying. Having sex, getting married,
you practice dying, you might die before your time and if you practice dating
when you are not ready, I guarantee you will fall in love with the wrong
person and experience some heart breaks, hurts, and wounds resulting in
nasty emotional baggage that will need to be dealt with so it does not
contaminate your future relationships, life, and physical health. If you
practice sex, you run the risk of getting STDS or getting pregnant with a
child before you are married. There is no safe sex and condoms don’t
protect against several  incurable viruses including genital herpes, HIV, and
HPV which causes cervical cancer. If people would not have premarital sex
and stop committing adultery in less than 100 years STDS could nearly be
wiped out.

Before people date or court, they need to know who they are and what they
want. They need to know their values and principles clearly plus their visions
and goals. If a person is clearly not the right one, don’t waste any time
dating or courting them. You cannot receive God’s perfectly-matched-and-
designed-for-you lifelong mate if you are wasting time with 1 of the
359,999,999 wrong ones for you! For the Christian, when you pray for the
right mate from God, God picks 1 and works on setting up the world to get
you two to meet and realize it too. If you date a person and they are rude,
abusive, lie, or violate your values and principles, you have went out with the
wrong one. Throw them back and get your line and life open for the right
one. The right one will be designed and matched to you by God. This person
is not perfect--no one is perfect--but they will be more perfect for you than
anyone else on earth. If you are not 100% sure that a person is the right one,
then you will have a hard time staying committed and faithful to the person
for life.

Jesus said "If you believe, you will receive...." Matthew 21:
Gospel of Matthew
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