Hopefully, as adults, we are wiser than when we were younger! I'm not sure who wrote the song but I know I've heard it sung by Rod Stewart with the words, "I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger!" Nice thought, right?
But, the fact is - it doesn't work that way....it works just the opposite. We know more now than we did earlier but the key question is this: Has it made a difference in our ability to make wise choices?
For some, yes and for others, apparently not!
Now, again, let me clarify something - even the "smartest" and "most prepared" people in the world still sometimes make wrong choices. As adults, we are not immune to such things.
But, we should be able to LIMIT these poor choices a lot better than we did before simply because of our experiences in living life.
Stupid decisions come in all forms, don't they? They don't always have to be centered around marital infidelity as was mentioned in the last example given in our first episode in this series. Don't you know - hopefully - that the pro golfer who's career is basically ruined for the moment and who's family life is apparently is in shambles really regrets his unwise choices?
The reason I say, "hopefully" is that - and we've all seen this from time to time - sometimes people still refuse to admit that they made a mistake! People with this mindset are doomed to repeat stupid mistakes over and over again.
Be sure to come back tomorrow as we talk about the one "key principle" that must be followed in order for us to recover and still be productive following these HUGE mistakes.
Now then, if we, as adults, SHOULD make better decisions now, due to our experiences, WHY DON'T WE?
I know that some people may think that I "over-generalize" on some of this and, if I do, it is not intentional. I know that not ALL young people are alike or act the same. There are MANY young people that DO think things through ahead of time and that DO consider the consequences and make wise choices.
However, for the most part - in general - young people DON'T think about consequences OR, if they do, they think that they will be the exception. Why? Some of it is simply the bravado of youth and some of it is the basic feeling of invincibility that young people feel. I remember not even thinking about the possibility that I could be killed or terribly injured OR kill or injure someone else when I drove WAY beyond my experience level. In other words, I drove like an idiot!
Some of this is what we LOVE about youth - RISK TAKING!
However, all of us - young or old - must remember that, "With every night comes a morning after!".
As we get older and take on more responsibility (family, for example) we tend to "tone down" some of these youthful exuberance and think a little more about consequences. Yes, I know sometimes this leads to us being SO CAREFUL that we fail to live life, but that is another topic for another time.
Our experience can also be our downfall at times. Let me explain what I mean.
As adults, sometimes we begin to feel wise beyond our years (kind of like me driving when I was a teenager!). As adults, we feel that, through observation and experience we have it all figured out and, due to that experience - and so called "wisdom" - we can avoid the possible consequences. We've figured it all out! It won't happen to us!
Wow, sounds a whole like how young people think, if you ask me! The difference is this - when you are young, you THINK you know, but you don't due to your inexperience that comes from being young! However, as an adult, you SHOULD know and you SHOULD know better! But, for whatever reason, when temptation comes our way - in WHATEVER form - we convince ourselves that we are invincible - not due to our youth, but due to our self-perceived "wisdom".
To me, this is much sadder than seeing a young person (teen or young adult) make some of these mistakes. Why? Because as a teen or young adult, it's part of the process and HOPEFULLY you wise up before you make the HUGE blunders!
But, for an adult - YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER! You've seen countless lives ruined by making the same STUPID decisions...."but it won't happen to me!"
This applies to our relationships with our spouses and families but it also applies to ANY unwise choice that we are considering. Perhaps it has something to do with your work in some way that you have decided to cheat the company or take some sort of shortcut to bring you some financial reward.
THINK! THINK! THINK!
Remember the first basic principle that we talked about early on? First and foremost we must consider what we want our life to look like! Where do we want to go with our lives and what will that look like?
ADULT, WAKE UP! Regardless of your age, this is a process that we must STILL continue! We must STILL ask ourselves - especially when considering something that is unwise - what do want our life to look like on the other side of this? IF I choose to go through this, what might happen?
Instead of thinking, "It won't happen to me!" why not think, "What if I DO get caught and/or what if this backfires - what will happen then?"
I have talked with many an adult that felt absolutely foolish after having these unwise decisions backfire on them. And, yes, many times these are the words that come out of their mouths: "I can't believe I did that! What was I thinking? I just didn't think it would go this far and I just didn't think it would turn out this way."
But, guess what? It did. It does. YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE!
Honestly ask yourself this question....if you KNEW that after following through with this "thing" (whatever it is) that you know deep down is not wise, you would loose everything that you have - your family (ALL of your family), your job, your house and your dignity - would you still go through with it?
No, don't say, "But it won't!" - ask yourself what if you DO! No doubts - 100% sure that you will end up on the other side with nothing....would you still go through with it?
Here's the scary thought...many adults get up in the bravado of "experience" (as opposed to the bravado of youth) and still try to say that they WILL go through with it because they know nothing bad will happen. It won't happen to them.
But it doesn't have to be IF we wake up and THINK long before we get to that situation -- this, again, is the FOUNDATIONAL principle we talked about first and foremost. It also goes along with what we discussed about making your decision EARLY instead of waiting until you are in the "heat of battle" or in the clutches of the temptation - whether sex, prestige, power or all three.
We, as adults, must also consider the point of, "Who are you listening to?". Seriously, pay close attention to this one as well!
I have been saying all along that everything that we have talked about in this series applied to adults just as much as it did to teens or young adults.
However, I felt the need to address this specifically BECAUSE ADULTS SOMETIMES FEEL THAT THEY ARE IMMUNE to the mistakes that they would make earlier on in their lives.
That, in itself, shows poor judgment, wouldn't you agree?
Again, be sure to join me tomorrow as I bring this discussion to a conclusion and talk about how ANYONE can recover from even the worst of decisions and live a productive life IF they follow this one key principle.
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"