MENOMINEE - He walks on a trail through the woods; the features on his face are wrinkled because he is in deep thought and prayer. The reason for this is because of the decision he is about to make.
The pros and cons have been wrestled over and over countless times, and it all boils down to this one decision. This decision is what I call a life-defining decision. It will definitely affect his future, but it is one that he accepts.
Throughout our lives, many of us have had to make life-defining decisions. They may have occurred over friends, family, or work. Coming into play as a huge part of the decision are the core values, which are right and wrong/just or unjust.
The core values that have been infused in us come from our parents, family, faith, and school. They are the essence of who and what we are, and define us as human beings. These values have acted as a rudder on a ship, to guide our lives, enabling us to stay the course through many major decisions
Here are some suggestions to follow when making these life-defining decisions. Just think of the 4 R's: review, retain, resolve, and regret.
1) Review - Above all, do not make a major decision on a knee-jerk reaction. As I mentioned, take the time to review all of the pros and cons of a major decision, attempting to look at all angles and consider unintended consequences.
2) Retain - Always retain core values when making these decisions. These values will tell you if something is amiss or not, and guide you to making your decisions.
3) Resolve - Stick to the decision you have made unless new information comes to light.
4) Regret - When the decision has been made, don't do a "should have, would have." You need to understand that you have made the decision with the best information available, move forward, and "don't live in the past."
If you can try to incorporate the 4 R's as part of your life-defining decisions, please remember to trust your judgment, core values, and to use prayer as a foundation to guide you.
Dan Paul is the administrator at Menominee Catholic Central Elementary School. His columns, which explore family relationships, are published monthly in Lifestyles.