What to Do in Times of Crisis

Sometimes the only right decision is to stop making decisions.

When we’re in a state of crisis, we often try to fix things with certainty. We want answers.

But this state of being is akin to quicksand: The harder we try to climb our way out, the lower we sink. The only way to survive is to make no sudden movements, to get comfortable with the discomfort, and to find peace without answers.

We can never glimpse the end of a path, but if we squint hard enough, we can see the next step. We squint by being still and quiet for a few minutes every day, through prayer.

We ignore the big decisions, knowing that they’ll make themselves, and we focus on the small ones. The ones right in front of us.

Crisis comes from the word meaning “to sift”. During times of crisis, if we let it all fall away, we’re left with what matters. What matters most cannot be taken away.

And maybe what we don’t know, we’re not supposed to know yet. More will be revealed. So we just do the next right thing, one thing at a time.

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Advice from My Father

At the ripe, young age of 24, I asked my father for his advice on seeking a career. He told me if he could do things differently, he would have been more strategic and selective in choosing his career path, rather than taking whatever came his way and running with it. This seems to be the trend of our time: People letting life happen to them instead of making the life they want happen. We see it all the time. Adults having mid life crises, wondering how in the world they got to where they are.

But there’s a flip side. Trying too hard to make the life you imagine happen can hold you back from the life you were destined to have. You can become so paralyzed by the standards you’ve set for yourself that you often feel as though you’re making no progress at all. Unable to choose between open doors because you don’t know where any particular one will take you.

This is where faith comes in. Faith coupled with action yields results. It’s not enough to sit back and let life happen to you, as the entire universe is devoted to your distraction. But at the same time, it is neither wise nor productive to try so hard to control your future that you end up missing your destiny. As with everything in life, a balance is key.