Do you remember the book, published in the early 1980’s titled, When Bad Things Happen to Good People by the Rabbi Harold S. Kushner? Chances are, even if you don’t recall when the book was first published and the buzz it created, you have run across it since then. Multiple printings and millions of copies later, the Rabbi’s book has touched the hearts and lives of people around the world as they struggle to deal with sadness and loss.
So when Pastor Andy Stanley titled the second chapter of his book, The Principle of the Path, “Why Bad Things Happen to Smart People,” the groundwork for reader interest was already in place.
Except Andy Stanley is not offering words of comfort for the grieving. He’s not pointing to the universal elements of randomness or the idea that we have an opportunity to find the blessing in every sorrowful event.
Andy Stanley might as well have called the chapter, “Why Bad Things Happen to Smart People who Act Stupidly,” because as he explains, “Direction—not intention—determines our destination.”
He offers these statements as examples that act on our emotions, too often turning smart people into the not-so-smart and ultimately, the not-so-happy:
“Zero percent financing and no money down…”
“She makes me feel like I used to feel…”
“But he’s rich…”
“That’s how business is done here…”
“No payment for twelve months…”
Every day in business (and in your personal life) you have the opportunity to do the right thing; to act wisely; and to follow a path that will lead you to your goal. You also have abundant opportunities to cheat a little (or a lot), lie a tiny bit (or outrageously), and to act on feelings of greed, resentfulness, and selfishness.
Start down any path, no matter how direct it seems, and you will be amazed at the byways and footpaths (some lined with neon lights) that branch off from it.
Whether your business is large or small; whether you are a sole practitioner, consultant, coach, or founder of a growing corporation, you have the freedom to make as many stupid choices as you like. You have the opportunity to ramble away from your target goals and follow paths that will ultimately lead you nowhere. And when and if you do, you can console yourself that others are in the same predicament and that you are not the first to have made such an unwise choice.
…But in the end, you won’t be able to blame fate, the economy, your competitors, your opportunities, or even the unpredictable universe. Andy Stanley’s words are a hard-hitting, eye-opener for every businessman or businesswoman: “Direction—not intention—determines our destination.”
By Michelle A. Vu The Christian Post