Following Directions

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


stoplightDoing as we are told, going where we told to go; following the crowd; fitting in, doing what is expected

Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path. Author Unknown

Discoveries are often made by not following instructions, by going off the main road, by trying the untried. Frank Tyler

The difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life’s direction. Remez Sasson

The nature of the society in which we live is that we are expected to follow directions. This is something we are taught from early childhood. Those who do well at following directions tend to fit in; do not get ostracized; and in many ways are able to minimize many of the hassles and frustrations of daily life.

There are consequences, trade-offs, and pros and cons to the type of decisions we make and the directions we follow. It is good to fit in many ways. It can be good to not fit in. As children we were told just because someone else does something wrong does not make it okay for us. If someone jumps off a bridge, it is not a good idea for us to do the same thing. Many of us march together, follow the Pied Piper, conform and do what is popular and “in”. We avoid things that may us stand out. We follow directions and follow the crowd. A common concept of a derogatory nature is to drink the Kool Aid of pop culture, doing what is popular and in vogue.

Some choose marching to the beat of a different drummer, non-conforming, standing out, and doing their own thing. Do non-conformists have serious sociological and psychological issues? They do not follow directions.

Following directions is good when it leads us to do things that are good, proper, and in the best interests of society and ourselves. Following directions is not good when it is wrong, immoral, unethical or illegal. Society’s list of directions, rules and laws should be for the common good of us all. This is generally the case, but may not always be so. Sometimes society’s mores, taboos, prejudices, and expectations are not always really for the best.

Those achieving and accomplishing the most do not necessarily follow directions. Following directions implies normalcy, complacency, status quo, and conformity. Going the extra mile, giving more than expected, giving 110 %, and autographing your work with excellence; all imply standing out from the crowd. We should want to do our absolute best in everything that matters. This sometimes conflicts with following the directions.

It matters where our directions come from and what they tell us to do. If directions come from dubious sources and tell us to do things against our conscience, we should be very careful as to how we respond to them.

Challenge: Are you one who follows directions and does as you are told? Do not be a robot and automatically respond to others expectations or directions. Use your powers of reason and your conscience to determine what is best and is right and then do those things. Do not assume that others know best or that society always does the right thing. Seek to have even higher standards and more meaningful purpose than what most others may have.

Wisdom: Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile. Gary Ryan Blair

Spiritual: (NIV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33

The ways of the world are often not the right ways. The ways of God are always the righteous way. If we want assurance we are going in the right direction and doing the right things in life, we really need God’s guidance and direction in our life. He will enable and empower us to make better decisions as we go forward. If we choose to follow God’s directions, we will not go wrong. He is our Heavenly Father. He only wants the best for us.

Prayer: Help me to listen to You and follow your advice and directions as I go forward with my life.


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