Just Do the Next Right Thing

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a Job Connections group at my church, many of whom have been looking for work for quite some time. As I was considering the topics I would cover with this group of 25 job seekers, it occurred to me that the theme of the talk should be Hope. Hope is such an easy word to say and such an elusive word to live. So, how does one live a life of hope in the face of so many challenges in our world today?

Recognize that I am not talking about sitting around and hoping for my boat to come in, or my lottery number to be drawn, or even that all my dreams are answered. A book entitled “Perfectly Yourself” by Matthew Kelly addresses 9 lessons for enduring happiness. Lesson 2 is called “Just Do the Next Right Thing”. I find that when I focus on discerning and doing the next right thing I am filled with hope, even when facing the most vexing problems in my life. Why is this and how does one figure out what is the next right thing to do?

The theme in many of Kelly’s books is to help people become the best version of themselves. One thing this entails is working to understand what is your mission or purpose in life. My business partner, Bill Spreitzer’s article entitled “Working for What You Are Passionate About” reviews some of the basic elements of the process of discovering your passion/purpose. Having a clear understanding of your purpose is a major step in understanding the next right thing to do. My purpose is to help people achieve their potential. I try to do something every day that moves me in the direction consistent with this purpose.

Kelly also talks about seeking our purpose and discerning the next right thing to do by spending quiet time alone listening to our inner voice. Many people need help in developing this inner voice and hearing it clearly. Coaching often provides significant help in this regard (see Bill Spreitzer’s article: “Your Board of Advisors”).

Finally, doing the next right thing isn’t just about what’s best for me. Kelly’s 8th lesson for enduring happiness is “Focus on What You Are Here to Give”. Our mission needs to engage us to serve as and where we are needed by others. Frederick Buechner, a minister and author, observed that mission “is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need”. Finding what others need that engages our talents and passion is the surest way to define our mission and determine the next right thing to do.

Challenge yourself to become the best version of yourself by just doing the next right thing. Do something today that engages your passion and gets you moving in the right direction, however small a step it may be. This quote from the epilogue in Kelly’s book is one I especially enjoyed: “Happiness is feeling at home with ourselves, with who we are and where we are and what we are doing.”

If you need someone to talk to about what is the next right thing for you to do, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk to you.