Decisions often have precarious timing. The time to make decisions is not when you’re climbing up a mountain of problems and situations that you’re faced with. That is what I call disparity or calamity; in these situations, you’re trapped in the valley of darkness. This is not a time to make decisions. Instead, this is the time to dig your heels in and rely on that reserve that’s already stored in you, allowing you to fight the battle that’s right in front of you. Let’s face it: at this point, you’re just craving relief and attempting to bring clarity to the situation. You are trying to get out from under this gorilla or this elephant. In these difficult situations, don’t try to make major changes in the hope of finding comfort. To quote Myles Monroe, “Never make a permanent decision in a temporary problem.”
When the calamity is over and you reach a moment of calm where you can think more clearly, then congratulations—you’ve reached the time to make those decisions. Why? It’s simple:
- You can now see the situation more clearly.
- You are not under the storm clouds of calamity, fear, and disparity.
- You’re now more likely to figure out how to be more successful from adventure to adventure, avoiding the valley of darkness.
Why enter the valley experience if you can avoid it? On the other hand, if you find yourself in the trenches, the solution is clear: pull out those reserves that rest within you. Show this experience what you’ve got.
I used to run cross country in high school, and just before you reach the halfway point, your body wants to run out of energy. In that moment, those runners that started out quick and didn’t pace themselves either drop back or drop out. I remember telling myself at the point, “Derrick, you are in this race for the long haul.” So, I made up my mind to pull out the reserves and finish at my same pace. If you’re in the midst of life’s struggles and fighting uphill, then do yourself a favor. Pull out the reserves, stay the course, and don’t make huge decisions in the middle of the stream. Finish that uphill battle and reach the top of that mountain.
Avoid making important choices when things aren’t going well. This is the time to truly see what you’re made of in order to reach a point of clarity. Once your vision is clear and the storm clouds have dissipated, you have finally found solid ground. This is the time to make those decisions and changes in your life, business, or team. With patience, you will steadily climb from mountaintop to mountaintop.
Derrick Darden, PhD