The Next Right Thing
Do you have a favorite podcast? I’d like to change it up a little this week and talk to you about one of mine. Emily Freeman, a best-selling author and host, has a series called “The Next Right Thing.” It’s all about helping you through seasons of transition in your life. Her most recent episode “Stop Collecting Gurus” has had a profound impact on me as I’m searching for a plan to go along with my many visions.
Emily is all about creating space for your soul to breathe so you can discern the next right step in your life. If you’re struggling to find your footing in the midst of a major life change, or if you’re experiencing what she so aptly calls “decision fatigue,” then this podcast will speak to you too!
Every Inbox Tells A Story
In this episode, Emily shares a simple perspective shift that has helped her – and me – keep anxiety at bay in the midst of uncertainty. I’ve joked in my videos before about how full my email inbox always is. I feel like when I finally unsubscribe from one list, I’m added to 5 more. Like Emily, there is an unexpected source of stress for me hiding in a full, cluttered email inbox. Can you relate?
She shares that she believes the contents of your email inbox tell a story. In mine, you’ll find emails from many “gurus” and mentors. I have emails from everyone and about everything you can think of – books, skincare, decorating, personality quizzes, marketing tips, business coaching, hockey, personal development, and the list goes on. I’m a sponge, so I enjoy soaking up a wide range of information from many different sources. This material I’ve brought into my life has been very valuable at times, but lately it just makes my life feel cluttered.
But here’s the thing. Emily made me realize that I’ve been trying to seek help from too many “gurus” at the same time. I sought each expert out at a time I thought I could use what they had to offer, but in reality, all the clutter in my inbox mirrors the exact reason why I struggle to come up with a specific plan. There’s too much going on at once!
I had an “aha!” moment just like Emily, when she found a pattern in her inbox – when we’re feeling insecure or aimless about our next step, it’s easy to latch onto the confidence of someone else, hoping it will rub off. She made me realize that the best time to look for gurus is not when you need a vision. It’s when you need a specific plan for your vision to come together.
I realized that I need to start choosing mentors who can help offer a plan that will line up with the vision I already have. If we don’t know where we’re going, specific directions won’t help if we don’t see the big picture. By seeking out all these gurus at once, I realized that I’ve been looking for advice about the journey before I knew or understood my destination.
So, here’s my challenge for you today, my dear readers. I’m going to challenge you to do the same thing Emily challenges us to do. Schedule a date with your email inbox. Now, I’m not saying you have to unsubscribe to everything or delete everything all at once. The challenge is to comb through it and discern which ones you should be listening to RIGHT NOW.
Take inventory. Come up with a vision. Stop seeking clarity from so many sources at one time. Decide which mentors you should hang onto and which ones you should set aside, at least for a little while. Ask yourself…what’s ahead for me? What can I accomplish in the immediate future? What help do I need for this journey? How can I make my vision come to life?
Never overlook the power of seeking Christ’s help in this journey either. I take comfort in the fact that He will be with me in all steps of my journey. I’m grateful for the vision we will continue to uncover together, and I know He will lead me to the right mentors and gurus to help me carry out my life’s plan. It will just take patience from me in the meantime to wait for His plan to unfold.
I’m going to leave you with Emily’s prayer with which she closed this episode. I hope it speaks to you and inspires you the way it did for me.
“God, as we grasp for answers, be our One Sure Thing. We trust You as our teacher. Reveal to us the story our inboxes are trying to tell us. In Your presence, we are safe to see and tell the truth. Show us where we are frantically grasping for guidance and replace the darkened pathway with Your light, the foggy future with Your peace, and our longing for security with Your confidence.
Bring to us the mentors and teachers we need for the journey. May we have the wisdom to trust our own inner voice as we are united with You in love.”