Last week I talked about one of the greatest decisions of my life, travelling Australia with my young family for 12 months back in 1990. Many of you probably thought that it was an easy decision to make. Others probably thought, ‘How do you make good family-friendly decisions?’
Hindsight is a wonderful gift. My decision to travel Australia with my family was quite hard to make and fraught with challenges. Many times the decisions we make are like punts in the dark and often it takes years to find out if your decisions turned out to be right or wrong.
Edgar A Guest said in that famous poem, ‘Don’t Quit’,
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.
Life throws curved balls. It is easy to get discouraged. Sometimes we make the wrong decisions. Sometimes we make the right decisions. Just keep going forward and don’t quit.
The important thing is that you keep making decisions and that you make more right decisions than wrong ones. Keep the batting average up and stay positive. Depression and negativity will kill you quicker than anything else. You are your family’s greatest asset. That’s why you must stay positive and always embrace the gift of life that each new day brings.
In 1985, through sheer stupidity and the ‘recession we had to have’, I lost everything I had worked for. I lost my business, my good name (one of the hardest to lose, for those of us who are in love with our own egos) a hundred acre farm with a very large home with a couple of luxury cars in the garage.
At the time suicide was a consideration as I also had adequate life insurance. Failure plays on a man’s brain so I thought driving into a tree would be a good way to end it all. Thankfully I had my two young boys in the car with me at the time. Life is always a decision in more ways than one. We ended up living in a small garage, 3 metres by 7 metres at the back of a friend’s house for six months, and surviving on the dole. Thank God for the dole (another blow to my ego as I had always been rather disparaging of those who needed handouts).
Towards the end of the eighties it looked like I was getting back on my feet financially but was still living in a rented home (still am today). The trip around Australia with my family was not just about spending time with my family, but it was also to do with our desire to become part of the answer to our society’s destruction and not just be a silent participant in its continuing collapse.
Larry Norman sang a song, ‘Two roads diverged in the middle of my life I heard the wise man say. I took the one less travelled by, that’s made the difference every night and every day.’ One decision leads to another. If I had not taken that journey down that road Dads4kids would not exist and you would not be reading this newsletter today. The reform process in family law would not be as advanced, (yes it was worse) hundreds of marriages and families would not have been saved and encouraged, many more children would be fatherless and the undertakers would have made a lot more money. Life is always a decision in more ways than one.
How do you make good decisions?
1) You must have a value system you can trust.
2) Dream a dream and formulate a vision (without a vision the people perish).
3) Pray – get help from above
4) Be in agreement (the place of agreement is the place of power).
You must agree with your spouse on the key decisions of life.
As John Howard said, ‘Disunity is death’.
The greatest decisions are usually made together.
Dream a dream.
Don’t be discouraged.
Get a vision for your life and put first things first.
Come into agreement with those you love and move forward together.
Always remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Yours for a fresh vision