Andy Stanley is one of the best communicators I know of. He is thought-provoking, inspirational, and memorable. Best of all, he is a great story teller that knows how to keep my attention! I just finished his latest book, The Principle of the Path. The book revolves around a very simple principle: Direction—not intention—determines our destination.
This principle seems obvious, but as we travel on the journey of life we don’t really think about it. Or, when we do think about it it’s because we realize we’ve chosen the wrong path.
Everyone has dreams and desires for their future. Most of us have great intentions. But our intentions alone aren’t enough to get us to our desired destination. We must be making choices and decisions that keep us moving in the right direction. Life is connected. Yesterday affects today, and today will affect tomorrow. The things you do and the decisions you make today will affect tomorrow’s experiences.
Some other helpful takeaways from Andy are:
- The best question ever: “In light of my past experience, and my future hopes and dreams, what’s the wise thing to do?”
- Our quest for happiness often trumps our appreciation and pursuit for truth.
- There is a relationship between submission to God and our ability to pick the best path.
- “You will never reach your full potential without tapping into the wisdom of others.”
- “Your life would be better, richer, and more enjoyable if less of your attention had been hijacked from the things you should have been focusing on.”
- “The things you give your attention to will influence the direction and destination of everyone in your circle of influence.”
- Disappointment creates powerful emotions. Emotions fueled by disappointment can drive people to behaviors that put their dreams (and the dreams of others) out of reach.
I highly recommend this book to everyone, but I think it is especially helpful for young people. The sooner you understand and live by this principle, the greater your chance of avoiding future regrets.