It’s so easy for us to get caught up in life’s current. We start drifting, and we end up in a place we would never have chosen if we had been consciously aware of it. Unfortunately, that’s how a lot of people approach life. Drifting. Caught up in life’s distractions.
Maybe you’re hyper focused on your career, but not spending time with your family. Or you’re taking on more than you should. It turns into a default, and then you move from one overwhelming situation to another with no end in sight.
Regardless of how it happened, drifting can have serious consequences—not only for you, but for those you love who are counting on you. Being aware of those consequences can help you avoid the problem and course-correct now.
Here are four consequences of drifting to look out for and avoid:
- Confusion. When we drift, we lose perspective. Without a clear destination in sight, the entire journey can feel meaningless. There’s no larger narrative to provide a sense of purpose for all of the highs and all of the lows. When this happens, we become disoriented and lose heart.
- Expense. Drifting can be tremendously expensive, both in terms of money and time. We zigzag our way through life far too often. Because we’re unaware of where we’re heading, we eat up valuable and limited resources along the way.
- Pain. Some pain in life is unavoidable. It’s part of the human experience. But much of it we bring on ourselves. This frequently happens when we fail to plan. For example, without a plan for our health, we can end up running on fumes and getting sick. Without a plan for our parenting, we can end up with estranged relationships with our children.
- Regret. One of the saddest experiences we can have is living with deep regrets. We become overwhelmed with the “if onlys.” If only I had spent more time connecting with my spouse, seeking to understand them. Or, If only I had been more generous with my resources, trying to help those in need.
You don’t have to get to the end of your life to know that there can be real consequences to simply “going with the flow.” The good news is, you can change course. You can control your decisions. You can live life on purpose. Starting today, even in this very moment, you can start down a new, more intentional path.
Which consequences of drifting through life are you experiencing? And what can you do today to course-correct for tomorrow?