2010 MVP The Path Principal

The Most Valuable Principal I learned in 2010 is The Principal of the Path. Andy Stanley teaches this principal and most of the following material is his.

The Principal of the Path says this: Direction determines your destination. Direction, NOT intention, determines your destination.  Whatever road you’re on, that road determines your destination. If you live in Virginia you can’t drive East on I-64 and get to California. It applies to your financial path, dating life, profession, health, marriage, and any other path you’re on.

Everyone knows that if you eat lots of fatty foods you’re going to get fat– whether that was your intention or not. Destination, NOT intention, determines destination. Your intention might be to become financially secure but you rack up a lot of consumer debt. Your path (behavior) has a predetermined outcome.

I want to earn the trust of my parents so I’m going to have reckless parties on the weekends. That’s not how it works. It’s a path. Every path has a very predictable destination.

I want my marriage to be really strong so I’m going to chat on Facebook after work every night and ignore my husband. No! You can’t have both.

You often notice this in your friend’s life, don’t you? Your friend has gained 40 pounds and you’ve watched him eat nothing but junk for the past nine months. As you’re listening to him complain, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “What did you expect? That’s the destination to the path you chose.”

Here’s the key: the destination is always the same! You’re always going to get fat. You’re always going to lose respect. You’re always going to get in debt. You’re always going to have a terrible marriage. The outcome is so predictable! This is why so many psychologists and therapists guess your problems before you tell them; because your path (behavior) is similar to their prior 50 bazillion clients before you! It’s so predictable.

What path are you on? What destination is ahead for you if you don’t change your path? Do you like what you see? It’s not too late. Ask yourself which predictable outcomes you like and which you don’t, and switch paths soon because your direction trumps your intention every time.

[Stanley uses Proverbs 6-7 to establish a foundation for the principal. I didn’t expand because this post is long enough]


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