The Next Right Thing

This week, I ran across this remarkable column by Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He writes about the personal struggles of the Atlanta Falcons’ new offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian, who is an admitted alcoholic, has seen his life come full circle since being terminated from his position as the head football coach at a major private university a few years ago.

What caught my attention wasn’t about football, it was a line about how Sarkisian turned his life around:

“Lesson learned: Keep doing the next right thing and good things happen.” 

I’ve been a writer long enough to know that it’s a rare moment when one line of a piece communicates something so profound so clearly. I wanted to share that moment with the CSU community.

No one can know how Sarkisian’s life will unfold. However, I have hope for the man and for anyone who adopts “doing the next right thing” as a guide for how to negotiate the next days of their life.

It made me think about the struggle students face every single day. Making good, honest decisions can be a struggle when stress mounts, when financial aid is scarce, and when poor habits mount.

The genius of “doing the next right thing” is that it provides a relief when the guilt of past bad decisions can feel insurmountable. Yes, you might have made a terrible decision yesterday. Own that.

But today, make the next right decision. And the next. And the next.

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