If you want to listen to something simple, soothing, and always relatable, check out Emily P. Freeman’s podcast The Next Right Thing.
Every episode offers a short reflection, a prayer, and a simple next right step. Emily’s mission is to “make room for your soul to breathe so you can discern your next right thing in Love.”
It’s a podcast not only for those with decision fatigue but also for those who crave a little “white space” in their lives. As the mom of an endlessly naughty energetic pug puppy, I can definitely relate to that desire!
Emily has one of the most pleasant voices I’ve ever heard and one reviewer compared her podcast to the “audio equivalent” of having someone rub your back. An extra bonus: all of her episodes are short (about 15 minutes).
Here are five simple lessons I’ve learned from this podcast!
Make Space For Your Soul to Breathe
Did you know that the average adult makes 35,000 decisions each day? It’s no surprise that we feel overwhelmed much of the time.
Many of these 35,000 decisions are simple, automatic ones, but there are also the bigger choices that tend to weigh us down.
Emily suggests making space for our souls to breathe. What does that look like exactly?
While she’s hesitant to give a specific formula (because it will look different for everyone), Emily sets time aside to engage in a daily rhythm called PRWRP (prayer, read, write, read, prayer).
Do The Next Right Thing
When we’re experiencing decision fatigue, it may become difficult to make even simple decisions. What do we do when we’re crippled with indecision? We simply do the next right thing, whatever that may be.
I’ve always liked this quote: “You don’t have to see the entire staircase to take the first step.” We want all of the answers before we make a decision…we want to know what the outcome of each possible option will be. But that’s impossible.
So we take the next right step. Later, we might decide it was wrong. Then we change course. That’s okay! We won’t know for sure until we try.
Our Souls Have Clutter Too
We often declutter our homes, but when do we declutter our souls? Think about all of the input your soul receives on a daily basis…35,000 decisions, endless screens flashing reminders at you, kids screaming (or dogs barking), never-ending demands for your attention.
Input is everywhere, but where is the output?
Obviously, we can’t de-clutter our souls in the same way that we clean up our homes. You can’t pluck an unwanted thought out of your brain and throw it in the trash or drop off an unpleasant emotion at Goodwill.
There’s no output, but you can decrease your inputs for a while. Try unplugging, spending time in nature, exercising (outside), resting, praying, meditating, or going to a yoga class.
Focus on Your Section of the Pool
In one episode, Emily describes the hardworking lifeguards at a busy waterpark. Each lifeguard was laser focused on his or her area of the pool only.
Emily was impressed by how effective these lifeguards were, and their effectiveness was rooted in their focus.
They wouldn’t have been able to do such an amazing job if they were focused on the entire pool…because that would’ve been too much for one person.
This is an excellent metaphor for life. If you’re trying to do too much, you’ll never be able to do a good job. Conversely, a laser like focus on “your area of the pool” will allow you to be so much more effective at whatever you’re doing.
You are only human. You are not God, and you can’t do everything.
Don’t Give Your Critic Words
We all have critics to contend with from time to time. If you’re a blogger or you post often on social media, you’ll likely deal with criticism even more frequently.
Emily talks about a woman she met who mentioned a rude person and then said “we aren’t going to give her words”.
When we get upset with a critic, we are giving them our time, energy, and the ability to dictate how we feel. Why would we want to do that?
Next time, let’s decide to not even give them words.
Allow Yourself to be a Beginner
Emily emphasizes the importance of allowing yourself to be a beginner at things. I am so bad at this because I hate failure. But failing is how we learn!
In April, my husband and I bought our first home and we purchased our first plants…which died about a month later, much to our disappointment.
I don’t know why we expected to be good (or even decent) at something we had never done before. We replaced them with a new set of plants and they’ve survived much longer!
Failing is okay because that’s how we learn. When our first plants died, we learned everything we shouldn’t do and we used that knowledge to keep the new plants alive. Allow yourself to be a beginner. You’ll learn.
Your Next Right Thing
Struggling with decision fatigue?
Maybe your next right thing is to listen to this podcast. Emily also has a website and several books. Check those out here.