“What’s the right thing to do now?” is a question we should be asking ourselves much more often then we actually do. I fear that most of the time it’s just easier to ask the egoistic variation of this question: “What’s the right thing to do for me that would benefit me and only me in a short term?” And that’s too bad, because bad decisions compound and one bad call makes way for another… and who to teach you that if not Anna from the movie Frozen II where she sings: “The Next Right Thing”.
Anna is right - our duty to ourselves and our community is always “to do the next right thing”!
Please indulge for a moment. Yes, I have three daughters so obviously I’ve seen both “Frozen” movies all too many times now, but I can see lots of wisdom hidden in the songs there.
Just let’s study the lyrics of this particular song. They are really powerful.
We find ourselves in a difficult situation
Just like Anna, we find ourselves very often in a dark place without any apparent way out:
I’ve seen dark before, but not like this
This is cold, this is empty, this is numb
The life I knew is over; the lights are out
Hello darkness: I’m ready to succumb
We must go on, but how?
We feel deep inside we cannot give up just yet:
You are lost, hope is gone
But you must go on
And do the next right thing
The key is to take a small step in the right direction
Just a small step, just the next right thing:
Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing
Don’t worry when the future seems too overwhelming…
It’s very often too hard to wrap our head around all that the future will bring. Especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic that we don’t know when it’ll fade:
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
It reminds me of the famous David Allen quote from the book that inspired me to build Nozbe, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, where he kept asking the same question over and over: “What’s the next physical action to move this project forward?”
We all need to step up now!
This year is very overwhelming:
- We’ve got the global pandemic
- Threat to democracy in many countries that seemed great before (especially two dearest to my heart: Poland and the USA)
- Finally equality taking a big step with #MeToo and #BlackLives matter movements
And we might feel our politicians are failing us. The social media is failing at connecting us (with Facebook promoting fake news). We watch the news and we just want to give up.
But we all can do the next right thing today:
- wear masks, wash our hands and be careful with not meeting too many people at a time to fight the virus
- vote and rally our friends and family to go and vote whenever we can, and support the minority candidates
- educating ourselves more about racism and inequality, especially a white male like myself needs to learn to fight my biases towards people of race and treat my female coworkers with respect they deserve
These are all small steps, but according to Anna that’s the best start:
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I’ll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing
Let’s do the next right thing
And let’s remind each other that we always have a choice. We can always choose to do a next small step in the right direction. And small good steps snowball into an avalanche of goodness. And that’s what our world needs right now.
P.P.S. I’ve taken the image clip from this video and below I’ve embedded the official lyrics video from Disney’s channel: