The Next Right Thing | Emily P. Freeman

Summary of: The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions
By: Emily P. Freeman


Embark on a journey of self-discovery and soulful decision-making with Emily P. Freeman’s ‘The Next Right Thing’. This book offers a fresh perspective on making life decisions, by focusing on the present moment rather than obsessing over the outcomes. Discover the power of being a soul minimalist, finding clarity through understanding your desires, and building a support system of co-listeners rather than guru collectors. Learn to navigate criticism and accept that clarity cannot be rushed. This book summary will guide you through these vital themes and practices, providing a new outlook on decision-making and life choices.

The Power of Doing the Next Right Thing

Author Emily Freeman faced a difficult decision on whether to enroll in grad school as it could take away time from her family. Instead of worrying about the future outcome, she learned to focus on doing the next right thing. This practice, observed in the actions of Jesus Christ, has been preached by spiritual leaders and life-changing programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. By focusing on the present moment and taking small steps towards our goals, we can find clarity and fulfillment on our unique paths. Freeman ultimately decided to enroll in the grad program, which enabled her growth as an individual and strengthened her faith. By doing the next right thing, we can navigate our lives in a deliberate and purposeful way.

The Art of Becoming a Soul Minimalist

Constant distractions can impair our decision-making abilities, but becoming a soul minimalist can help. Following the advice of American blogger and author Joshua Becker, shedding external clutter and clearing the noises in our lives is key to making better decisions. This includes disabling notifications on our phones, embracing silence, and reflecting on our inner emotions. By naming the narrative we are experiencing, we gain perspective and realize that many of our decisions don’t have dire consequences. The art of becoming a soul minimalist is not just about decluttering our physical environments, but cultivating a life in which nothing holds us back.

Finding God’s Arrows

Making decisions can be daunting, but God is always with us, even when we feel uncertain. In times of uncertainty, we should look for arrows pointing us in the right direction instead of yearning for explicit answers. This lesson was learned by Freeman’s husband, John, who was considering leaving his job as a youth pastor but feared making a mistake. Through the guidance of the community around him and a spiritual course, John found the arrows pointing towards the people who would help him make the decision to leave his job. Had he rushed for answers, John might never have landed in his current position, caring for people in his community. The lesson here is that in order for God to meet us, we must be present in our circumstances and be honest about needing help.

Honesty in Desires

The Bible may offer many solutions to life’s questions, but how can it help individuals recognize their personal goals and desires? In Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton argues that by expressing our honest desires, we can gain clarity on our spiritual paths and increase our self-confidence. Furthermore, an understanding and acceptance of negative emotions brought on by unmet desires can lead to better relationships with others. To help identify these desires, readers can create a life energy list and identify what activities provide energy versus feelings of depletion. Lastly, it’s important to check in with the motivations behind our decisions and ask if we are being pushed by fear or led by love. By understanding our honest desires and being honest with ourselves, we can make confident decisions and lead fulfilling lives.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed