Do The Next Right Thing.

Let’s pull from Buddhism and Alcoholics Anonymous for a minute.

Although A.A. isn’t for everyone, they have great quotes that get tossed around so regularly that they become a pretty solid part of a person’s belief system.

One of them is: “do the next right thing.”

They primarily use this phrase in reference to overwhelm and regret. When someone breaks free of the hold of drugs and alcohol, they’re often paralyzed by how many shady things they have done and how many people they have hurt or taken advantage of.

So if the regret piles up and you get paralyzed, just do the next right thing.

This phrase is also applicable in times of humongous stress and change. When your to-do list is bursting at the seams and there are so many fires to put out or problems to solve, do the next right thing. The word “right” moves from a moral place to an urgency-ranked place: do the next most urgent thing.

The golden center in both of these types of applications: do ONE thing. The wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, thing about time: time keeps everything from happening all at once.  Time gives us the luxury of doing one thing at a time.  So whether you’re piled up with regret or piled up with a million things to do, do the next thing. Do the next thing that needs to happen the most.

This is such a crucial concept to add into your belief system so that you NEVER get bogged down.

You just have to do one thing.  Then times moves.  And then you do one thing.

One of the beauties of Buddhism is its emphasis in living in the present.

Here are some quotes that capture the heart of this post:

What you are is what you have been.  What you’ll be is what you do now.


What’s the best time to plant a tree?

20 years ago.

What’s the second best time to plant a tree?

Right now.

Try to keep life simple. You only have to choose once.

About Kip Watkins, MSEd, NCC, LPC

Kip is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Saint Vincent College and his Master's Degree from Duquesne University. Passionate about existential and systemic modes of therapy, he completed the post-graduate program at the Gestalt Institute of Pittsburgh. He deeply enjoys his work with his clients and he also loves helping other clinicians have more meaning and joy in their work.

One thought on “Do The Next Right Thing.

  1. Anonymous says:

    This song sums up what I am working through lately: Listen to it completely. The choice I make is to do the next right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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