You’ve been thinking about it for some time. You’ve done your research, and you’ve prepared yourself to the best of your ability. It’s now time to make your purchase, to buy that vehicle you’ve always wanted. You head to the dealership with a price in mind, and you vowed before entering the lot, that you would not allow the salesperson to sway you to go over your budget. You walk around the lot, looking at the makes and models that fall within your price range, fortifying your resolve to stick to your guns.
Then it happens. The salesperson approaches you with the widest and friendliest smile you’ve ever seen. Captured by such a friendly presence, you exchange greetings. In order not to be swayed, you immediately let him know what you are looking for. He smiles and takes you to vehicles that you’ve described. However, during his presentation, he mentions a vehicle that’s out of your range, but tells you he only mentioned it to inform you of how far technology has advanced. Instead of stopping the conversation, you listen intently, telling yourself that you’ll hear him out. You’re in no hurry to go home, so you agree to take a look at the updated model. As you peep through the window, he sees a smile appear on your face. He scratches his head as if he’s thinking, then he tells you he wants to do you a favor. He whispers he wouldn’t do it for just anyone, only for “special” people. He agrees to talk to his supervisor and try to persuade him to work out a special deal for you. He pats you on the shoulder and heads to his office, leaving you alone to think about his proposition. When he returns, his current smile is broader than his initial one. Before you know what happened, you’ve signed a contract for a seven-year instead of a five-year car loan. Yes, the monthly payments are within reach, but you’ve overridden your boundaries and spent more than you intended.
How many times in life have you found yourself in a similar situation? You’ve set firm boundaries for yourself, but a pretty face, deep voice, one drink, tasty dish, offer of money, proposed opportunity or some other thing made you reconsider. Instead of rejecting the initial suggestions to move off track, you briefly entertained them. Instead of moving away from the temptation, you lingered, vowing that you could handle the pressure. The more you exposed yourself to the hype, the weaker your resolve became. Before long, you’ve expanded your boundary lines and allowed things you previously refused to enter to walk in freely.
That’s how temptation works. It doesn’t try to get you off course all at once. It wants to move you away from your convictions an inch at a time. Once you’ve moved an inch, it sits back and waits. It knows in time, that inch will become a mile, and that mile will lead you away from your destiny.
I admonish you not to be like those easily swayed, guard your boundaries with diligence. Once you open yourself up to temptation and its trappings, you are in for a ride of your life (a ride you may live to regret).