“None of the above”

Three principles for facing life’s multiple choice tests.

I was never a big fan of tests in high school or college.  HOWEVER, when I had to take a test, my preference was the multiple choice test.  It was so much easier to write all the answers on the palm of my hand.  BACK OFF!  I didn’t cheat…  The reason I liked multiple choice was because

they usually gave four optional answers, A B C and D.  That meant that I had a 25% chance of getting the answer right.

After graduation the testing doesn’t stop.  Life presents multiple choice options every day. Physically, mentally, socially and spiritually we face challenges that demand a response.  You CAN’T CHEAT on these tests.  There is no place on your body you can prerecord the answers.

The problem is we often don’t even take the time to clearly identify the choices in life’s tests.  So there is the first principle…

1.  Clearly identify your options and label them A B C D

You can also increase the odds of making good choices, the kind of choices that lead to success and positively influence the lives of others by avoiding options that compromise integrity and divert you from your primary mission.

2. Choose options that are consistent with your core values and purpose

The final principle is this….

3  Don’t choose option D

Option D in many multiple choice tests is “none of the above.” It is the choice of inaction and indecision.  Option D people are the poor folks in political polls who have “no opinion.”  Hellooo!  I see dead people!!! Option D people consider all the exercise plans that might bring health to their lives but choose “none of the above” and end up staying in bed.  Option D people decide that since none of the choices are perfect or hold a guarantee of success they will do “none of the above” and allow years to slip by doing nothing.  They and end up

never writing that book,
talking to that girl,
meeting that neighbor,
or getting getting that degree.

Increase the number of choices. Do some research. Take a risk. Do something, but don’t choose D!

Trust me, this is a struggle I face often.  The default tendency is “none of the above.”  But I have chosen to live life rather than just survive life.  If I am unwilling to make choices,  take chances, and move forward, if I consistently choose D, then………..

when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle
when it comes to experiencing fulfillment
when it comes to having an impact on others
when it comes to nurturing friendships and building relationship
when it comes to making a difference for Christ
when it come to succeeding

I will experience…… “none of the above”

How do you identify your choices and take action in life’s tests ?  Am I alone in being tempted to choose D?  I would love to hear your comments.


  1. Occasionally Option D is “ALL of the above”. Just as toxic, I say. No clear focus = no real committment. But I’m usually the girl that throws in an Option E, which is usually something nobody has thought of but wishes they had. But since the response is not always predictable, I think I should just choose to bring my “A” game every time. (^_^)

    1. I think I should just choose to bring my “A” game every time. (^_^) Now THAT’S a plan!

  2. I have often been guilty of choosing “D”. Since I’ve met God, He’s brought life, although I still slip back into reservation. Ecclesiastes 9:10a & Colossians 3:23- And whatsoever you do, do it *heartily*, as to the Lord, and not unto men! (Live unreservedly to God!

    John 10:10- The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have *life*, and that they might have it more abundantly! (God gives life!)

  3. Ken, this topic really registered with me tonight. I haven’t been the person to choose “None of the above” as a general rule, but the last four years have been tough, at best. I withdrew from life out of hurt. I withdrew from relationships out of shame for the actions of someone associated with me. I withdrew from ministry out of poverty of spirit and of finances. I tried to power through in my own strength, and I was slapped to the ground, so I chose “none of the above” and crawled in my cave. It was a time to regroup and heal, but it turned into a protracted time of hiding deeper in my cave. Once you choose “none of the above” several times, it becomes habit, familiar, comfortable, and all about ME. Just tonight I felt the Lord prodding me and asking what I’m doing with one foot in the cave? I was convicted! Who am I to withhold from participating in life? I have been given everything, freely, at great cost. Who am I not to give from wherever I am, not to share from what I know is Truth, not to rejoice in how I am loved, and not to love those who are way back in some cave themselves? “None of the above” is really not an option. D needs to disappear from my choices. I rather like A. Live; B. Give; C. Rejoice! Then D can be ALL of the above!

  4. Thanks for the thought provoking words. I like meanderings that help raise awareness, get us thinking and taking inventory so we can beware of the trap of indecision. It seems to be a safe place but it’s the place we just waste the precious moments of our lives.
    See you in heaven or Yakima which ever comes first.
    Your brother in Christ
    Kevin Emil Ficek

  5. Yeah I have issues with that D. I try to avoid it, but it seems that whenever I gain an ounce of confidence in myself and my decisions, I fall flat on my face and I’m back to wanting to pick D. Sometimes I avoid it, sometimes I don’t, it’s a daily struggle. Personally it seems that the harder the choice the easier the answer (possibly because that type of situation demands action of some sort, so there is no D).
    I think there’s also a problem with option E, the option to put off deciding till later. School tests don’t have that option, but life tests do. I think it’s easier to tell yourself “I’ll decide later.” than it is to decide to do nothing. But choose E often enough and it can become a D really fast.

  6. I have spent the last year choosing Option D. I spent the year before that caring for my husband as he bravely fought Glioblastoma Multiforme IV – terminal brain cancer. I’ve faced walls of emotion as overwhelming as tsunami waves, that knocked the wind out of me and literally brought me to my knees in tears. I’ve faced each day, at times each moment, learning to breathe in and breathe out; searching for the will to survive another day without the man that completed my life. During the past two years I journaled, from the very first moment we found out that Larry had a tumor. In all of the journaling, I started writing a book of Larry’s impact on others. I started feeling glimmers of hope and the nudging of God to share his story. Now I’m stepping waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone to attend your Dynamic Communicator Workshop and Summit to see where God wants to take this, as well as looking in to training to be a Christian Grief Counselor. No More Option D

    1. Author

      I so look forward to meeting you at The Summit. Your courage and faith are inspiring. I loved the phrase in your questionnaire….. “I am stepping out to make my own shadow.” See you next week

  7. Heard you on Focus on the Family past days. Just read this entry. Have always liked humor. Use it in my business and when I speak. However, been living in option d. Need to write to write two more books. And develop comedy routine from Christs point of view. Would like to take your comedy class. Are you still offering it? I need to get busy I need to obey God. Can you help. I want to invest in me so I can invest in others.
    Blessings to you. Please see my website. I can be reached at 703-8190920.

  8. Pingback: Pick one!

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