Our world is full of temptations. Last week we described what can be called the greatest temptation we will face, the temptation to compare ourselves to others. In our own silent world of comparing ourselves to others, we lose our own identity. Over time, we struggle to find direction and we often miss our true purpose and passion to reach our full potential.
As we continue on our journey to be our best for those we care about most, we want to share Part 2 of this message around comparing ourselves to others. The other area of comparison that can be the foundation for unproductive stress and conflict in the home, at work and in the community is in our concern about everyone doing their “fair share” of the effort.
When we make the choice to serve a cause bigger than ourselves, we should be prepared to do more than our fair share to make a positive impact. Whatever statistical analogy we wish to reference…whether it is the Bell-shaped Curve on effort and performance or the Pareto Principle calling out the 20% that drives 80% of the result etc., the truth we all need to accept is that if we want to make an impact in the important areas of our lives, we need to be prepared to do more than a “fair share.”
As we get our minds off of ourselves and fix our energy on serving a cause bigger than ourselves, whether that is on the home front, at work, or in the community, we should be prepared to do more than our fair share and minimize the harmful temptation to compare our efforts to others perhaps not pulling their weight…it is not about us or them, it is about the cause we are serving.
When we spend energy on comparing everyone’s “fair share” of effort, we have a tendency to go to the negative and think someone is just selfish, vindictive, foolish etc. if they are not putting in the effort, time, or commitment. The fact is they might be those things, but most often they are likely just under-resourced, feeling inadequate about their ability to contribute, or just a bit anxious and overwhelmed about where or how to jump in and help. However, when we get stuck in comparing a “fair share” of the effort, we typically get a negative story going in our minds and waste energy in an unproductive manner.
The pursuit to be our best for those we care about most at home, work, and in the community is not easy or fast, but it matters. When we expend our limited amount of energy on the harmful temptation of comparing our fair share of the effort, we hinder our ability to fully support the cause we serve. As we continue to exercise the discipline to focus on the cause we serve and not everyone’s fair share of the effort, we build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity for us to reach our full potential and have the positive impact we desire.
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