So I was reading this blog by a guy named Dan Pallota, and it got me thinking about people's crazy.
Let me begin with a confession:
If you ask me my golf handicap, I'll probably tell you it's a 12 or if I'm feeling like you wouldn't care either way I'll be a little more honest and say it's a 15. However, I’ve got to be honest with you, I have no idea what I actually shoot on the golf course. It’s not because I don’t count my penalty strokes or my mulligans, I actually do (a few weeks ago I took a 12 when my first three tee shots went into the woods, years ago I would have called that 3 mulligans and a birdie). No, it’s because I have probably never actually taken an honest second putt. What I mean is, if my ball is around six feet from the hole, I begin to do what I call ‘mental gymnastics.’ Here’s what I mean: Instead of standing over the ball, lining up my shot, and taking the putt, I usually walk up and create some sort of sabotage. I’ll swing the club with one hand, hit the ball from the wrong side, or just run up and shoot it really quickly. If the putt goes in, it counts (of course). However, if I miss (which usually happens), I say to myself, ‘well if I would have just taken my time then I would have made it.’ And then I walk off the green with mixed emotions, knowing deep down I bogeyed the hole but gladly enjoying the par on the scorecard. In the end I’d rather walk to the next tee box feeling like I could have made it rather than accepting the truth that I’m really not that good at golf.
Pallota’s blog is a critique of non-profits. His observation is that many people get into ‘world-saving’ work because they are hero-complexed co-dependents. I, out of my own experience, more or less, agree with him. Furthermore, Pallota went on to critique the way non-profits almost pride themselves on being under rescourced:
In my consulting work, I see people who wear the debilitating lack of resources in their organization like a badge of honor, despite the fact that the deficiency undermines their ability to impact the community problem they are working on. I see people moving from one nonprofit to another, from one cause to another, seemingly more addicted to "the struggle" than passionate about solving any particular social ill.
Now if you know anything about me, you would know, that no one waves the ‘everyone should suffer and struggle’ flag more enthusiastically than I do. But I do think there is a difference between the kind of struggle that involves addressing and working through the pain and suffering happening in the world/your soul, and struggling because of your own sabotage.
Do you perpetuate cycles of struggle because you need something to blame your failures on? Do you surround yourself with busyness, a lack of resources, organization or preparation because you are afraid to face the truth: What if you had all of your ducks in a row and you still failed? What if you had unlimited resources, time and energy and you still came up short? Could you accept that you aren’t that great? Could you still love yourself if you saw how talented you actually were rather than living in the delusion of whom you could potentially be?
My point is this: The world might be a better place if we stopped nurturing the crazy that keeps our egos alive. I’m not encouraging despair but rather encouraging all of us, not just those that work in non-profits, to work on cultivating healthy environments and a balanced self. Stop trying to save the world if you can’t properly care for the people around you or even yourself. Work to bring order to the chaos around you. Take the morning to organize your desk. Take five minutes and meditate or pray. Reassess your goals based on what you or your organization can actually afford both financially and emotionally.
|no one is impressed by how crazy your life is|
So line up, take your time on that putt, if you miss it, so what, at least you’ll find yourself outside of the turmoil and in a place of authenticity.