Together We Can End Slavery . . . Again!

2 Ways Hard Workers Waste Time and Wound Relationships (mirror please) 1 Way to Save You From Yourself

Are you a hard worker?  Do you score A-plus for results? How’s that working for you at home? The real test.

When it comes to the home-test do you expect happy endings? As though the  life-test will create the circumstances for you and your loved ones to end up in an adventure that will resolve your dysfunction–like  a Disney ending? It’s what’s supposed to happen, right?

Two Problems

1. Hard workers use time for tasking: Mission accomplished IS the happy ending. This does not translate well to personal relationships. Double tasking is killer—and I do it. A lot.

2. Hard workers lean into the bridle, and run an ambitious race. Try reining them in, they won’t like it, one bit.



Real Problems

I took my eleven year old to the orthodontist. Her teeth looked like a scattered box of Chiclets fallen on fresh cement.  Her x-ray profile brought back memories of He Haw. And I had a problem too. I lost my retainer as a teenager; I wanted to needed to recover my perfect smile. Then I  heard the words, “real problems”.

The Dr. held up our two x-rays. “Let’s focus on your daughter”, he said, “she has real problems”.

Then he said, “If you win the lottery, come and see me.”

I was gobsmacked . . . for days, no, years. I didn’t let on though; I didn’t want people to know how much it meant to me.  So you can see, the Dr. is wrong, my problems are real. And also, I don’t buy lottery tickets.

It’s not my style, I’m hard worker remember. You too? So you’re probably thinking, make it a goal, right? Earn an extra $5,000.00.

There it is! A $5,000.00 finish line. Just a glimpse of it and ’I’ve already begun to froth like a race horse.

But I am off course—heck I’m on the wrong track!— and I know it before the starting bell rings.

I’m supposed to be headed for a different finish line. Maybe you have heard of it, it’s called intimate relationships and meaningful work? Notice the “and” in the middle of those two things because therein lies the rub: complexity. Two goals. It’s easy to get distracted and blow the race.

Perusing intimate relationships and meaningful work tests resolve like a racetrack full of fans waving carrots.

Let’s not pretend this is easier than it is

If you have sacrificed salary, status or free time to serve the poor and promote justice you will be tested. Your financial/free-time decisions might be simpler because you have less but they will not be easier. Because you will always know that you can lean into your work ethic to get the things you really want.

Here’s where the words “work” and “ethic” get truly slippery. For me, running my own race means that I decide how much weight I carry. It’s not wrong you know.

It’s double tasking. It’s ignoring the reins pulling on my conscience.

It’s added complexity and for what? Ego. There. I admit it. It’s about my image. And after all, don’t I deserve some kickbacks if I am working for a cause? Don’t the CEOs of giant charities deserve their seven figure incomes? It’s not wrong.

It’s not right either.

But it can be different.

What different looks like: Different is the pause between temptation to do more and doing more. Different seeks meaning more than kickbacks.

Different will save you from yourself

Like a Disney script: Different and Disney challenge character. Both serve up difficulty, failure, testing, —it’s just what great stories are made of. So let’s accept it, and stop obsessing over tempting carrots.

Testing and temptation happen. Every carrot waved is a challenge to do more. Every tug on the reins is a choice to be made. Accept the challenge. Let it form your character, so you live out your best story. Do it for your loved ones, for the enslaved, the oppressed, and do for us. We need your story.

How do you handle the temptation to do too much?




About Marilyn Luinstra

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  • Kathleen Caron

    How do I handle the temptation to do more? The humility born of hard, painful failure when I tried to be all things to all people and ended up being no one for anyone. I am humbly aware of my severe limitations and I try to do as much as I can while staying healthy enough to fulfill my obligations. Double tasking (or multi-tasking) is a killer and everyone who says they are good at it is kidding themselves.

    • Marilyn Luinstra

      Thank you for sharing Kathleen. ” . . . humility born of the hard, and painful . . .” is pure wisdom.