Monday, March 25, 2013

A Paradigm of Paralysis Part 1

A man rowed a boat. He pointed the small, wooden vessel in the direction of his destination. Climbing into the timbered slip, he grasped his well-worn oars, plunged them into the water, and leaned his back into it.

The horizon in front of him drew further and further away. The chaotic noises of the land drifted quietly into the distance. Gulls and their cry quickly filled his ears. The dipping of the oars into the water, the sweat of his back slapping the wooden panels in the boat, and the cool breeze enlivened him.

Every now and again he would look left or right and briefly glance over his shoulder to see if he was making progress. For a bit, he would watch the fading shore to determine if he was making progress. Eventually, though, he realized that the glance over his shoulder and the shore that was now a grey line on the horizon would not be the standard of measure of his progress.

At that point, what should he use to determine his progress?

There are a lot of people who are stuck.

In my time working with missionaries, or working with training clients, I find that many people have great characteristic, strengths and intrinsic value(s). Yet they still do not get the results they want.

How do I know this? Because they are generally unhappy. If they are working, they are unhappy that they are not on the mission field or not in the business they want. If they are on the field, they are unhappy that they are so far from their family. If they are in the business they want, they are unhappy  with the client load they have.

Now, you and I both know that they really are getting the results they want. By the standard of measures they had before, they have made progress. They should be at peace with where they are, the need for the energy they are putting in at the moment, and they should measure success by their ability to carry on; knowing full well that they will arrive at their destination, that their old destination does not matter, and that the only healthy focus is to continue the work.

What it normally looks like for the people we know, however, is what it looks like for the second guy.


No comments: