Colin Powell’s Rule # 5 – Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
It seems like a “grass-is-always-greener” type of statement. This rule also feels like a double-edged sword to me.
Wishing for more
My first thought is that generally speaking, most tech people are looking for a new piece of equipment that will solve all their problems. Sometimes a new piece of gear is exactly what is needed to advance the ministry of your church. Sometimes it only seems that way.
When Kensington met in a high school, I would often have set up and tear down volunteers say things like “I can’t wait until we have our own building, so we can leave all this stuff set up.” I remember thinking that I agreed with them to a certain degree since it would be nice to not have to wake up at 3:30 am on Sunday anymore. However, I also remember thinking that when we have our own building we would suddenly have a space that people and ministries will want to use 24/7, 7 days a week. At least right now, we only had one really long day.
From a ministry impact standpoint, Kensington was able to expand by having our own building. From a production workload standpoint, our workload just grew exponentially, and in some ways, the perceived need for volunteers diminished, making it more difficult to attract and retain volunteers to do all the work that had been added to our plate.
We got what we were asking for; I didn’t wake up at 3:30 on Sunday morning any more, and we didn’t but now I was working on some kind of production most every day of the week.
When asking for more, are you being honest with yourself about the true costs involved?
Not even trying
Because I have seen some of the downsides of getting what you ask for, I have noticed that I am hesitant to dream about what could be, because I start imagining the downsides. Suddenly, the negative outcomes become my first thought.
I don’t know what it is about my personality, but I am pretty wary of the color of grass in other places. As a real-life example, the grass in my yard looks pretty good from across the street. Once you start walking on it, the dead spots and the weeds are hard to miss.
I know that things aren’t always as they appear and I like the problems I already have, simply because I know what they are. Who knows what kind of problems exist elsewhere?
To be paralyzed with the question of what might happen isn’t a great place to live in either.
How can I balance out dreaming for the new with being more “realistic”?
This leads right into rule #6 for next time: Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.