You Get What You Decide

I love this quote from Henry Cloud, the Boundaries guy:

You get what you tolerate.

It is so true. Whatever you are willing to put up with is what will happen. If you’re willing to work late, do all the cooking and cleaning, make all the vacation plans, etc. then guess what? Other people will let you! I don’t think we mean for it to happen but if we have organizational and leadership strengths, then over time we end up in charge of a lot. It sneaks up on you and it is really challenging to reverse the situation. So let’s take a few minutes and ponder this important question:

What are you tolerating?

  • From others (e.g. spouse, kids, family, friends)
  • From your job
  • From social media
  • From other media sources (e.g. movies, television, books)
  • From yourself – Oh yes, I said it out loud!

Let’s dig into each category and talk through it. I’ll share my perspective and experiences and you can see if you relate.

Others – With my family, sometimes I don’t speak up to do what I want and need to do for myself if it doesn’t fit into the plans. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone or be any trouble. For example, I have put off volunteering because I would have to drive separately to church sometimes. I actually allowed this to be my excuse for putting off volunteering to serve. How silly is that?

Job – I often work too many hours and then spend countless hours on top of that thinking about work. I love what I do and it is easy to work too much but I know in the long run this may cause burnout and steal my passion for what I do. The reality is there will always be more work to do and I will never be finished. It is up to me to draw the start and finish lines each day. Wherever I draw it is where it will be and the work will be there waiting for me when I return. I can set the limits such that I have good balance between work and rest, but it is my responsibility. The world will not stop turning if I move the start and finish times 15-30 minutes. Simple but definitely not easy.

Social media – If I choose to let it in, I get what I get. Enough said.

Other media (e. g. movies, tv, books) – I choose what I consume and I need to be intentional about that. What goes in influences my heart and eventually comes out.

Myself – My own bad habits with sleeping, eating and exercise affect my quality of life. Self-talk shapes my expectations and outcomes, negative or positive. Unproductive conversations with others are just a waste of time and energy. Too many goals and lack of focus and/or accountability will not lead to success or fulfillment. It is up to me to be more intentional about my habits, self-talk, who I spend time with and what I spend my time on.

How about you? What are you tolerating that you should not be?

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