Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The No Card

When I was studying at the seminary to glean my calling to be a deacon we were advised to "prune, prune, prune."  In other words, drop out of everything and concentrate on this one thing.  Naturally that didn't apply to family and work, but to all things church.  That was hard for most of us - dropping out of the choir, out of committees, out of a whole lot of busy work to concentrate on the important stuff.  (More about the freedom of discipline and liberation of obedience another time)

After ordination we were encouraged to play our "NO card".  Lots of people are going to ask us for lots of things, and being charitable souls our inclination is to say yes.  With a NO card you don't have to give it a second thought or toss and turn over "whether to or should I?"  You just play the card and go back to the core mission.

What was true of my spiritual vocation has also been true in my professional vocation and maybe in yours.  We get asked to take on increasing roles of responsibility in our associations if we've shown the slightest hint of enthusiasm and success in our committee roles - and that's OK.  But how do we know when enough is too much?  When is it time to say no?

I am a member of an organization that has seen at least 3 volunteer presidents in the last five finish out their year with shattered marriages.  It may not have been the tremendous work load on top of a tremendous work load that caused the marriage to fail, who knows what underlying issues were already in play? - but it certainly didn't help.

This is not to say that many, many people haven't been very successful in extending their passion at work to their entire industry through their professional association - I've met them and seen it done.  I admire them.  Their industry is better for it.  The reason they do it so well is that they also have a NO card which they play in other places at strategic times.

Not sure how to say no?  Here's a helpful blog from Adrian Granzella Larson with some tips...  http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2014/09/15/just-say-no-7-canned-responses-to-use-at-work/

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