Giving Up or Giving In?

29 10 2015

Sometimes it's good to give in. This isn't one of them.

Sometimes it’s good to give in. This isn’t one of them.

I haven’t been feeling so great about my work ethic the past week or so. I know that it’s because after months of working with some great colleagues to “save” the program we are working on, the end seems near. I think we all feel it.

The truth is, though I am getting done what I need to, I am focused on all the tactical stuff now – the “things” that have to get done and much less (if at all) on the strategy – the ways in which we try to get others on board, think “big picture”, and make it work.

I like to work. I have had some pretty awful “assignments” but as long as I get to work with some good people and we’re in it together, I’m pretty good. That’s where a strong sense of humility and an even stronger sense of humor is critical. I’ll put in all kinds of hours even if the challenge seems overwhelming and dire, even if I know, in my heart of hearts, that it won’t help me get ahead. However, as soon as there’s a failure to collaborate or listen – to me or anyone – that’s when it gets difficult. I don’t know how any relationship – professional or personal – sustains without some bilateral listening skills.

That being said, I have been thinking that I  am just “giving up”. You know how it goes – there’s no sense  in killing myself for something that no one wants, etc. etc – you get the picture. In an effort to try and figure out what is really going on, I did some deep thinking about my situation the past couple of days. It’s pretty simple. I’m frustrated. I’m disheartened. I’m disappointed. And, I don’t want to feel that anymore.

I am still doing my work. I am still working with the team. I haven’t given up. But, I have given in.

For me, giving in is a much better option than giving up. Giving up seems catastrophic and invasively personal whereas giving in feels more like a compromise – like I’m still in the game or something but with reconfigured expectations.

I think I could give in to a lot more things. This is the same thing as realizing that most of life is not really in our control. It doesn’t mean that we can’t impact the direction or outcome but it does mean that we have to offer up a certain level of acceptance that there may be a better option between fight and flight. 

Now, on the flip side, all I have to do is give up some of the things that I am all too quick to give in to – midnight Vienna Mocha Chip ice cream comes to mind.

How about you? Anything you can give in to, instead of giving up, and maybe ease the burn a little?

Until next time, Marc

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