The beers were good. The conversation, better. The focus shifted to resiliency. How do you overcome adversity? How do you keep on keeping on when giving up would be so much easier? The other part of that conversation is just as valid. When is it time to cut your losses? At what point do you get to leave?
We have all faced these choices. Some of us are trying to sort out personal relationships. Some of us are at the proverbial fork in the road at work or in our professional lives. We might encounter this challenge at church or synagogue.
The truth is that we are constantly challenged to evaluate who or what deserves our time and resources. Sometimes the right answer is to persevere. And sometimes the right answer is to say, “Good-bye”.
My friends were busy defining resiliency as I was grappling with my own personal struggle.
Not home. Not work. My little issue is related to one of my hobbies. I am struggling to find my place in an organization that grudgingly admits that it needs me, but wishes it didn’t. And I have to decide whether it is still worth my time and effort.
I know my buttons. I know what gets to me. I hate to be taken for granted. It really bothers me when people attempt to take advantage of me. And I despise unnecessary conflict. Some people enjoy fighting. Some people argue for the sake of arguing. Not me. I’m not afraid of conflict. I won’t walk away from a fight. But I don’t have any need to fight, and I would just as soon not.
My dilemma is that one of the many organizations I frequent is all of the above. At some point I have to decide whether the petty politics and backbiting are worth my time. The organization’s mission is still one of my missions. The goals are still my goals. And of course, the people involved will eventually move on to poison different wells. But is it worth the wait? I don’t know.
I am currently involved with over a half a dozen organizations. I serve in leadership positions on five. I won’t be stuck at home watching TV if I dump this group. It is about resilience. I have to decide whether walking away is simply the easy way or whether I deserve to be in a more positive, less self-serving environment. And that decision is mine.
Now I have to tell you, dear reader, that there are those, the professionally offended, who will immediately believe that this is about them. These people exist in every organization. And it would be fun to get them all into a room so that they could shout out their grievances, simultaneously since they wouldn’t be listening to each other, until they were left without a voice. But it isn’t about them. We measure resiliency by how well we face adversity, not how aggressively the adversity pursues us.
So the answer is not today. I’m not ready to leave.