People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents. -Andrew Carnegie
Given that today is a holiday, I will make this short, to the point, and promise not to veer too far into the esoteric. One of the most misunderstood words in the English language is tolerance. The modern definition by the statists is merely code word for ‘socially acceptable.’ It is tolerant to believe that pumping a child full of hormones and reversing normal biological processes is a good thing, despite professional physicians stating that it is objectively child abuse. Tolerance is objecting to a man sitting with his legs spread while not uttering a peep about more than the 30 countries that practice religious-based female genital mutilation. Implicit within the true definition of tolerance is that it falls shy of acceptable. What I tolerate differs wildly from what I find acceptable. I tolerate the fact that I must comply with applicable tax and employment laws, but I find perhaps 10% of them acceptable. We have been inundated from preschool with the necessity to be unoffensive, non-confrontational and tolerant of far, far too much.
Tolerance is not without merit. Tolerance is a necessity given the human propensity for mistakes and failure on a semi-regular basis. However much like salt, too much of a good thing becomes a very bad thing, as does too little. Too little salt results in muscle cramps and increased risk of heart attack, just as too much leads to risk of stroke and heart disease. To little tolerance results in burn out, isolation and organizational atrophy, while too much tolerance results in indolence, over-inclusivity, and talent attrition. Both require a level of balance. I can assume I am not alone in my attempt to find that balance in prodding and pushing people to be a better version of who we are, and being too exacting. I was told voluntary organizations are inculcated with a level of BS that are just part of the deal without the UCMJ or other means of enforcement. Perhaps the individual was right, but the question still exists, at what level will tolerance fatally compromise the entire mission of the organization? The answer to that is necessarily a personal one, as each case is different.
I would ask all of you to consider that this weekend, and understand that tolerance is exactly why this blog exists and we are $20T+ in debt. We tolerated things that should have been intolerable. Now, the American public finally balked when asked to not only tolerate such abuses of government, foisted upon them by their own complacence and fellow citizens, but to find them acceptable. I encourage us not to fall into the same trap. Crystallize what exactly you are trying to achieve and the way to accomplish that. I give credit to DTG for creating a practical guide to preparing yourself for the potential backlash in three and a half years. If you want to be quicker, stronger, more accurate and more resilient by then…there is your mission statement. I don’t have to spell out the obvious ways you get there, but it is now your job to define what is intolerable, tolerable and acceptable. People and activities that compromise your ability to accomplish that task past a certain level must be intolerable. The alternative is failure. I’m not speaking in hyperbole, it is the uncomfortable truth. Show me a successful person in any field and I will show you a person who is focused, and at the very least eliminated things in his life that compromised his ability to accomplish whatever goal he set. Far more likely is a person who also eliminated much of what just amounted to distraction and is tolerated by most.
It is quite possible that I have ‘too little tolerance for BS’, as someone suggested to me. The most rational explanation is that history is really the history of the lucky, and the truly exceptional. Quite possibly it is because the exceptional are the ones writing the history because they triumphed over the mediocre, and thus the mediocre fade into the anonymity of the past. I’ve never been a lucky person, with the exception of my wife, so I really am left with only one option if I don’t want to guarantee my people, culture and homeland go the way of every other people who became too soft, too ignorant, and too licentious. We tolerate much in this movement and in our personal lives that lowers morale, compromises unity, distracts us from the goal we seek to achieve and simply wastes time. Most competent and goal-oriented people will avoid a that like the plague. I’ve seen it personally, the talent walks out the door when there is an environment of triviality and incompetence present. We all can all do better…or just accept the logical conclusion if we do not.
In closing, I am not advocating an ‘only ones’ policy. There is such a thing as too little tolerance within an organization or your personal life. However, it’s never a bad idea to honestly evaluate things. Too many people talk a lot about potential, while ignoring the results. Abstract theory has it’s place, but it is far behind practical experience. Are you achieving your goals? Is this movement? If not, why? Can you have even the tiniest influence in helping remedy the situation or contributing to a positive outcome? Are you an asset or liability and are you willing to do what is necessary to be the former? Be polite. Be professional. Find people who want what you do and achieve it, don’t just talk about it. Be the change you seek, and don’t be a passenger…or worse a human anchor.