Letting Go of Outcomes

There’s a part of the Big Book that tells me we are all like directors, trying to control everything through all the situations in our lives.  I certainly know how most of the people in my life should act and behave to produce the best results for all of human kind.

Thinking that I am responsible for the effort, not the results, tells me to act more.  It’s not irresponsible, like saying that if I do the wrong thing, I’m not responsible for the badness that results.  If I do the wrong thing, I am responsible for the bad outcome.  But when I do the right thing, when I do my best, it doesn’t mean things will work out the way I think they should, it doesn’t mean things will be OK.

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001


That says it way better than I ever could. I guess I’m struggling right now with how much effort to put into things, especially at work.  I’m not giving it my best, but after all these years and all that’s happened, I suspect my best may not be actually helping anyone at all.  I think I need a new kind of effort, a smarter kind.

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