- Thoughts for inspired living

Working On Something That’s Not Working - Grasshopper

How often have you been asked, “How’s that project going?” And you respond with something like, “I’m working on it.”

What does “working on it” mean? That answer almost always sounds “fluffy” to me. “What specific steps have you taken towards that ‘it’”? That’s what I want to know.

“We’re working on our marriage” is an obvious admission that something’s not working. The real question is: “do you want it to work?” If the answer is “yes,” there are specific steps you must be willing to take or you’ll soon be stepping off in another direction. If your answer is a hidden “no,” you’re working on something that’s not working. Meaning, you’re just giving lip service to the necessary work, knowing it’s never going to work. It’s a dodge you use to get people off your back, until you admit that you’re planning to pack.

My dad was a builder. He worked on large construction projects. One summer, he hired me as a laborer and I got to see, first hand, the work that’s necessary for a successful outcome. There are specific steps necessary at specific times to make something come out on budget and on time. When he asked his bricklayers, “How’s the wall on the southern end coming along?” They could never get away with an answer like, “We’re working on it.” That never worked.

Are you working on something that’s not working? Chances are, you aren’t working at it, or if it’s a collaborative effort, the other party isn’t. Either way, it’s not going to work, unless and until, you’re willing to put in the work.

When something’s not working, it’s a choice point for honesty. Most people evade that route and prolong their agony by continuing to work on something that’s not working.

The quickest way I know to a solution is to give your “no” up front. It may not be the answer everyone wants, but it’s the one they deserve, so muster the nerve. It’ll keep them and you from the fruitless mission of working on something that’s not working.

All the best,


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