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Monday, February 9, 2015

Intolerant of Underperformance.... One of my Greatest Weaknesses.... and Strengths!

Anybody that really knows me (which is only about 4 or 5 people) knows that I'm pretty much a loner.

I live alone..... I work alone.... I spend about 98% of my waking hours in the presence of....


And Me alone.

Please.... No Pity Party.... I actually like it better that way.

But Sometimes I wonder why I'm alone most of the time....

And then I think again and I know why that is....

I really am too intolerant of....

Everything in my Life.

I'm pretty hard on myself most of the time..... consistently expecting unrealistic results and outcomes in nearly everything I do.

I want my food to taste just right (that which I cook and that which I buy in a restaurant).... to be the best ever.... to satisfy every area and depth of my palette.

I expect my Internet to be on-line, lightning fast and reliable all day all night every day and night.

I want my transportation to be reliable, comfortable, versatile and to meet all my transportation and carrying needs all the time.

I want to be at the top of the list with the most weight lifted, the fastest time or the most reps in every CrossFit workout, despite the fact that I am usually the oldest person there by 10 - 20 years and I am up against Young Studs and Studettes that have real athletic prowess that have been doing CrossFit far longer than I and have immensely better lifting and exercise performance technique.

My intolerance for underperformance often carries over into my personal relationships....

Which is probably one of the reasons I am alone all the time....

But as with all inherent character and lifestyle flaws.... Recognition is the first step to Recovery.

And then Analysis..... and then Planning.....blah blah blah..... I know...

Anyway, let's get on with this little discussion.

How do you react when Something or Someone in your Life disappoints you?

Do you get angry and lash out and act or speak rashly?

Or do you step back and look at this seemingly pivotal point in the context of its overall effect on the environment of life and its repetition through history?

As with most things a little thought and planning usually takes precedence over fast action and words.

Let's separate our responses / reactions to disappointment into 2 categories just to make it easier:
  • Response to Underperformance in Things.
  • Response to Underperformance in People (including ourself).
And to make this analysis a little more customized to the individual, let's structure this so it requires your own responses / answers to the following questions.... a Socratic method of sorts.

In the case of an Underperformance in Things:
  • What is the real impact of the underperformance?  Is it financial, emotional, physical? Which type of impact effects you the most / carries the most weight for you?
  • Can you quantify the underperformance in frequency, cost, time, duration?  Is it a one time event or has it happened repeatedly indicating an inherent systemic problem or issue?
  • What are the options for change / replacement / upgrade / elimination?
  • Will the options for change / replacement satisfy your future needs?
  • Do these options impede, restrict, obstruct or preclude progress / sustainment in other areas?
  • Is it in your budget to make a change on this underperforming element?
  • Have you researched the replacement element to get the best features, cost, application to meet your needs?
  • What are the consequences of doing nothing?  Are these consequences acceptable?
The case for Underperformance in People has similar characteristics to that of Underperformance in Things but let's try to make it a little more personal and use some of our soft skills (assuming we have some) to evaluate the situation(s) - and remember the "person" referred to could be YOU!:
  • How important is this person to you and what impact does their underperformance have on you or them?
  • How much influence do you have over this person?  Will any efforts you make to positively affect / address their underperformance have any impact on their future behavior / performance?
  • Does this person see or recognize their underperformance or does it already meet their standards?  Are you imposing your life standards and expectations onto them? What is the impetus for change?
  • Is the person capable of improving / changing their habits / performance?  Can they close the gap or are they already max'd out / at the top of their potential in the underperformance element?
  • Can you see a path for improvement for the individual?  What is the first step?  How can you lead the horse to water?
  • Have you considered the person's nature / personality in your approach to dealing with their underperformance?  Do they need to be coddled or challenged?  Do they need to be questioned or is a hardline approach more suitable?
  • How will you handle their success / recognize their improvement if / when it occurs?
As in all things, less is probably more, so I'll stop right there and leave this subject with a thought.... 

Or maybe even another question.

Is it really that bad to be Intolerant of Underperformance from the Things in Your Life and Yourself and Others?

Think about it.....

Your answer may surprise you....

And make you a better and happier person.