How to Deal with Choice “D.”

By Patrick McNerthney 

One thing I’ve been trying to teach my less-old-yet-not-young coworkers of late is one of The Major Laws of Nature: responsibility has a tendency to find, locate, and attack those who want, seek, or desire it the least. I should know. I tried to run from responsibility when I was a barista (but “they” made me a manager), firefighter trainee (didn’t work, I was nominated team captain), and PR person (damn my good looks and winning personality, I kept getting bigger accounts).

And this holds true across entire industries. Meaning, it doesn’t matter if you’re a server at a restaurant, a parking lot attendant, or an investment banker: if you have any desire whatsoever to do anything but the bare minimum of your job requirements, responsibility sniffs you out and hunts you down to ensure you don’t sleep a wink at night unless you’re giving your project, job, vocation—or whatever it is you do to pay the bills—200% of your inherent problem-solving genius.

(When that thing clicks on, nothing can stop you.)

That’s right, responsibility is a curse.

So, what does this look like in real-life? I’m so glad you asked!

  1. Your organization has a mutually agreed upon problem to solve. 
  2. But, you don’t have all the information you need to solve the problem. In fact, it’s kind of scary what everyone involved doesn’t know. (HINT: this happens all the time, everywhere; still, always scary.) 
  3. So, you have a choice:
    • A) Sit around and wait for the information to arrive. 
    • B) Complain about the lack of information and suggest you wait for it to arrive at the nearest bar or watering hole. 
    • C) Hide your fear by looking “busy” (for a really really long time)
    • D) Obtain the required information (no matter how difficult), process it, then gather only the people who need to be involved in the solution, make a plan, and execute said plan, based on everything you’ve just learned.

(I love just sitting around waiting for information to arrive, but a watering hole would be sublime…)

It’s at item #3—the four-way crossroads—that One of The Major Laws of Nature swoops in for those seeking to accomplish anything than the bare minimum or otherwise meet “basic requirements.” Meaning, if you have an inherent desire to truly serve your patrons, customers, investors (or whoever it is you’re trying to help), responsibility will hone in on your soul and force you to select choice “D.” 

What a drag. Choice “D.” is confusing, scary, a lot of work, and most importantly, puts us on the hook

Lame. It’s way easier to just watch TV. 

But hey, there’s good news for those of you who care for the elderly, children with challenges, or anyone needing assistance with life’s daily tasks: Fine Art Miracles (FAM) has choice “D.” all figured out.  All you have to do is execute. Because it turns out that creative expression—that act of simply making—reconnects your residents and loved ones with their confidence, self-worth, purpose, mastery, and belief that they MATTER. 

That means you can use Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance & Movement Therapy, Multi-Sensory Sessions, Art 2 Go Packages (and so much more) to accomplish your organization’s mutually agreed upon goal: reduce the anxiety and depression those who need your help experience because of social isolation. 

Not a bad gig at all. Plus you’ll sleep better at night. So what are you waiting for, give FAM a call or drop them a note, they’re happy to help! 

Well, I have a bunch of meetings today and how much do you want to bet I end up giving this spiel to my colleagues? Some of them won’t want to hear it, which is just fine and they can ignore me like they always do (trust me,I’m used to it). But I think there are a few who wish responsibility would quit showing up—so if I can get them on my team, at least we can complain about it together. Now there’s a team!


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