A Labor Day Resolution

Show up where you said you’d be, when you said you’d be there, having done what you said you’d do. 

– John Carlton, legendary freelance copywriter


Being a people-pleaser, proficient procrastinator, and pathetic pushover, Mr Carlton’s professional code of conduct is a punch in my gut. He makes me look like a Cretan: always lying, a cruel beast, a lazy glutton (Titus 1:12).

It’s supposed to be the church ministering to a messed-up world of Cretans. But Mr Carlton the (for all I can tell) pagan rebukes Pastor Andy. Ouch.

Today is Labor Day. Today I make a resolution about my work.

I will commit to Carlton’s professional code.  To hope for any progress, I will have to dismantle the 3 aforementioned temperamental bits of vocational wickedness one at a time. I’ll start with the first one.


It has to stop.

What’s the number one reason that I don’t show up where I say I’d be, when I said I’d be there, having done what I said I’d do?

I over-promise. I promise people the moon when the moon’s not mine to give. I say “yes” to 80% of things. Of those things I say “yes” to, I very quickly regret saying yes to 80% of them. Out of those things I regret saying “yes” to, I fail to deliver on 80% of them.

Meanwhile, I am unable to spend the required time, energy, and attention on the 20% of things that I’m really supposed to be doing—the big, important, usually non-urgent things that are in my sweet spot and that would produce long-term awesomeness.

I can’t get more than 24 hours in a day. So if I am going to deliver on time 100% of the time, I must stop complaining and start saying NO to 80% of the things that come my way.

God has all the time in the world, and he says “no” or “not now” to tons of things asked in good faith by devoted followers. Why should I be ungodly?

So, there’s the remedy for my people-pleaserosity. Stay tuned as I examine my proficient procrastinatorship and my pathetic pushoverness in the next several days. 

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One thought on “A Labor Day Resolution

  1. Pingback: Be Vulnerable. And Prepare to Have it Thrown Back at You. | Gardens Don't Launch

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