The Nails We Lay On
A man went to visit a friend in the bayous of Louisiana. On the front porch the man’s trusty old hound was moaning lowly. Puzzled, he asked if the dog were in pain. His friend replied that the dog was laying on a nail.
Confused he asked, “Why doesn’t he get off it?” In a slow southern drawl he said, “Well, I guess it doesn’t hurt that bad.”
This is known as “toleration.” These are little things that we can do something about but lack the motivation because they just don’t hurt bad enough. The papers on our desk, the additional five pounds, the extra effort at work that seems to always be put off until tomorrow or to next week.
We are tolerating more than we think. We put up with and are dragged down by other people’s unmet needs and problems as well as our own behavior and incompletions.
What nails are we laying on? Write down what we are putting up with. Not what we can’t change or have no control over, but things like that five pounds that don’t bug us enough to go to the gym or the pile of papers that has been sitting on the corner of our desk the last three weeks.
These tolerations little by little sap our energy. They nibble away at who we are. Write down one each morning and have it be gone by evening. Do this for one week. If it makes a difference in your life, each week you will become a stronger you.