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Let’s Cut Back On Tolerance


There are moments in a person’s life when he or she says, “Why am I tolerating this?”

He knows he deserves better treatment at work; his skills are undervalued and underutilized. She sees her care and affection wasted in an emotionally absent relationship. An exhausting ‘friendship.’ An ungrateful client.

Why am I tolerating this?

Directly or without specific knowledge, people identity things in their life they shouldn’t tolerate

Don’t tolerate disrespect, or someone wasting your time, or someone who doesn’t want the best for you.

Don’t tolerate friends who take advantage of you, or family that preys on your emotions.

Don’t tolerate dishonesty and negativity.

Toleration is an expression of self-respect in relation to our experiences with others.

The impact of toleration, however, becomes massive when it is an expression of self-love in relation to our own actions.

Read that again.

People practice toleration, usually in the negative (intolerance), when self-worth is attacked by another, when respect is lacking, or when a person habitually treats us poorly. I won’t tolerate that, out of respect for myself.

This obsession with toleration, an expression of self-respect in relation to our experiences with others, blares so loud out of the speakers of culture that we have a hard time turning our pointing finger back and asking ourselves: “What do I tolerate from myself? Where am I losing the war on self-love? Should my intolerance be turned up, not against others, but for myself?

Others may mock your views, laugh at your goals, or shake their heads at your intentions. There might be someone in your life that doesn’t understand your path, your journey. People may treat you poorly for a moment or an eternity.

Don’t tolerate it!” culture cries out.

Do your actions mock and laugh at your goals? Does the social circle you entertain, enchanting in complacency, shake it’s head at your intentions? Do your decisions reflect an understanding of your path, your journey? While others treat you poorly, those you’ve identified while practicing tolerance, are you treating yourself to health and adventure, to massive challenge?

Without an affirmation of character in questions like these, and the actions that result from questions like these, a person can’t venture very far down the Wicked Trail, toward fulfillment.

Roots and rocks trip someone whose action mocked and laughed. Cold stream crossings and blistered feet impede the person whose environment shook it’s head. And as the trail winds up the mountain, the air becomes thin. A person that hasn’t practiced positive decision-making will surely find a full breath hard to come by.

Even if someone makes it up the mountain with these tolerances hanging on, the wind and rain and loose footing will keep that person, the one who hasn’t prepared with health and adventure and massive challenge, from fulfillment. He or she won’t reach the peak.

What are you tolerating?

Intolerance might save your life! Not your physical life (although probably that too), but your mental and emotional life; I’m talking about the life that puts you to sleep at night and the one that rips you out of bed in the morning.

Running an ultra marathon, training to be mentally tougher than 50 or 100 miles of mountain single track or desert rocks or unyielding road, isn’t about waking up early and fueling well and long training sessions.

These things, these supposed traits of the mentally tough, are the ripples of intentional intolerance.

You must believe that you deserve better for your life and that the highest peaks and deepest valleys demand exploration not from those who are greater than you, but from you.

Cut back on the tolerance; study your reflection, carry the mirror around with you all day and imagine your goal, your fulfillment, that highest peak. Now look in the mirror, study your reflection.

What are you tolerating?

Welcome to the Wicked Trail…

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Cut Back On Tolerance

  1. Very well put, I love reading these! It is as if I think these things you say day in day out, but you put the thoughts to words. Words that I can read to know that these thoughts are tangible, I am able to recognize that I do chose the path of resistance because I know I am the only one around that will, I know the others all choose comfort, an easy shortcut to satisfaction and a feel-good finish. The massive challenge tastes infinitely more sweet after chipping through frozen breaths, ice and snow. I enjoy so very much growing as I replay your work, the blogs, the posts, your thoughts as I take the hard, frozen path into work, while I smile and wave to colleagues passing by on the bus, knowing that each mile I put in makes me one mile stronger. Keep it up!!

    1. Love it! I’m glad posts like this find a place in your life. It sounds like you’ve shed tolerance and embraced the challenge that leads to fulfillment; not the fulfillment of soft words and easy living, but the fulfillment that comes with venturing down the Wicked Trail. Looking forward to having you on board!

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