Exceeding Our Limits (Palmer, Let Your Life Speak 4)

Here, Parker Palmer offers poignant insight into the challenge of exceeding our limits when we have noble goals in our work.

If I try to be or do something noble that has nothing to do with who I am, I may look good to others and to myself for a while. But the fact that I am exceeding my limits will eventually have consequences. I will distort myself, the other, and our relationship – and may end up doing more damage than if I had never set out to do this particular ‘good’. (Let Your Life Speak, p. 47)

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2 thoughts on “Exceeding Our Limits (Palmer, Let Your Life Speak 4)

  1. I wonder how corporate america would view this philosophy since exceeding one’s limits is both required and expected. Thank you for your continual posts. It gives me a lot to think about.

    • That’s a great question and challenge, Lori. I think that there is a catch-22 in this. People recognize that there is a sacrifice in the “race to get to the top.” We sacrifice our families, our time, and, in the end, our own selves. It is this backwards self-sacrifice that leads us into a state of burnout that, in turn, leads us to make foolish decisions with terrible consequences.

      Corporate leadership has story after story of leaders who make very poor decisions when they have gone too far in their pursuit of success. Unfortunately, these poor decisions often have negative consequences for the organization and others, as well. Just think about Enron.

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