From Optimism To Disillusionment

The Stages of a Project:

  • Enthusiasm,
  • Disillusionment
  • Panic and hysteria
  • Hunt for the guilty
  • Punishment of the innocent
  • Reward for the uninvolved.

All of us who have done project work have seen a variation of this joke. Unfortunately, many of us have seen some variation of this in real life. We thought this was a modern thing.

In the sayings of the Desert Fathers, an Elder used to say:

In the beginning when we got together we used to talk about something that was good for our own souls, and we went up and up, and ascended even to heaven.
But now we get together and spend our time in criticizing everything and we drag one another down into the abyss.

How often do we do this? We join an organization. We start a new company, committee, church, project full of enthusiasm. Then someone starts criticizing. Something about criticizing causes it to spread like an invasive weed.

How often I have witnessed its destructive force on people and organizations.

How often I have caught myself crossing the line from analysis to criticism only to say to myself, “Fool, what have you just said?”

There exist at least two problems. One is leadership. Somewhere the leader lost focus or allowed the group to lose focus of the vision. The other that it is easier to criticize than create.

We run into an obstacle–that fearful thing that happens when we take our eye off our goal according to Henry Ford–and instead of saying this is a problem where we need to find a solution we throw our hands up in dismay and wail and cry and criticize.

Those whom you gather around you are important to your own well being. Gather those who talk about something good for your souls. Leave as quickly and decisively as possible those who spend time criticizing.

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