Next to “No” the most powerful sentence in the English language is “I don’t care.” It makes you downright dangerous!
Caring about someone, loving them, makes you vulnerable. And that’s a good thing. There will only be a few people around your death bed, and those people deserve your best. It’s worth sleepless nights, depleting your bank account, “wasted” time, forgiveness, and spending all the energy you have to invest in the few close relationships that matter most. About the people closest to me I DO care!
But just about everything else is small stuff. And if you care too much about the small stuff your resulting vulnerability will open you to people, circumstances, and decisions that will deplete you, harm you, and potentially destroy you.
- If you care too much about what the critics say you’ll never say or do the things that will help those who can benefit most from your work.
- If you care too much about getting the contract you’ll give away too much and end up on the short end of the deal.
- If you care too much about what others think of you you’ll never accomplish what God put you on this earth to do.
- If you care too much about making money you’ll hurt and use people in the process.
- If you care too much about perfection you’ll miss the big picture of what your work is intended to accomplish.
- If you care too much about what it will cost you won’t invest the time, energy, or resources it will take to make something truly great.
At various times and in various ways I’ve cared too much about each of those things. And the more I realize the freedom that comes from NOT caring the happier I am. And the more successful.
Just recently I was confronted with a business negotiation where something I very much wanted was at stake. Giving in to the demands of the other party would mean accepting significant setbacks and delays in some larger ministry and business efforts that God is leading us into. The person handling this negotiation asked me, “Are you prepared to walk away from this contract?”
Without hesitation I answered, “Yes. Absolutely!” And I’ve never felt happier and more energized.
I don’t yet know how this particular negotiation will end. But I DO know that I don’t care about it very much one way or the other, at least not when compared with the bigger picture of what I know God is asking us to do. I also know that puts me in a much stronger position. I’ve made my choice, and now it’s up to them to decide how to respond.
Caring the most about the most important things, and letting the other things go, is a skill the best leaders and the most successful people in every area of life eventually learn. And the sooner the better.
Ultimately we all must care most about God and His kingdom. Everything else truly IS small stuff.
Revelation describes the power of not caring too much even about our earthly lives: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11)
Is there something you care too much about? What can you choose to care about more, so you don’t care too much about the small stuff?
Your Turn: What do you care too much about? Where can you employ the power of “I Don’t Care!” Leave a comment below.
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- Care most about the most important things, and let all the other small stuff go. Tweet that.
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