Taking Traits To The Extreme

I saw a show the other day that about left me speechless – Extreme Couponing. Seriously? First, I am amazed that one can get $1,000 of groceries for $15, that is pretty impressive. Second, I admire the dedication these people have – to spend 30+ hours sifting through coupons, online ads, calling stores to verify coupon policies and maintaining file cabinets of coupons. That is serious commitment. Third, who in their right mind needs 400 tubes of toothpaste? Is it really necessary to convert your garage into a storage facility for all your surplus? Now, I will give credit to the one guy I saw on here because he used his skill to put together hundreds of care packages for the military – God bless you sir!

For the rest of you that have a surplus that would feed a small southern town – here’s an idea: DONATE. Do you know how many food pantries have shut down because they didn’t have enough to give the needy. DONATE and help your fellow man rather than be on the side of crazy and brag that your kid’s bathroom is no longer functioning because that is where you keep your 1,500 cans of soup. That is taking a trait to an extreme.

I’m not going to throw stones here, I have a trait that I take to an extreme. My mom and I had an interesting conversation about this last night. I told her that I realize I am a fixer, and that as it serves me well in my professional life and helps makes me damn good at what I do, it is not something I want to bring over to my personal life.

My mom said that I wasn’t a fixer, oh no that I come from a long line of problem solvers and that is what I am. With all respect to my mom I had to correct her. I told her it was okay, I can admit it, I am a fixer, which is a problem-solver on crack. Yes, I really did say this to my mother. You see a fixer doesn’t just try to solve problems, oh no, a fixer takes on those problems and lets them become a personal part of their life. A fixer assumes responsibility for someone else and wants to help them overcome their problem and assumes some personal stake in it. Pretty obnoxious, huh?

So with this earth shattering realization and self-awareness I declare today that I am splitting my traits. For my clients I am your fixer, for my personal life I am a selective problem-solver. Quite frankly I have enough crap going on that I need to resolve without taking on family and friend issues. I love my family and friends and it is with all the love in my heart that realize we are friends and family because we all have a degree of dysfunction. So I am going to tend to mine and let you tend to yours and if there is a problem that you need someone to talk to about, I’m your girl. But if you are looking to pass the responsibility buck you better get out your checkbook because you will have to become a client if you want me to be a fixer.

Now that I have put my little revelation and declared action out there, what trait do you have that you have take to the extreme and it is now working against you? Be brave, admit it and then think about how life would be different if you just took some small step to reign it back in. Wouldn’t that be better?

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.

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