What if I am doing it all wrong? What if I am the one who is the source, the root, of all my problems? What if I am creating all of my stress?
I recently listened to an episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History: General Chapman’s Last Stand, Season 3 Episode 5. General Leonard F. Chapman Jr. was a decorated WWII combat veteran and later a United States Marine Corps General, who served as the 24th Commandant of the Marine Corp from 1968 to 1972. Chapman retired in 1972 and became the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, retiring in 1977. Wikipedia
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1972 was unprofessional and unorganized. The men who had led the service previously, stayed in their offices in Washington D.C. They had no idea what the border was really like. They didn’t pay attention to the details. Therefore, border control was poor and anyone was able to cross the US/Mexico border. Gladwell even sited a man, who as a young boy, would walk from Mexico to the United States on a daily basis to sell fruit. It was no problem at all.
Many Mexican citizens would cross into the United States for a few months to work and earn as much money as possible. Then, they would return home for a time. Essentially, their residence was Mexico and their work half of the year was in the United States.
General Chapman changed all of this. He was a man of order. He was a man of detail. He cared deeply about his country. He cracked down. He constantly traveled to US border sites and visited with border patrol. He identified what needed to be improved. Improvements were made, details were addressed, processes were created.
As a result of General Chapman’s efforts, crossing the border became much more of a risk. Illegal immigrants were being caught and detained. The idea of crossing the border to work for a time became much less realistic. Successfully getting across once was an incredible feat, so illegal immigrants began to stay in the US.
Anyway, the story is fascinating. Malcolm Galdwell does a great job, as always.
Here is the point. Gladwell suggests, strongly suggests, that General Chapman, in trying to solve a problem (which may have not been a problem at all), created a much larger problem.
The following two questions have been going through my mind a lot lately.
Enter Greg McKeown, author and proclaimer of the book and concept, Essentialism.
If you have been wondering the same or similar questions as I have been, watch the following two videos.
Right now, I believe that I very well may be the root of all my problems. I do think I am trying too hard and making my life much too complicated.
I will sleep on this.
Thank you for reading.
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