Why doing the right thing is not enough
Last week, I wrote about how doing something righteous vs doing something unrighteous, no matter how small, can magnify its impact in the process. (If you miss my past blogs, you can read them by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking on the links).
But is it enough to do the right thing? How come some people make smart, righteous moves but still does not get ahead in life? Are you one of those people who are sick and tired of doing what’s right and is tempted to move to the “dark side”?
I believe doing the right thing alone does not suffice. Let me share with you a famous story. A story that started in sports but transcends way beyond it. If you think I caught Linsanity fever, you bet! (If you haven’t heard of Linsanity, where have you been? Kidding )
As most of you have heard by now, Jeremy Lin, the humble, kind-hearted, nice-guy, spiritually-faithful NBA player was a bench warmer in the New York Knicks. How would you feel if you have a Harvard degree, sleeping on your brother’s couch, worked and practiced your tongue out the entire off-season to get better, but ended up losing your job twice in the last 3 months, and there are rumors that you might get cut again? Perhaps he could have been asking himself “why do bad things happen to good people?”
But here’s a different side of the story not many newspapers cover. After losing his job twice in a row, he felt the pain piercing through his flesh. Badly in need of solace and comfort, he opened the Bible and it reads “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”.
After carefully reflecting on it, he realized the reason why he wants to succeed in basketball is to prove his doubters wrong. He wants to improve his game to shut the critics up. He realized he was “under pins and needles” and has been putting too much unnecessary pressure on himself. He was doing the right thing but for the wrong reasons.
And so his mindset changed. He told himself “I will prepare and work as hard as I can, and trust that the Lord has planned what’s best for me.” He freed his mind. He felt light without all the unnecessary pressure. And he rose from a benchwarmer to the star of the team in just a few games. ”Linsanity” spread like wildfire, and is considered as one of the fastest rise to fame in sports history. He did not change the way he play, he simply change the reason why he wants to succeed.
So how about you? Any chance you are doing the right things for the wrong reasons?
What’s the reason you go to work, desire to contribute or just out of obligation? What’s the reason you invest, to increase your financial IQ or to maximize every cent you can possibly earn? What’s the reason you go to Church, to grow spiritually or just need a favor from Him? What’s the reason you do charity work, to help others or to impress others? What’s the reason you want to succeed, to prove others wrong or to inspire others?
My dear friends, if you are doing something righteous you deserve a pat in the back. But try to dig deeper and find out your motive. Because doing the right thing for the wrong reasons will lead you astray. But doing the right thing for the right reasons will make life easier and more fulfilling.
To all the Jeremy Lin fans, and to all those who read my blogs, here’s wishing you continued inspiration and a more fulfilling life.
Live life for the right reasons,
Dan Mark See
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