Life Led To Purpose
The Q maintains Missionality by exerting the majority of his effort toward the accomplishment of the Task for which he was uniquely created.
A Man’s Task Is Formed By His Dolphin And His Daffodil
The Dolphin represents each man’s unique gift, the thing he does better than anything else and better than most other people can do it. Because it comes from his hard-wiring, a man can improve his Dolphin but he cannot change it. F3 chose the dolphin to symbolize man’s unique gift because it is a mammal that was born to swim but cannot do most of the other things that mammals do. The dolphin’s Dolphin is to swim. It does that better than anything else it can do, and better than most any other mammal can.
The Daffodil represents the people-category that a man is born to serve with his Dolphin. Like the Dolphin, a man’s Daffodil is a matter of hard-wiring. There are men who continue to coach soccer even after their kids have stopped playing. I love kids, but not like that. My Daffodil is elsewhere. In fact, it happens to be Accelerating Men, which explains why I am writing this rather than coaching soccer or volunteering at a homeless shelter. The Q loves all of mankind equally, except for his Daffodil. He loves his Daffodil more, because that is who he was born to serve.
The D2X Is The Intersection Of The Dolphin And The Daffodil
The Q has a good grasp on both his Dolphin and his Daffodil, and spends most of his time working at the point where they intersect. F3 calls this intersection point the D2X . It is the sweet spot in a man’s life, the zone where he will have the most IMPACT on his Community if he acts with Deliberatude and lives in dangerous disregard of the risk of Failure and embarrassment.
The powerful results a Q produces working within his D2X creates a challenge to his Missionality. His IMPACT within the Community will soon result in requests that he Serve outside of his D2X. Now matter how compelling the underlying need, the Q should quickly, firmly and politely decline to do so.
Four Reasons For A Man To Decline To Work Outside His D2X
1. He will disappoint the asker
When an excited well-meaning person compliments the Q on how fantastic his efforts are within his D2X, he should be ready for the next sentence, which will sound something like this: “so, I got to thinking how perfect you would be for this critical, challenging life-changing opportunity to do the same thing (although differently) for this other (wholly unrelated) group of people.”
The asker reasons that the Q’s success within his D2X arises primarily from him being a successful person, rather than being the result of his disciplined Missionality. Ergo, to the asker, the Q will succeed at everything else regardless of its relation to what he does well. There is a certain logic to that, but the Q knows the truth. He knows he can’t possibly perform outside of his D2X the way he does within it and that the asker will inevitably be disappointed. Sure, the asker will also be disappointed when the Q declines the offer, but not nearly as much as he will be when the Q ends up mailing it in on the new thing, the asker’s thing.
And that’s what we end up doing when we take things on outside of our D2X, we mail it in.
2. He will deny service to his own Daffodil
When a Q succumbs to the temptation of the well-meaning asker and takes on something outside of his D2X, there will be a consequence to his own Daffodil. Every minute he spends mailing it in outside of his D2X is lost to the time he has available for his own Daffodil. It’s hard to calculate the opportunity cost on that. Particularly when you consider how much longer it takes to mail in mediocre performance than it does to dynamically provide a great performance.
3. He will box out the right Q
A man once asked me if he ought to marry a certain woman. I asked him why he was asking me (or anyone else) that. The reason, he said, was that while he was sure he loved her, he wasn’t sure he loved her the way some other guy might. But, he admitted, she really wanted to marry him and he was afraid of losing her. He asked me to give him a reason that he shouldn’t marry her. All I could think of was this: while you are married to her, she’s not free to marry the guy who really loves her, loves her the way you think someone ought to love her. Even though you don’t know who he is, you are effectively boxing that guy out.
That is how it goes when you start doing things outside of your D2X. There is a guy out there for whom this thing you are doing poorly is in fact his Dolphin. Because you are doing it badly, he can’t do it well. Or, even if you are doing a pretty darn good job at under the circumstances, that guy would still do it better because it is a D2X thing for him but not for you. But he can’t get to doing it because you are boxing him out.
There is one major exception to this that we call a Diaper Changer, which is a Task that must be done but is not within anyone’s D2X (or at least anyone who is around at the moment). A Q doesn’t let one of his Shorties run around with dirty diapers because he doesn’t want to box out the guy (or his wife) who has that in their D2X. Nobody has that in his D2X and yet it has to be done, so somebody has to do it. Sometimes, you are just going to be that somebody. The key is knowing the difference between a Diaper Changer and succumbing to a temptation outside of your D2X.
4. Ultimately, it will be a Joyless experience
Unless you are the kind of man who does the hard things first every day, you probably do what you love to do first and leave what you hate until later in the day (at which point you ultimately blow it off or try to get somebody else to do it). But eventually you end up having to do those hated things, and it will be Joyless drudgery.
Tasks outside of your D2X will be like that. They will be the last thing you do every day, at a point when you have already used your prime time and energy on the things you love, the things inside your D2X. Couple that drudgery with the disappointed asker, the denied Daffodil and the guy you boxed out and you’ve got a deluxe Joy-free-festival. All of which could have been avoided by simply saying “no thank you” to the temptation to work outside of your D2X.
Fight Your Pride
Saying no to Tasks outside of one’s D2X is an act of discipline in the face of significant pressure otherwise. It requires Missionality. The Q will be tempted by the flattery of the asker. He will be worn down by Goo Nation throwing Oprah Bombs at him to “get out of his comfort zone”. Ultimately though, it will not be external pressure that leads him to succumb, it will be his own pride and ego. The Q gives in to something he knows he should not do because he convinces himself that he is the only man who can do it. If not him (he thinks) than who?
There is only one answer to that, and it is this: get over yourself. The graveyard is full of indispensable men and yet the Big Ball keeps turning.
Just say no. Stay Missional.