Imagine this. I am 16 years old flipping burgers at Wendy’s to make some cash for the summer. My hair is shaggy and long, spilling out of my hat. It’s an unassuming Wednesday afternoon and there are hardly any customers to serve. Mary, myself, and a few other coworkers are in the back, eating coffee cake muffins with vanilla frosty.
Did we pay for it? No.
Were we supposed to be working? Yes.
Who is Mary? You’ll find out shortly.
While the day itself was unassuming, there was nothing ordinary about this particular Wednesday at Wendy’s. Management was attending a corporate retreat, which meant Mary was in charge. While Mary was responsible, and quite a bit older than the rest of us, she was a peer in our eyes.
As they say… when the cat’s away, the mice will play. That’s exactly what we did. We asked Mary if we could do all the things that we weren’t normally allowed to do. Initially, she was reluctant, but slowly we broke her down until somehow we were eating company food in the back while getting paid for it. Basically stealing from the company in two different ways simultaneously but feeling pure bliss of having no authority at work for a few days!
Not my brightest moment by any means, but it paints a picture of what happens when misplaced authority meets immaturity. Mary wasn’t comfortable laying down the law with us and as teenagers do – we exposed her inability to manage her new level of authority. I personally wasn’t mature enough to handle that kind of opportunity with integrity. My sweet tooth got the best of me and I happily seized the moment.
It’s not that different from how many men handle their needs today. Without good authority in place (pastors, coaches, God, mentors, systems, etc) and the maturity necessary to find appropriate ways to get their needs met (self-awareness, emotional intelligence, meaningful connection, outlets, etc), men revert to porn and masturbation. Essentially, choosing the path of least resistance. Stealing from their future in the process.
We never got caught for eating company food on company time, but I still felt bad afterward. When management returned from the retreat, things went back to normal. We knew that it was only a few days of “extra perks”. But what happens if healthy authority isn’t reinstated?
Porn addiction. Compulsive masturbation. Overwhelm. Chronic stress. Fatigue. Stagnancy. The list goes on. The main reason being that we do not face any immediate consequences for our actions. Instead, they surface later on. You may think that pushing the bounds once or twice doesn’t really matter. It does. It will catch up. We got lucky by not getting caught at Wendy’s, but if it persisted, it would’ve only been a matter of time.
The reason that never happened is because healthy authority was reinstated. Male tendency is to handle problems independently. Ironically, it is support systems and authority that will provide the best solutions. Wherever you are in your journey, let me ask you… do you have the necessary authority to help you succeed? Do you have the maturity required for full freedom? And if you don’t… what can do you about it today?
If you don’t answer these questions… you will inadvertently steal from your relationships and future, and I know that both of those are far too valuable to you. If you’re looking for some options, take a scroll through the rest of this letter. Our webinars and podcast are great ways for you to develop your maturity and will provide some authority in the process as well.
Cheering you on,
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