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I was invited to two Super Bowl Parties that year. Not wanting to disappoint anyone, I accepted the invitation to both. Even though everyone was happy to see me, I didn’t get to enjoy myself—because I wasn’t really present at either gathering.
With the first, I kept thinking about when and how to take my leave; with the other, I kept thinking about all I had missed by leaving early and arriving late. On top of it all, divided between two parties, I didn’t even get to see the Half Time Show—my favorite part of the whole event!
In practice, saying yes to both commitments was the same as saying no to both.
A classic proverb reminds, “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” By pursuing two conflicting goals, neither can be fulfilled—for it is only with consolidated effort that meaningful goals can be achieved.
Put another way, it has also been said that no one can serve two masters—for you will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. This can be just as true for moonlighting as it can for social engagements and love affairs.
One Thing At Once
Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, reminds us that “there is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once; but there is not time enough in the year if you will do two things at a time.” Centuries later, social science research has confirmed these claims as a reminder that multitasking wastes more time than it saves.
Perhaps we have all experienced this truth at one time or another, when a to-do list becomes a half-started list—with projects begun but only half-done and nothing meaningful to show for our efforts at the end of the day, week, month, or year. (Or perhaps worse of all, we end up missing the Half Time Show).
A House Divided
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln reminded a divided nation of an eternal truth—while hinting to a solution as a way forward: “A house divided against itself cannot stand…this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free…I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”
In this light, perhaps the solution to a division between parties—whether they be political parties or Super Bowl parties—is to become all one thing or all the other.
Are you chasing two rabbits? Are you serving two masters? Are you doing two things at once? Is your house divided? What might becoming “all one thing or all the other” look and feel like? How will you consolidate your efforts to do one thing at once?
Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination. Through his company, Hashtag Positivity, he assists individuals, teams, and communities in “Being Well By Living Well” to experience abiding joy. Connect with Jonas today to discuss your challenges, goals, and obstacles: firstname.lastname@example.org
 Erasmus, D. (1500). Collectanea Adagiorum.
 Matthew 6:24
 Stanhope, P. (1747, April 14). “Letters to his son on the art of becoming a man of the world and a gentleman.”
 Flatow, I. (2013, May 10). “The myth of multitasking.” Talk of the Nation. www.npr.org/2013/05/10/182861382/the-myth-of-multitasking
 Matthew 12:25
 Lincoln, A. (1858, June 16). “The House Divided Speech.” Illinois State Capitol.
Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination on a mission to help you experience abiding joy.