“Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people.”
The Breakfast Club
This quote reminds me of the time I heard Jim Collins talk about his work with Peter Drucker. Jim shared that after working together for a few weeks, Peter pulled him aside and said, “Jim, I think you will find in life that you will be much more effective and impactful if you spend more time being interested instead of interesting. You can’t make everything about you.”
Now I am paraphrasing this since it has been well over ten years since I heard Jim share this story. It made an indelible impact on me, and I have written about this before, which you can view here.
Today, as I meditated and reflected on the quote above and the Jim Collins story, it strikes me that while the implied meanings are very different, ‘focus on self versus others vs. focus on others over self,’ the root cause is the same. “What do other people think about me?”
How much of our time, effort, and energy do we spend managing our lives to meet others’ perceived needs or expectations? How much of ourselves do we willingly give away based on the false hope that what others believe or perceive about me is the essential thing in life?
Instead of creating a life based on what others think about us, we should spend our lives threading the needle of meaning that exists between these two quotes. We need to identify and grow our own unique and special gifts and talents with the specific intent of bringing them to bear in a positive and impactful manner in service to others.
I believe this is why God created each of us and then charged us to serve and love our neighbors. We must surrender our egos and use our gifts to help others. Those that do this well are the truly awe-inspiring ones…