“If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”
Warning, this is a much longer post than my normal writings… Someone recently asked me, “why do you send out a daily leadership quote? What are you trying to accomplish?” It’s a good question and one that has a very simple beginning. In 1998 I was the third shift manager for a financial services call center. Third shift was tough and most of the team members were generally working third because it paid the most or because they had another job as well to make ends meet. I started sending out a quote at the beginning of each shift as a reminder and motivator about what was truly important in life beyond the day or activities that were right in front of us. The daily quote was just for my small crew at first but over time it grew and then became part of my daily leadership habit even when I changed roles and then changed companies.
For several years I only sent the quote on Monday – Friday or when I was in the office, but then I finally realized that value of listening to good wisdom applies every day of the week and that I was shortchanging those that I worked for by not sending a daily quote just because I happened to be off work on a given day.
Today I don’t know the size of the audience, the list is much broader than it once was as people have asked to be added and folks they have shared it with have requested to be added. The size of the list is not important to me. What is important goes back to the back to the questions that were asked of me, “why do you send a daily leadership quote? What are you trying to accomplish?”
The “why” hasn’t changed much from what it was twenty years ago. There are two principle reasons I have maintained (and now expanded with this blog) the daily habit.
First, to have a daily reminder about the importance of leadership and personal growth and the effect that reading such wisdom has on framing our behavior within the day. Over the years many people have responded to the quotes and said words to the effect “you have no idea how much I needed to hear this right now” or “wow, this was absolutely meant for me today.” I will never know how many people have been impacted or touched in the slightest way because of these daily messages. That’s absolutely okay. If one person has ever had their life made slightly brighter or even the tiniest bit better from this effort it has all been worth it. That’s why I do it. The chance, just the smallest chance to help another person in a tiny way is what motivates me to find and send a quote out every morning.
Second, I want to frame my day with a positive or thoughtful piece of wisdom. Some days the quotes are aimed at me and me alone. On these days I always laugh to myself when people respond and mention that I must have been sending that one for their specific benefit. I will admit, on some days they are aimed at people who I know are challenged and need to hear specific and relevant message.
“What” am I am hoping to accomplish? I hope that others will find value in the words and that at times they will be just the right thing a person needs to hear. I don’t need to know this, nor do I need to be told. I am very content knowing that it does happen and that I am being used by God to serve others in a very tiny way.
So, all of these words to say this. I choose to send a daily quote, and now blog daily, for the chance, the slightest chance that the words will be valuable to another person. That someone might find value and wisdom, and from that, create a better life. Does it happen? I have no idea, but it could happen, and that is good enough for me.