Will you meet important people today?

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, Make Me Feel Important. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

Mary Kay Ash

How many people will you meet or speak with today? What if you started every conversation or interaction with this underlying question running through your mind.  “What can I very specifically do to ensure this person knows they are important?”  It is the action that matters, not the intent. Answer this question through your actions.

Are you serving or self-serving?

“Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.”

Gordon B. Hinkle

Humility is something that is quickly spoken of but only demonstrated through action. I have known many people who profess humility but demonstrate the anthesis of any modest intent.

No one is immune to the pull of ego and the allure of self-importance. Even those with the most excellent intentions can fall prey to the fallacy of their self-righteous thinking. Instead, the richest people live to answer these three questions.    

Whom can I serve?

How do they need to be served?

What can I do to help meet their needs?

Only a person who outwardly lives the mindset that demonstrates these three questions and willingly sacrifices their internal desires for self-importance can be called humble. They have landed on the most critical ingredient to a meaningful and purpose-driven life. It isn’t about them…

Living for others…

“Don’t just count your blessings. Be the blessing other people count on.”

Anonymous

I had the amazing opportunity this past weekend to spend a couple days in Cuba and see a part of the world that is so different than the one that I live and work in each and every day. In a word it was INCREDIBLE, and not just because of the beauty and uniqueness of the place. What made it particularly impactful was the pride, friendliness and and authenticity of the people that we met.

Everyone we encountered wanted to share themselves and their country. I left so impressed with the people and our experiences. I left wanting to go again and do more for others who, while not having so many of the the things that we (and I) take for granted, lived life with great joy and pride. Cuba wasn’t just a county with really cool old cars, incredible architecture and landscapes. It was a country of people who have the same hopes, dreams, and desires that each of us have for our lives.

It really is amazing, when you see others who have a smile on their face, even when they have nothing compared to all the luxuries that we take for granted, it really puts things into perspective. We are so blessed. We have so many gifts and treasures that we can’t possibly count them all. I was reflecting on our trip during the flight home and I was thinking about the many blessings that I have been given in life. I realized how much more powerful it is to focus on being a blessing to another person instead of simply accounting for all that we have been given. Living your life as a blessing to and for others, not simply as an accountant for all the blessings we have received. That is truly living…

Legacy…

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

What is the legacy you want to leave behind? I have heard some say that they don’t care about their legacy, that it isn’t important to them. I feel sorry for those people because they haven’t experienced the joy of giving, the value in serving others over self, the priceless gift of seeing others perpetuate that same spirit of giving to others.

I am reminded of this verse from Luke on greed and serving oneself. “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke‬ ‭12:15‬

What is the defined and intentional legacy you want to leave? Do you have a plan to make it happen? Are your thoughts, words, actions and behaviors attuned to that desire? If not then what needs to change? No matter what, you will leave a legacy, what do you want it to be about?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew‬ ‭6:19-21‬


Decision filters…

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4

I have used this verse as the daily quote before, in fact I used it earlier this year and you can read that blog post here. In that post I wrote about the impact of looking at your day and your life through the lens of answering questions on whether or not you served others and that being the ultimate measure of your success in life.

I chose this verse today thinking about it more as a compass and a guide to start and use throughout the day, not from the perspective as a rear-view mirror. Both viewpoints are important, but in order to measure progress you must first have a clear vision of where you are going.

How effective are you at living a life that is true to this verse on a daily basis? Regardless of your religious beliefs the wisdom here is so incredibly impactful when you apply it to your life and how you live and serve. If you were to truly gauge each decision you make, each action you take, by thinking about this verse before the choice, before the action, would you still take the same course of action?

My challenge to you to day is to pause with each decision you make today and ask yourself who you are serving with the action you are about to take? Be brutally honest with yourself. See if you still like the decision after running it through this filter. You might surprise yourself…

Myself or others?

“Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about looking after those in our charge.”

Simon Sinek

What percentage of your time do you spending looking at leadership through this lens? How of much of your energy and effort is focused on delivering on this principle?

Generally speaking we are naturally wired to focus on self before others. Overcoming this tendency is a critical step towards becoming an authentic and true leader.

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Think of the leaders you have worked for and with. Did they demonstrate these principles? If yes, then what is your perception of, and attitude towards, their leadership? If no, then the same question applies. Which one did you respect more? Which one motivated you as a person? Whom do you want to emulate?

Reflect on and answer this simple question for yourself today. “Who am I focused on taking care of, myself or others?”

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dusty

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