Have you ever paused to consider the thoughts, needs, and motivations of those around you? Why are they here, and what do they seek in life? These questions often lead us to introspection, urging us to understand our own purpose and the impact we wish to make. I’d like to embark on a short journey of self-discovery, exploring the power of putting your life where others are, shedding light on empathy, and recognizing the role of personal growth in becoming a better version of ourselves.
Understanding the Why:
“To laugh often and much: To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
What defines success for you? What do you want out of life and how will you measure it? What do you want the people around you to feel about you after you’re gone? These questions are the first steps on the path of self-awareness. They prompt us to delve into the motivations behind our actions. The answers may vary, but they often revolve around a desire to make a positive impact, to connect with others, and to leave a meaningful legacy.
Walking Through a Journey:
A crucial lesson in life is that you can’t truly give of yourself until it’s no longer about yourself. This shift takes time, as it involves a transition from self-centered thinking to a more empathetic and selfless perspective. First there is a decision, and then comes the transition. The transition is often the part that takes the most amount of work. As Will Rogers wisely noted, “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” We learn and grow through our experiences, including our missteps and wrong choices.
When you’re feeling the weight of your own choices and actions, or the burden of what others may think of you, it’s essential to remember that most people are occupied with their own lives and concerns. There’s a small audience truly interested in your journey, and even fewer who genuinely understand your struggles. So, smile and move forward, for you are living in a much smaller world than you might think.
It’s common to encounter more losses than wins and more misses than hits. The best hitters in all of major league baseball get a hit only 3 out of 10 times. Yet, what keeps their endurance strong is hope, help, and habit. Hope is the beacon that guides us toward a better future. In the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11 states that God knows His plan for you, and that plan is to give you hope and a future. Help often comes from others; mentors, counselors, and people who can speak victory into our lives. To receive help, you must actively and consistently seek it out. The world is full of opinions, but meaningful guidance will not come without humble requests. Finally there is habit. Habit is what you choose to focus on. Success doesn’t come from hoping. Hope is just the seed. Long term success comes from the habits we create. When you define your goals, the universe conspires to bring the necessary resources your way. We just need to learn to identify and leverage them.
Dr John C. Maxwell, who is a renowned author, speaker, and leadership expert was influenced to co-wrote a song about his books and his journey (See Video Here). His song embodies his credibility journey and how he was able to impact so many people by realizing who he is, so that he can get over himself, in order to lead others.
The lyrics of the song remind me of the importance of seizing opportunities and aligning my words with my actions. It encourages me to do good and help others whenever and wherever I can, leaving a positive mark on the world.
The bridge of the song states “Do all the good I can. By alll the means I can. In all the ways I can. In all the places I am. In all the times I can. To all the people I can. As long as I ever can…”
In the end, you can’t really give yourself to others, until it’s really no longer about you. Remember, your life is the message you share with the world, so strive to make it a message of hope, help, and positive change.