Motivation Monday: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Do you think about what you have done for them lately? How much of your day is invested in finding ways to be doing for others? Are you tangled in the worry of what others can (and will) do for you?
The current focus seems to be on how to get more out of the world around us – more sales from people, more attention from media – just more and more for the I or the me.
A young girl came home from school complaining about what had happened. After several minutes, her mom interrupted her.
“Do you know how many times you’ve see I or me in the last few minutes?”
The girl stared at her mother. “How could you be thinking about that when I’ve been trying to explain what happened to me today.”
Her mom smiled. “When you are focused on me, and it’s all about me, then you sound like squeaking breaks. MEEEEEEEEEEE. And even squeaking breaks will stop your momentum every single time.” A focus on MEEEEEE is like squeaky breaks that stop your momentum
“But what they did was wrong.”
“I didn’t say what they did was wrong or right. I just wanted you to realize how you had focused on “ME” to the point that it stopped your opportunity for forward progress.”
Your journey is all about you, but you will never get anywhere in your journey if your focus is always on you. The more you shift your focus from what have you gotten lately to what have you given lately, the more you will open up opportunities that would have otherwise never shown up.
Ways to be Doing for Others
Your gesture doesn’t have to be big to make a big difference. When you are acting with a genuine heart of giving and a desire to be an encouragement, even little things add up.
Doing for Others by Sharing
The most important things you ever learned you really did learn in kindergarten. One of those most important things is to share.
- Share what others create. A heart or a thumbs up is nice, but when you share someone else’s post with a reason it needs to be read that boosts the engagement for the person and also spotlights what is being done on the website to new potential viewers.
- Share a smile. Nothing sparks positives faster than a genuine smile. When you smile, others smile. When others smile, you smile. It is the most contagious form of encouragement around.
- Share wisdom and experience. You can volunteer to mentor others or reach out through events. Either way, be sure to give your best. There will always be people who try to squeeze everything they can out of you for free (so be alert and practice “no”), but there will be people that see you invest in growing others, and those people will want to invest in you (in the form of new clients or opportunities).
- Share leads – especially when you are booked solid, or you know the lead is a better fit for someone else. It’s better to pass on a lead than to work with a lead that is ill-suited for you at the moment.
- Share resources. When you are in a position to share your resources, don’t be stingy, but don’t break yourself either. Find a balance between what you can give and what you need to hold back so you can walk your path.
Doing for Others by Caring
Genuine interest in others and for others means more to others than most anything else. When you determine to care, you make it about more than you.
- Care about the journey others are on and accept them where they are. It may not be the same as yours (and it probably won’t be because you are different from them), but you can still be open enough to appreciate the steps.
- Care about their struggles. You don’t have to fix it to care. You don’t have to give directions to care. You can be empathetic and accepting of where they are as you encourage them in where they are going.
- Care beyond what it can do for you. If you are helping just to have a plus sign in “favor” department, it will show. Care because you can, not because it will get you something. Genuine interest in others and for others means more to others than most anything else.
Doing for Others by Daring
Dare to be intentionally invested in others, and you seed possibilities for your life. It’s been said the fastest way to reach your success is to reach out and pull others up to their success.
- Dare to reveal your heart. When you show your heart, then you are positioned to touch a heart.
- Dare to say no. Saying no to things that are outside your focus or passion will leave room for other things to fill in that space.
- Dare to say yes. You don’t have to want to, but sometimes you need to. Say yes to those things you know you need to, and guilt and regret will not find a place in the void down the road.
You can do anything you are willing to dream and willing to pursue as long as you are also willing to help others get to where they want to go. Everything worth doing and worth being builds up on a foundation of relationships.
At the start of each day, ask yourself what you can do for others. At the end of each day, ask yourself what you have done for others lately. When all is said and done, you will find that doing for others did as much (if not more) for you.
How will you do for others in the upcoming week? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s invest in each other with our ideas for investing in others.
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Kathryn Lang believes it is simple, and as an award-winning author and natural-born hopesmith, she shares tips on how to find your why, pursue your purpose, and live a bold, intentional life – always with a dash of twisted encouragement.