This week I wanted to share 3 Tips to Being Less about “You” and How to Serve Others. Do you feel like you are approaching life looking for the best seat, the easiest people to talk to, and the least path of resistance in every situation? Are you so wrapped up in performing, achieving, and making life happen that you race by people as if running red lights in a car? One of the greatest wastes of the precious time I have on this earth is whether it is spent getting what I want or putting myself aside so that the bigger mission can happen through me.
The sobering reality came for me when I realized that this life isn’t about me. Never will be. Once you come to that reality you won’t be disappointed so easily every day. Let’s face it, the reason we can get so frustrated is if our expectations aren’t met. The world advertises: Grow up, have kids, gather all the money you can, get “comfy” then retire to coast your way to death. The brutal reality came when I realized that doesn’t exist. Now what??
Here’s an example: I usually will arrive at a situation, event, birthday party for one of the kid’s friends, etc. and think, “What am I going to get out of this?” It’s a mental prison for me to live, work, and operate this way. Why? Because I am self-absorbed in this thinking. There’s no capacity or room for anyone else because I’m running damage control on myself. It becomes a false idol because riding that roller coaster of thinking is a full-time gig.
It can grow into a really bad condition to the point that all one thinks is about themselves. I’ve been there. It comes in and out of my life in seasons, hours, and moments. Basically we are all big kids: “I want what I want “. It’s so easy. Being a Type A driven person, it breaks down to “control.” Letting go, trusting, and putting myself aside for others takes work. Every day. Why? Because it’s not in our human nature. It’s learned. It’s a discipline.
I literally have been disciplining myself to stop and change my thinking. The mind is where it starts. I have to look outward. May my life be lived outward and upward.
Here are 3 tips I use to get out of my own head and serve others:
1. Everyone has a love language. Like a radio frequency. Some love words of affirmation, some physical touch, others gifts, some acts of service, others quality time. Tune into the people around you and their love language. Find what lets them know they are important and matter.
2. Random emails and sending notes. Nothing says, “I’m thinking of you” or “You matter” than writing someone. A simple text message can transform a person’s day when it is intentional and about the condition of the person’s heart.
3. Taking a risk on someone. You don’t have to make a new friend every day, just try going out of your way to really take interest in the people you come across. A majority of the people I come in contact with “look” like they have it together but are really hurting inside. They can go the whole day and no one even notices them. I kind word, a moment to listen and it can transform a persons heart. This requires me to be not of myself and so busy I can’t notice their signs of need.
I look at the life of Christ: He could have capitalized on his position and had anything he wanted. He could have snapped his fingers and had the soldiers killed who were hanging him on a cross. He could have had riches, honor, power, and prestige that was offered to him. Instead, he humbled himself, took on the nature of a servant, and made his life about others. Don’t get me wrong. I believe there is a time and a place for self-reflection and nurturance and discovery. However, it’s not all the time. It’s easy to become and stay “self-absorbed”.
This life isn’t about me. It’s about helping others discover who they are and that they matter. It starts with my wife and children’s heart. Then moves outward.
Remember: We have a great example in God how to do this: He came to us and could have really capitalized in his position for self-worth and ambition. Instead, he humbled himself so that a knuckled like me could be a part of his gift that he offers: Freedom.
Philippians 2:3-11 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The greatest days of my life are those that I lay my head on the pillow and realize I didn’t give one thought to “me” all day. I fueled those precious lives around me.
I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you’ve learned to put yourself aside and notice others? How could these tips change your daily living?
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Have a blessed day and thanks for being a part of the journey!
(If you’re interested in more strategies for improving your personal and professional life, please check out my Creative Success Book Bundle!)