Make Your Life Bigger Than You
“The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others.” – Vincent Van Gogh
In the past year or so, I have become keenly aware of situations where people are focused on making their lives bigger than themselves. To do this, they must learn how to take a humble approach.
As you can imagine, the journey from pride to humility is far from easy.
Living with Pride
As I reflect on my life filled with pride, the first thought that comes to mind is self-centered thinking. For example, instead of helping my team members succeed, I only thought about what I must do to earn a promotion.
I’ve also noticed that when pride dominated my life, I was less than honest. I would tell others I cared about their success, but I did little to actually help them.
Here is the advice I gave them …
● “Make sure to get your education. This will help you down the road.”
● “Be patient! When the time is right, the opportunities will come.”
● “You are qualified, but you work in a company where decisions are made based on who you know.”
These comments are way too general, and they seem so hollow now. I really was doing the bare minimum and not willing to go the extra mile to lend a hand. My guess is that nearly everyone is giving similar advice, which means many of us are operating from the standpoint of pride.
Time to Grow
The continuum from pride to humility is very long for me. Thinking about others and doing what I can to help them means I must make a full 180-degree turn. I have been heading on the pride road for far too long.
Here are some examples today where I am making my life bigger than myself:
● I agree to participate in several church ministries. In fact, I seek leadership roles, so my impact is even bigger. This means I will have to commit time during the day, evenings, and even entire weekends. At first, I was hesitant to do this, but today I welcome it.
● I think much less about what other people say to criticize me. In the past, I had thin skin, and I was bothered if someone made a negative comment about me … or failed to recognize something positive I accomplished. Today, and perhaps this is the best part of the article, I feel good working in the background when no one else notices I am there.
● While I care about my health and career, I put my faith and family first. In the past, faith and family were in second and third place. This meant my decision-making was leading me down the wrong path. By putting God first in my life, my decisions are healthier, and my connection with my family is stronger than ever.
Recently, I have lost both family members and friends. As I attended their funerals, I thought about what they left behind, something I could recall about them. In each of these situations, I remembered their kindness and beauty. I remembered their humor, their humility, and their honesty.
Before my time is up, I want to build the biggest mountain of kindness and humility possible. I want people to remember me as someone who genuinely cared about them.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.” – Denis Waitley
During the next week, here’s your homework inquiry: How will you be kind?