Patience. This is a word that I’ve been learning about my entire life. Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to know the answer, I always wanted to know what was going to happen before it happened, yet as I mature I realize that there are no answers and that all the banging I’ve been doing to get those answers is just noise. This lesson keeps showing up over and over again in my life. I’m also watching it in our kids and in friends and business associates that I meet. We all seem to want to know the answer yet life is all about seeing what unfolds. At least that’s what I’m continuing to learn.
Each day I used to plan so carefully what I was going to do and figure out the desired outcome I wanted from certain events and certain meetings. I would think through and create talk tracks that would guide a conversation in a certain direction, and for many years I thought that was “working.” What does this term “working” really mean? Was it really working for me, or was I reaching a destination that wasn’t what was meant to happen. Over the past 6 months I’ve tried to go into meetings without a clear direction of where things might go. I’ve just been trying to meet people where they are and see where things go. I’ve started to clearly realize that I have no control and when I let thing evolve naturally then I get to a better place than I ever could have imagined.
Recently I met a business executive who has a start up. They are very excited about their product and their business, yet they are so focused on getting what they want that they didn’t even care what I wanted when they sat with me. They were really nice people but they weren’t interested in what I wanted, they were only interested in what I could do for them. I believe that is how I lived in the world for many, many years. That’s why it was so easy for me to see it in them. Maybe, just maybe, everything I’ve learned from Rotary and the service work I’ve done is how we’re meant to live our life all the time. Rotary is based on service above self. How can we give to others without care of what comes back to us.
I talk a lot about sharks, dolphins and sharks that dress up as dolphins. The sharks are the takers, those that are solely worried about their own needs 100% of the time. The dolphins are the total givers, those that put everyone ahead of themselves. Now, the sharks that dress up as dolphins seem to put others first, yet they only do it to demonstrate that they know how to be a dolphin but in the end they’re really only looking out for themselves. I meet so many cloaked sharks who seem to be well intentioned only to be proven over time that they are not dolphins at all.
So, where does this leave me?
I’m becoming more and more convinced that the future for me is all about helping other people get what they want. I have often said that if I help everyone get what they want that I would have so much more than I need. I understood that intellectually yet I didn’t fully internalize it. At this point of my journey I’m realizing that being of service, helping others get what they want and not worrying about what’s in it for me, then the world will be bountiful and that I will receive so much more than I will ever need. I see this unfolding every day so why not believe it? Do you believe it?
To a life well lived and Happy Thanksgiving!