by Judy M McCutcheon
I’ve been gone for a little while and people have been asking me when they’ll get to read the next article. Truth be told, I think (or so I told myself) I had writer’s block.
That block seemed to have happened when I decided to change the focus of my writing. I originally started writing these articles for the financial success of others. No matter how small that success; if I was able to help one person then they would, in turn, help one person and you see the ripple effect this would have. It is quite humbling when someone tells me that they’d read one of my articles and it was of great help to them. I’ve also had a couple of ladies call to discuss some of the articles. I really loved that I was able to help, and that people were interested in the help I offered. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided I wanted to write for my own enjoyment. A funny thing happened after I made that decision, I could not find anything of interest to write about; no topic seemed to bring me any pleasure.
As I write this, I am on a long flight and not having my computer with me, I decided to re-read 2 books that I read some years ago. I am very happy that I decided to read those books because it brought me back to the very reason, I started the articles – for the success of others. I somehow lost sight of that one very important reason. We sometimes lose sight of our goals, because we focus on things that don’t matter. I started worrying that maybe people weren’t reading the articles, that maybe I wasn’t really helping anyone, that maybe I was just wasting my time. We begin to look at things with a scarcity mindset, one that tells us there’s not enough for everyone, therefore, I must get as much as I can without giving thought to anyone else. These books have caused me to reflect on and review my life and my business. There are a few fundamental things I’ve learned along my journey and I want to share them with you.
Whatever you do, the most important thing is to create value for others. Do not make money your primary focus – it is a very important focus, just not the primary one. Your focus should be on creating value for others, as much value as you possibly can. You must be thinking – well that’s easy for you to say, but I want to suggest to you that it is easy for each of us to do. We can each do it because it is easy to be kind, even to those that we believe don’t deserve our kindness. I’ve found that when I live my life focusing on the betterment of others, my life is also fulfilled. This is not a new concept; we each just discover it at different points in our lives. Some people never discover it at all.
Find a way to use that value to impact as many people as possible. Some of us have ideas that could create a ripple effect of goodness for many, yet, somehow, we keep those ideas to ourselves fearful of what others might think of us. Trust me when I tell you don’t worry about what other people might think, some will even ridicule you, pay no attention – you just use your good to create goodness for others.
Do not serve others with the intention of giving to get. Help people because it is what you love to do. Try as hard as you can, not to let your first thought be about money, let it be about service. Focus on the interest of others and have faith that when you need, you will get. This is one concept that is very personal to me, I’ve had a little bit of a struggle with this along my journey, but I’ve noticed that when I help for the sake of helping, besides the satisfaction I get, I also noticed that pathways open up for me too.
Always be true to who you are. It’s no sense trying to be someone else; you were created in His image and likeness, why do you not want to be thankful for that. You are one awesome bundle of uniqueness – don’t ever lose sight of who you are and your values. This past weekend I learned a new word “Dogoodery” – let your values be first and foremost about doing good, about service to others. It does not matter what you do, let your “dogoodery” values shine through.
When I was growing up, I learned that it was “better to give than to receive”, I really don’t know if that’s in the bible, I can’t say for sure where that idea came from. But that’s a concept that I’ve struggled with and reading these books helped me to put it into perspective. I don’t think that it’s noble to just keep giving with remaining open to receiving. Noticed I said, open and not expecting. Have you ever received a compliment about a dress or your hairstyle, and you played it down? How do you suppose the giver of the compliment felt? Why are you denying them the joy of giving that compliment by refusing to accept it? Don’t give because you expect to receive something in return, that’s not how it works, so remove expectation from the equation. A very good friend thought me that I must manage my expectation and it was a hard lesson. So, don’t expect, remain open to receiving.
I am a Rotarian and love the Rotary motto of “service above self” and the notion of doing good the world over. Rotary aligns with my values. One thing I want you to remember, if what you are doing is not in line with your values, there will always be a constant battle within, you are going to always be unfulfilled. Find your passion and use it to serve others in a very big way and you will see a very big difference in your life. I’ve watched my mother over the years, and I’ve seen how her life has been constantly about service to others and she has served them well. However, I think the missing link for her might have been her openness to receiving because she believes that it is better to give than to receive. I urge you, therefore, to do what you love for the sake of love and to give not to receive but because you love to, it’s part of your DNA. I write not for my sake, but for the success of others.
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Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net