We tend to get tunnel vision when we’re only thinking about ourselves. The big picture becomes impossible to see. Things eventually get real small and the pressure goes up. Ironically, it’s through service to others- the efforts that bring forth a greater good – the energy that positively affects others – that the self’s needs truly get met.
As life’s possibilities and passions begin to be realized, the world opens up, gets bigger, and the pressure goes down. Once things become more about others and less about ourselves, do things really begin to matter… more.
This is the only way to spend one’s life for maximum meaning to emerge. This pursuit of life’s purpose, and the hope of finding it, is the great obsession of many who desire to make a difference in the world. And to make a difference – to leave more than you take – to insist on contributing more than consuming – is the ultimate accomplishment… and the ultimate gift.
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Fleeting. Everything is…
Temporary and taken for granted. Most things are…
This is a universal, and can be upsetting if you dwell on it.
So, why do we take things for granted? Especially that, and those who are most important? The simple answer is because we get caught up in ourselves more than we don’t. We get tunnel vision about our own agendas, wants, and desires. Others then become secondary. Oh, we like to claim that we’re not selfish most of the time to make ourselves feel better, but that’s not really true. That’s not what the research says.
Truth is, most people don’t give two shits about most of what anyone else is doing. Most people’s primary focus is on themselves, first and foremost. While many claim to know this, most don’t apply this so-called common sense into their daily interactions. It requires heightened levels of objective self-awareness and social strategy skills.
I do an in-person and virtual talk called “Tuning Into WIIFM” where I discuss the communication strategies to apply to flip this process 180 degrees. I challenge audiences to meet others’ needs first, and then by doing so, their needs get met on back-end. Sounds simple, but is difficult to implement consistently. It requires ongoing awareness and diligence to the process. It becomes a choice… moment-to-moment literally.
Choose selflessness. It’s the nice thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do.
Are you truly considerate of others feelings? Or do you just tell yourself you are to protect your own? To really care about another’s feelings, you sometimes have to sacrifice your own. You have to abandon your personal impulses toward selfishness and self-satisfaction in favor of selflessness.
Altruism is the opposite of the apathy that plagues the self-absorbed. It’s easy to give in to our own desires because that’s how we’ve been wired biologically after all. It’s much harder to not be a dick; to put others first; to say thank you; to be nice; to do the right thing; and to give a little bit for the betterment of the greater good.
As time passes, the world’s need for us all to be this way versus that way, continues to become more and more apparent and important to me. How about you?
From meltdowns in shopping malls, to breakdowns in boardrooms, to outbursts online everyday, in every possible way… individual interpersonal communication skills (or the lack thereof), have never been more visible. And skilled practitioners have never been more necessary, in-demand, and in positions of great advantage, personally and professionally.
Today’s marketplace handsomely rewards those in the minority who possess high-level human relations skills. This tangibly shows up in the form of career promotions and/or business opportunities resulting from effective relationship-building by adding value to others’ lives, endeavors, and initiatives. At the core, excellent communication shows up as selfless first…
No one “arrives” at this destination. Human relations and communication skills mastery are disciplines and daily practices that require the ongoing sharpening of the saw so-to-speak to keep these skills sharp. But it must be more than a proclamation; it must be a demonstration. You should never have to tell someone you’re a good communicator… it’s always self-evident.