This newsletter is about progress, improvement, becoming a more enlightened human and living more skillfully. Good stuff, indeed! But, WHY?
So today I want to highlight or revisit why we are doggedly committed to progress and improvement.
Common, easy to grab tools for the masses seeking growth are Personal SWOT Analysis and the SMART goals model, or using a Strengths Finder Tool. These are practical and may help you focus you but they are nothing more than time wasters if you’re looking for real growth, transformation, or what most miss, fulfillment.
What all these tools lack is the big why that underlies your ambition. What is the purpose behind your efforts?
Most people want to improve and live more skillfully to have a better life. It’s about ME, ME, ME. What can I build for ME?
It’s OK to seek growth for self-interest, to become a better version of me. But ask yourself why.
If for me is your only purpose, I assure you that alone will not sustain you through the times when conditions are desert-like.
Me as a purpose should be your secondary purpose. Ideally we become better versions of ourselves, we develop, improve and become more enlightened so that we have something more valuable to offer others.
We make ourselves more valuable so we can offer a higher contribution!
Examples of why
- Do you remember the story of Steve Jobs recruiting John Scully away from his job as CEO of Pepsi? He asked him, John, do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and make a dent in the Universe?
- Some people say social responsibility isn’t our job; that our only job is to try to make a profit. I reject that! I can tell you with much proof that it adds value to shareholder value. It is accretive! Howard Schultz
Believe me, I haven’t always operated this way. When I was focused on me, things didn’t go smoothly. Projects were bumpy; there was sometimes a wake of problems. But when I made service primary, when I forgot about ego, credit and self-importance, everything (including me) was all the better for it.
I suggest when you consider your big why; do so like your counterparts below.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Gandhi
Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. Martin Luther King Jr.
From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other. Einstein
May The Force be with you is charming but not important. What is important is that you become The Force—for yourself and then for other people, the world even. Harrison Ford
It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. Emerson.