Sometimes, we find ourselves in situations and we wonder how we got there. We started off with big plans and dreams, and yet even with the plans laid out we still ended up somewhere that feels unfamiliar. It’s almost like “this isn’t what I signed up for” when this is in fact EXACTLY what you signed up for! That’s the time when I find myself most reflective. In this current season of my life, I have a lot of questions. How did I get here? Where do I go next? What lesson am I supposed to be learning while I’m here? And in the midst of all of the questions, I realize how selfish they all are. Sure — there are many things that I did not sign up for. But there are equally as many things that I did sign up for.
Whether you know it or not, when you/we signed up to be a leader, you/we signed up to serve! I signed up to serve others, and that was always a huge part of my vision for this journey. And when the going gets tough, we all have to step back and remember that serving is the journey. People will never remember what I accomplished for myself. They won’t be able to rattle off my accolades. But they will remember what I did for them. How did I help? How did I serve? How did I make their lives easier?
As I write this, I find myself coming out of a funk. And you know what helped to pull me out…..serving. The joy that I felt as I witnessed the hard work and success of someone else was the most exciting thing I have felt in quite a while. It was motivating and encouraging. It helped me to center myself and become grounded again. I reminded me of exactly why I signed up for this leadership thing in the first place. Serving others is the best way to help yourself!
As I write this, I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to you. Everyday, we should look for ways to serve. Take the time to plan for ways to serve others. Build the time into your schedule. I promise you will not regret it. When you see the smile, read the email, and/or receive the thank you note, you will know that your time has been well spent.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”Dr. Maya Angelou