Count your blessings. Count them again. No, really, count them again.
It’s been said that the quickest way for someone to quit feeling sorry for themselves, to be more productive, to accomplish greater good, to be the person they can be, is to look at those who are less fortunate; head for the other side of the tracks. Isn’t your first thought about down and outers? Isn’t it the thought about the guy beating up the old lady? Isn’t it the prostitutes and heroin addicts? How about the homeless? How about the people in jail?
Did anyone think of the consultant flying home from an engagement wondering if impact was made? How about the super wealthy? Maybe the CEO with over 500 people depending on the company for their livelihood? The surgeon who has to walk down the hall to tell the parents “it” didn’t work? The cop who took a bullet…for a criminal; is it worth it?
We are a funny bunch. We need, want, even crave affirmation and success; the definition of what is success can be fleeting.
Steve Jobs wanted to dent the universe; most would agree, mission accomplished. His surgeon wanted to complete a liver transplant that would give him years of life; that didn’t happen; was the surgeon a failure?
Warren Buffett has said that if he never purchased Berkshire Hathaway he would have been able to earn another billion dollars, (USD). He lived in a separate house from his wife for 20 years, never divorcing but definitely estranged. Was Mr. Buffett a failure?
Billy Graham has presented God and Jesus Christ to millions of people and still billions ignore his presentations. Mr. Graham was married one time to his, now late wife, Ruth; his children have not enjoyed the same success in marriage; is he a failure?
The soccer coach who poured everything into the children’s soccer teams never getting to the finals. The teacher who never sees a student show up anywhere after graduation, if the student graduates. The parent whose daughter is pregnant, at 16; and she is not sure by who – double tough.
John Wooden, one of the “winningest” basketball coaches of all time; who lived a mantra of investing in his players and people who he came in contact with, still lived long enough to see many fail and suffer.
Where is the back door, I want out! Margaret Becker wrote a song entitled It’s never for nothing. In her lyrics she talks about love with no return and that it’s never for nothing. This is what it boils down to: putting into others whatever they cannot do for themselves.
Pay the 86 cents for the lady in front of you in the grocery line who is digging through her change purse rather than getting all bent out of shape with some brilliantly perfunctory under-your-breath-loud-enough-so-everyone-can-hear comment.
Reach across the aisle to the lady in the cube; you know, the one who wears the gallon of Channel 1.6 perfume and show her how to login to the company intranet. I know telling her to press the ID10T key is more fun… you’ve already done that 38 times.
Ask your barista how they are doing then ask again. You weren’t listening the first time and they auto responded the first time.
You’re the AVP of whatever feeling sorry for yourself because your bonus looks like it’s not happening due to that head-on collision of two forklifts that totaled out a corner of the warehouse. Keep in mind you are riding in a taxi; you know, the thing that may be extinct in another 5 years. Your driver has a note for a cool million on the medallion needed to operate that taxi; it’s worth about $350k right now.
Really need to get yourself out of your head? Visit a hospital intensive care unit. Need more intensity, head for the oncology ward. Still not enough, how about the trauma ward. Something about seeing parents wondering if their 16 year who took a curve just a bit too fast hitting a tree head on is going to live.
Perhaps you’ve read this far wondering what the answer is; look in the mirror.