My entire life has been spent as a “go-getter” – climbing a professional or social ladder, working to close the next sale or charitable gift, working on the next goal or accomplishment…and I’ve always been praised for it. And most of the time I’ve even been proud of it.
But a dear friend gave me a book recently, “The Go-Giver” and I realized that what I desire to be is actually a “go-giver.” Don’t misunderstand…I’ve done some nice things along the way on this path I call life, but I’ve spent years trying to prove myself in the corporate world and always trying to please others. I’ve finally realized it’s not about pleasing others. It’s only about pleasing God.
By being a “go-giver” rather than a “go-getter,” I am doing my part to make the world a better place. My involvement with Rotary is certainly the most obvious way I give back. But not everyone is a “joiner” or part of a 1.2 million member worldwide network (and quite honestly, if you’ve heard me speak, you know I don’t believe everyone should be in Rotary…but that’s another story). But there are literally millions of ways to give back.
During this season of Lent, practice being a “go-giver” – do something nice for someone who needs it…a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker – or even a stranger. I am certain you’ll be “pleased” with how great it makes you feel to do for others.
This past week I had the opportunity to take a free vacation with friends and business associates. I worked hard to earn the trip, as did everyone else who went, and it was nice to get away. But I am reminded of how many “go-givers” were on this trip with me…the friend who bought me dinner in the airport for no apparent reason (“because I want to,” she said)…the friends who picked me up before sunrise and let me ride with them to the airport so I didn’t have to go alone…friends who went above and beyond for no reason other than because they could!
I’m blessed to have so many “go-givers” in my life. I know you are too! I’ll admit I haven’t started reading the book yet (I’m almost finished with another and this one is next), but I’m already intrigued and looking forward to it.
“Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”
How many times have you heard that phrase? Or said it? Well-intentioned friends and family members say it often (myself included), assuming of course you’ll never really ask. Because most of us rarely ask for help. (I can’t be alone in that trait, right?)
But if you’re as lucky as me, there are those people in your life, that no matter what you’re going through, are always there to help, even when you least expect it and especially when you are too proud to ask for it.
I realized today these people are my “kickstands.” You know, that thing on a motorcycle or bicycle that provides balance and support without any additional aid or assistance. That’s what our most valuable friends do for us, too. Even when we least expect it.
There’s a certain amount of irony in the recognition of my closest friends as my kickstands. Yes, I’m a lot taller than all of these ladies, and yes, that gets pointed out in every photo we take together…
But the reality is they are ALWAYS there for me providing balance and support, letting me lean on them when all I really want to do is collapse and fall over.
Thank goodness for my kickstands. If you’re as blessed as I am, you have several. I shared pictures of just two here, but there are many more that always have my back. I’m not only blessed, but I’m also grateful.
Call your kickstand today, and tell him or her thanks for their support. Share this post and tag them in it using #MyKickstand on your social media.
As an event planner for nonprofits and small businesses, I often find myself a little sad the day after a big event. (Don’t misunderstand, I also find myself exhausted as well…) But there’s that small part of me that wishes it wasn’t yet over.
Christmas is like that too…there’s the shopping, the decorating, the cooking, the wrapping, the planning, the traveling and the visiting. Then there’s the quiet when in the house when everyone has gone home, the leftovers are in the fridge and you get to sit down and rest your feet. The hustle and bustle is over. Reality sets in (like 12 loads of dishes going non-stop for the next few days), and it’s time to go back to work.
As exhausted as you are (Abby included), when it’s over, you still long for that excitement just a little bit longer. One more laugh from one of the little ones…one more smile from one of the older ones…the twinkle of lights on the tree…one more memory that can never be duplicated and can never fade away.
On this day after Christmas, as I head back to work reflecting on the amazing memories I made with family and friends this past week (and year), I am reminded that it doesn’t have to be a holiday to spend time with those you love. The excitement and merriment that is Christmas can be every day. If only you will let it be.
That is my wish for this coming year – for me and for you. That “the day after” is always as memorable as the day before.
So just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom and can’t cope with anything else negative in your life…be prepared. Something bad is bound to happen. Sometimes it will be really bad, and sometimes not as bad as it seems. The point is, don’t ever assume that nothing else bad can happen.
The important thing is not what happens to you. It’s how you respond to it. I’ve been tested a lot lately. More times than you even want to know or would believe if I told you.
But no matter what, I’m determined to hang in there and have faith…to be strong and believe that everything will work out in the best way possible. Let’s be clear – it may not be how I would prefer things work out. But it’s not really up to me, is it?
I have to believe that I haven’t come this far to only come this far.
So don’t let negativity or frustrations or stupid things hold you back. Keep the faith. Believe. Hang in there. Look to those people in your life that you trust and count on, and let them be there for you. That’s not easy, I know. But try it. Let them bear your struggles, your concerns and even your fears.
And keep on keeping on my friends. I’m here if you need me!
Football season is finally in full-swing, and for some of you that may not be important. (I don’t fully understand that, but I can accept it…) But whether you cheer for a favorite player or school, or just couldn’t care less about tailgating, fight songs, defensive coverages or mascots, you certainly still understand the value of working as a team.
For a football team, the leadership falls on the shoulder of the coach. And if the team is to be successful, the coach must coordinate his other coaches, support staff and players so they can work together. He does this by setting goals, scheduling preparation time, consistently practicing necessary skills, and building character.
These attributes aren’t just for athletic teams though. The same is true in your business life as well. Have you evaluated your skills lately to see how you perform as a coach or team member? Leaders aren’t just in the “head coach” role. We all have the potential to be leaders if we are willing to offer our motivation, talent, resources and commitment to the task at hand. It is equally important to be a key player on your team.
Good players inspire themselves. Great players inspire others.
Consider the teams you’ve been a part of…not necessarily on the field, but even in the office or in your community. Did you make a winning play or remain on the sidelines? If you truly want to move forward – as a leader or as a productive team player – it’s time to get into the game.
Your team needs you.