Have you ever thought about why you are doing the things that fill your calendar? Is it because it supports your priorities and values or is it because of what others might think if you don’t do it?
WHY we do WHAT we do can’t be for others’ approval, or for their applause. Not too long ago we in the US were enamored with the solar eclipse. You might be one of those who traveled hundreds of miles to be in an area where could view it, or maybe you stopped working or skipped school to experience the moon’s ‘Ta Dah’ moment. Actually, the whole country stopped what they were doing to ooh and ahh.
However on any other day, do you really stop to reflect on how beautiful the sun is, how much it does to keep the world alive? If it were a person, I can see where the sun might feel undervalued, even taken for granted. Everyone is used to it doing its job phenomenally well but only when it isn’t doing its job according to their thinking do people notice and then it gets complaints. Stuff isn’t growing like it should, vacation plans are ruined, or depression sets in, and it’s all the sun’s fault. But when the moon shows up and steps right in front, everyone is oohing and ahhing…It’s the makings of a solar pity party!
Do you ever feel more than a bit underappreciated? Or frustrated that at times your shine gets eclipsed by relatively unimportant, but novel events? Maybe a coworker or sibling did something interesting or noteworthy that put you in their shadow and they received the attention or accolades you expected would be yours. No one seemed to notice what you did day in and day out that was truly vital to your project or your family.
I used to feel the same way. But what I learned was this: the reason WHY we do WHAT we do can’t be for others’ approval, or for their applause. If that is our main motivation we become controlled by an insatiable need for feedback, recognition, or rewards, only someone else can provide. Even when we get it, it isn’t enough. We are already looking for that next ‘fix’ to once again satisfy us.
What we do, why we do it, and how excellently we do it MUST come from within. It must come from the love we have for our family and the desire to make a difference in our work. It must come from the desire to serve others in the best possible way we can because it is who we are.
If we have that mindset, even if we fail, it doesn’t devastate us. Sure we are disappointed, but our failures serve more to teach us how to refocus and improve rather than accuse us of being a miserable specimen of the human race. Failure doesn’t change our value, only our direction.
Want to make a real difference in how you get noticed? Start noticing others. LOOK for ways to compliment those around you – catch them doing something well done, a service you appreciate, an attitude that lifts your spirits, or just the fact that they are so faithful to do that one little thing everyday- thank them.
Try it with one person today before you leave work and look for a way to recognize someone at home tonight. You will find that it won’t take anything away from you, in fact, your esteem probably will go up a few points in their eyes. Make it a habit and you won’t need to worry about your shine…you’ll reflect theirs and yours.