I have been challenged, inspired, and motivated over the past few weeks by the topic of selflessness. It started when I read the book The Go-Giver. It recounts a parable about a man who wants to win at all costs, and in his pursuit he learns that giving is the only way he can hope for stratospheric success. At the same time, I have been interviewing people for the digital media specialist position we are hiring for and I have been providing each person with an expectation for our company and the interview process. This includes telling the candidate about our core values and what they mean to me.
Through both of these experiences, I felt compelled this morning to write a little about the topic of selflessness and what it means to me. I like to break it down into two parts, the company version and the personal version of selflessness.
I don’t need to quote a dictionary to remind everyone that selflessness is the act of putting someone else first. Their concerns, wishes, hopes dreams… But what I do want to relay is what does this look like from the two perspectives I mentioned before. Company selflessness and personal selflessness.
As a team, we have given back in many ways. I think my favorite so far has been the Adapt a Toy session we had where we adapted toys to support a special button that those with disabilities can use to interact with toys if they have no use of their hands or feet. There are also the many diabetes walks, soup kitchen experiences that all lend to an attitude of giving back to those around us as a company. On top of that, the volunteering program where we offer to give monetarily to support the time efforts of our team warms my heart.
These acts, I believe, are our responsibilities. To use the blessings God has granted to impact the world around us. It is not just a program but a requirement. But don’t misunderstand, I don’t mean begrudgingly give because we have to, but rather as 2 Corinthians 9:7 has called us, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
But there is another kind of selflessness that doesn’t involve community service or “giving back”. It is a type of selflessness that, like the definition, thinks of others instead of ourselves. I illustrate this to potential candidates like this. If everyone is looking UP to advance their position within the company (or the world) then the result is people being trampled and a selfish culture starts to dominate. If we instead look DOWN and AROUND and continually ask how can I help someone else up, we are encouraging selflessness. And if everyone is looking down and helping other us, then we are always going to be helped up ourselves by someone else.
Or to put it another way. As Zig Zigler said, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
This is truly the message I want to share today. It is about actively thinking about other people and doing all we can to help them in any way we can. This was also illustrated in the book Go-Giver I mentioned above. Law #1 of stratospheric Success, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”
As we are about to close out our week and are possibly looking back at the ways this week didn’t quite go according to plan, I would encourage each of you to look at Selflessness and really think about how you have shown others that you are thinking of them. How have you helped someone up this week? How have you helped someone get what they want? How have you given more in value than you’ve taken in payment?