Naturally, so much of what we read about leadership and personal development is focused on us and how we can improve our circumstances as an individual. There is no shortage of resources or ideas that one can adopt and apply to their own lives. I’m happy that for anyone who is interested in living a meaningful life that there is a bevy of material at their disposal. What I sometimes find missing in this quest for self-improvement is a focus on the other people in your life. We can spend so much time looking inward that if we are not careful we will miss opportunities to reach outside of ourselves to make a real difference. It is never just about you.
You don’t always have to take center stage. Sometimes it’s just as important to play a supporting role for someone else. We need to “give” as much as we “take” if we are to have balanced and healthy relationships. Just like you want the people closest to you to share in your special moments and be there for you when you stumble, you need to do the same for them. There is nothing more comforting in life than knowing that someone else genuinely cares for you, has your back and is one of your biggest fans.
For all of us the arc of our physical and professional lives both ascends, hits a peak, and then descends at some point. We will be the hot young prospect and then become the savvy veteran. We will marvel at our own physical abilities and then wonder what happened to them. We will revel in the early glow of young love and then hopefully enjoy the slower burning embers of long lasting companionship. We will win and we will lose. We feel a sense or abundance and then struggle with the inevitability of loss. It is all part of the cycle of life. Being there for others in an empathetic way as they navigate their own journey is the best gift we can give them and ourselves. Having a front row seat to someone else’s life is a real privilege and responsibility.
I’ve always found the perfect summation of well lived life is how many people show up at a wake or funeral and what they end up saying about the deceased. In almost all cases when there is a full room, the crux of the conversation is about how the departed ending up affecting another person’s life in a positive way. Close family members write and say beautiful words about what this person meant to them. Friends and colleagues line up to show their respect and share fond memories. People who have been out of touch for years somehow find out what happened and gladly make the effort to be there. It can all be very sad, touching and profound at the same time.
No one ever truly goes through life alone. Our experience is reflected back to us in the eyes, words, and experience of others. It’s okay to put yourself and your needs first sometimes, but not all the time. You’ll ultimately have the greatest impact and achieve the highest level of happiness by being a good boss, colleague, friend, sibling, relative, daughter/son, parent and partner/spouse to someone else. Be there for the other people in your life – it truly matters.
- Leadership Thought #249 – Isolate Yourself At Your Own Risk (edrobinson.wordpress.com)
- How Personal Values Impact Daily Life (irialofarrell.wordpress.com)
- Are Your Relationships Personal Enough? (stevenaitchison.co.uk)
- The Power of Love Includes Stress Relief (everydayhealth.com)
- Patient and Meaningful Relationship Building for Lifetime Success (drewry.info)
- Great Companionship: The Indelible Maker of Adventure (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Creating Authentic Relationships (theindustrycosign.wordpress.com)
- Show Me Your Relationship and I Will Tell You Who You Are (alwayslivinginvalueeveryday.com)