Date Added: December 2011
Note: This article appeared in the December 18, 2011 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Having someone help you improve is becoming common. This may be a coach, mentor or advisor. Someone to discuss career development, skills and advancement opportunities.
Given it’s gift-giving time, let’s envision the impact the gift of You could have on others with this type of coaching. To achieve this gift, think of one person (living or dead) you believe to be the greatest person ever. Define “greatest person” however you’d like. Greatest CEO. Greatest leader. Greatest parent. Greatest humanitarian. Greatest athlete. Greatest actor. Greatest singer. The one person who truly inspires you.
Take time to discern who this person is. Now, imagine having a 1-on-1 discussion with him (my individual is male, so I’ll use “he” in this article). Just you and him. No phone calls, texts, emails, Facebook, Twitter or people interrupting.
You tell him about your family, your children, what you do for fun, your challenges, your career, and all other key events in your life. You ask him questions you’ve always dreamed of asking and listen intently. The opportunity to have this 1-on-1 discussion with him is amazing and you believe whatever he says because this is the greatest person ever.
He then says, “Tell me how you serve and love others.” You’re uncomfortable. You want to discuss your career, your family, your accomplishments, your issues. You want to discuss how you can learn from him. Love and serving others has nothing to do with this.
You think of your business or personal successes, and working for a great organization. You think of your struggles of seeking new employment, having to downsize employees or mistakes you’ve made. You dream of being the greatest athlete, singer actor or leader. You try to change the topic, but he won’t allow it.
He discusses times he traveled and missed seeing his family. Vacations he didn’t have time to take; or vacations he took and doesn’t remember because he was too busy working. He then says the greatest gift you can offer is yourself in a positive, loving, serving way. You’re even more confused and uncomfortable – the greatest day of your life has taken an odd twist.
He tells you life is not about being the greatest actor, athlete, singer or business person. It’s about being the greatest form of yourself. The best Kathy. The best Kim. The best Jim. The best David. The best You.
He says we are each unique individuals with specific gifts. Unfortunately, we don’t always know our gifts; and if we are the fortunate few who know, we may not use them the best we can because we’re afraid. Afraid of being different, afraid of making mistakes, afraid of failing. So we don’t give of ourselves.
And then he says, “If you believe in me, do even greater things than me because I want you to be greater than me.” The greatest person ever wants you to be greater than him by offering the gift of You to others.
While you may not yet know your gifts (something we’ll discuss more in 2012), think of 1 thing you can do to do even greater things than the greatest person ever. For starters, give yourself freely, unconditionally and lovingly. Not just with family – with everyone.
As part of gifts to others, write a note with every holiday gift that you will give the recipient the greatest form of You. Also, make this your New Year’s resolution. Happy holidays.