I’m not sure if you have noticed, but Christmas is coming…
And if I don’t get my A in to gear, I am going to be heading for a really crap Christmas.
Because I have a close family of nearly 40, and normally I have done all my Christmas shopping by now.
Because if I do it during the year, the joy of buying gifts for people is fun. It’s creative, it’s thoughtful, it’s heartfelt, it’s, I don’t know… True.
If I do it in the last few weeks leading up to Christmas, when all the Christmas hustle and bustle starts, the whole thing becomes a chore. You are buying gifts because you have to, you are making a list and checking it twice, not really caring who’s naughty or nice. It doesn’t tend to matter if what you have bought is actually the best gift for the people you love, so long you’ve got the ruddy job done!
Much can be said about this analogy…
At The Coaching Institute, we talk a lot about The Servants Heart. We talk about becoming the best version of you, you can be. Embracing your own magnificence. Being successful, creating certainty and stability through purpose passion and profits.
But what comes first? The chicken? Or the egg?
So many of us have seen it done or done it ourselves.
We have gone through life year after year, searching for the next thing and the next thing that will make us happy, make us whole.
When you finish school, then you will be happy… When you get a good job… Then you will be happy. When you find that love of your life… Happy? When you get married, then of course you will be happy. When you finally buy your first house…. Maybe you will be happy. Well, when you have a baby, then surely you will be happy… When you buy the new car, or the new couch, or the entertainment unit, or have the back room or the kitchen or the bathroom renovated, or the garden landscaped, or you get yourself a cleaner, or find a good babysitter, or go back to work, or maybe, just maybe, you could have another baby, and then by god you’ll have to be happy by then. Surely!!!!
It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
This search for happiness, for finally feeling whole, filling that empty part inside, surely the universe never intended for us to feel so… empty?
And then at last, the penny starts to drop… It’s not about things. It not about stuff. It actually, not at all about us. It has nothing to do with us. Because that empty part, found somewhere between your gut and your heart, is your servants heart. I like to think it’s just at the base of our sternum, right on top of your diaphragm.
So many people ‘talk’ about having a servant’s heart. But I have a funny feeling, that maybe, just maybe, few know the true secret…. And I’ll let you in on it. Or at least what I think it is. It’s found in hindsight. We see if once it’s already arrived. You can’t chase the servant’s heart. You have to just do, and know, have faith that the servant’s heart will follow and find it’s place in you.
And how do you do this?
You look outside yourself. And you focus not on things, but solely on others.
Think about the last time you gave someone a gift they truly loved…
Something that changed their day, and made it for the better. You may have even made their day.
It may be the Christmas gift you spent three months thinking of and finally found. It may be the thing you found while meandering around the shops and it reminded you of them and just had to get because you know they would love it, something completely spontaneous. It may have been a compliment that the person happened to desperately need at that very moment you gave it.
It may have been the fact that you just listened to the person and were there for them without judgement, advice or ‘the know’ of exactly what to say. You just knew that being there to listen was enough.
A servant’s heart is having a sense of compassion and empathy without being attached to it, because you wouldn’t dare to even think you know how that person feels.
It’s being the person you needed to be at that exact moment for the person, not how you ‘felt’ like being because of how you were feeling about the situation.
It’s working in a job because you truly believe in what you are doing, and that it is making a difference to others in a positive way. It is believing in your complete being that what you are doing is positively impacting peoples lives, and you are there for that reason, and no other. Because if you truly believe that, everything else will come your way. The money, the significance, the certainty, the connection, the variety, the adventure, the contribution and growth. All of this flows from the life source that is the servant’s heart.
As a coach, you get to experience this Servants Heart every day, and every day you have the choice… You can think about taking care of yourself and what you need to be happy. Or you can be there for others, and take care of their needs, and focus on that one person at that one moment, and only them and no one else. And your servant’s heart will be filled, and you will be taken care of in the ride.
When your servant’s heart is full, that is when your life conditions start to exceed your expectations, and ‘your cup overfloweth’. That is when the feeling of ‘empty’ fills with compassion, love, warmth and generosity.
The great man, Steve Jobs, may he rest in peace, once said…
“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”
Steve Jobs was famous for his culture, for his people, his protégés, his successors, and will live on for all of us for that very reason. It was never about the money, it was never about him. His success was globally profound because he focussed on the success of others. Making other people successful…..
What do you think?
May your Servant’s heart be filled and your cup then overfloweth.