The whole world could praise my friend and he wouldn’t feel better than anyone else. The whole world could criticize my friend and it wouldn’t affect him in the least. He was clear that all his work was internal. He had no control over anyone’s opinion of him. He had total responsibility of his internal awareness and growth.
I still let the opinions of others affect me. I am pleased that I still care deeply about how people feel. I am still trying to care less about what they think of me.
I have committed my life to God’s will. I follow God’s still, small voice. This truth moves from my inside to the world outside. I want to be liked, I want to avoid conflict, I want to be understood. Most importantly, I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I follow my soul’s song. I only know my truth.
Even though some of us have heard God’s voice and felt God’s presence, we remain human. In our humanity, we still feel pain along the path of life.
Often we expect a reward at the end of our endeavors. After a good day’s work, we expect a paycheck or praise. When we are kind and loving, we expect loving kindness in return. Sometimes life is not fair but it is still life. This is much better than the option.
Our reward for breathing is not applause; it is air – the breath of life.
Our reward for progress, learning, and climbing new heights is not a new job or position, it is a larger perspective for all life.
Our reward for being kind and loving is not reciprocity, but the beautiful feeling of compassion and empathy that brings us renewed life and enthusiasm.
Our reward for telling the truth is honesty and integrity.
Our reward for understanding is the knowledge that you are not alone.
Our reward for trust is being trustworthy.
Our reward for respect is being comfortable with yourself and others.
The sole purpose of a river is to carry water. The sole purpose of humanity is to carry life. As the water deepens and widens the riverbed, we deepen and widen our life, our perspective. As we go deeper and wider, we fulfill our soul’s purpose.
Sometimes our families, co-workers, schools, religions, and society put us in a box – a box that makes them comfortable. Sometimes the box will fit us just fine. Sometimes it will not. If your work, relationships, dreams, and ambitions are not approved of by others, you do not have the problem. You are not the problem. If the box does not fit your dreams, adapt the box or move out. Do not suffocate yourself trying to fit into something that does not suit you.
You know what feels right. If you are full of joy, creativity, zest for life, passion, and purpose, you have found the right fit. All those who truly love you will want you to be happy.
Servant leadership does not mean power over others. Servant leadership is learning about our own, unique, internal power. We must learn how to monitor our own strengths and weaknesses. We are at our best when we model the behavior we want to see in others.
Everyone wants and needs to feel safe. Leaders are responsible for creating and maintaining an emotionally and physically safe environment. That begins with developing relationships and working on trust. When leaders are trusted, both personal and professional growth is nurtured.
Servant leaders are aware that our own authenticity and vulnerability are strengths. Through our behavior, we encourage others to share their authenticity and vulnerability.