Photo by Dawn Hudson
I am so excited to be blogging again. Permit me to start by apologizing for this long sabbatical … the year started off a little too busy for us, but thank God this first post of 2012 is finally here! For my first blog post of the year, I have been wondering what topic to write about that would convey to you readers of Face2Face just how much I care about and respect you, and how thankful we are to have you as part of this family.
There's a quote by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr that has remained stuck in my mind since I read it on Dunia Magazine a couple of months ago: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Amazingly, Dr King didn't talk about being called to be a CEO or something as glamorous as that, he talked about being called to be a street sweeper! Wow … how humbling is that. This alone should elevate and inspire everyone of us – every hardworking individual who goes out there everyday to make a living and a difference in their unique way.Whether you are the business owner or the janitor, you are useful and your services do make an impact.
In today's world where the focus is on the glamourously successfuly, how can everyday folks remain fulfilled, satisfied and productive? How can you tap into your past, your present to build a better tomorrow? Here are a few points to keep in mind:
Be thankful & retain your sanity. There is always something to be thankful for and many blessings in our circumstances. The truth is, when we were kids, most of us wanted to be doctors, lawyers, professors, etc, but didn't end up in those fields. Regardless of how far off we now find ourselves, it is important to be thankful and appreciative. “Work occupies a large part of each worker’s day, it is one’s main source of social standing, helps to define who a person is and affects one’s health both physically and mentally. Because of work’s central role in many people’s lives, satisfaction with one’s job is an important component in overall well-being,” said Tom Smith of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago who in 2006 did a study on the most satisfying jobs in America.
With this in mind, it makes sense to identify what you love and appreciate about your work … even if you would rather be doing something else. There has to be something about it that makes you happy – whether because it helps pay the bills, provides a roof over your family, puts food on the table, improves someone else's life, etc. Appreciate your work and be thankful for it, even while believing for more and working towards greater and better things.
Respect your work & always choose excellence. Most human beings wish to be successful; we dream of doing great things; we all wish to excel. I have found that life can only be lived one day at a time, one experience at a time, one choice at a time. Because life continuously evolves, and everyday we are faced with new choices, it is important to be grounded in EXCELLENCE … to focus on quality, have a good work ethic, be reliable and tolerant, and to go out of our way to be of service. Excellence today means excellence tomorrow. Create a track record … a reputation of providing the best and being the best. This will spill over into your future.
Whether you are a street sweeper, a newspaper distributor, a janitor, an administrator, a public speaker, a doctor, nurse, stay-at-home parent or business owner, etc … do the best you can in that situation and embrace your work, because at the end of the day, we only excel in that which we respect and which we believe to be worth our time and effort.
Never stop dreaming. An Unknown writer once wrote: "The poorest man is not without a cent, but without a dream". This is one area in life where it is important to multi-task or serve two masters at a time as they put it. You can still keep your full-time job while building your dreams!
Success is a journey that progresses from small things to bigger achievements. If you are not prepared to start at the point of 'humble beginnings", then don't expect to get to the "top" either. It's all about growth and progress. Keep your eye on the goal, be grounded and never get derailed.
Don't feel bad about yourself. Avoid beating yourself up about all that you haven't achieved yet, i.e. those dreams gathering dust on the shelves of your heart. Yes, start moving toward and doing something about them, but remember to cut yourself some slack. Rome wasn't built in one day; no one has ever succeeded in achieving everything.
Be carefull not to give anyone room to belittle you and make you feel bad about yourself. You are not a failure – you have achieved some things they haven't!
You know folks these days want to tell you what to do, how to do it and all that good stuff. Social media has now become a breeding ground for a new breed of so called "entrepreneurs" who specialize in making their audience feel bad about themselves, while hoping to get them to buy into "something better". Anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself and disrespects you does not truly have your interest at heart. Of what good is your damaged self-esteem to them anyway? If you care about me so much, don't make me feel bad about myself! Hello? Gravitate towards those who believe in you, uplift you, yet encourage you to expand and grow.
Always remember that your current situation, position, achievements, and experiences are the giants you stand on to be propelled to greater heights. The power of your past and your today should be harnessed as fuel for tomorrow's victories. Never minimize past experiences and lessons learned.
Reach for the stars. Good luck.