I’ve said it many times, my business’ success is dependent on how well I serve my clients and customers. If I do a good job then I not only make a sale but I make a friend, and it is our friends who we serve the most. How many people do we serve in a day? A week? A month? Whether you think about it or not, we pay for good service more than anything else. The waitstaff who bends over backwards to make our dining experience the best and accommodates our health situations by finding out what is in the food will always get a better tip from me. Serving our brothers and sisters is another of April’s Action Steps to Wellness because it helps us to take a break from our own lives and puts the needs of others first.
Serving other people is not a platform to look for reward or fame, it shouldn’t be like our celebrities who are always serving organizations to get free publicity. Serving should come from our hearts and focus on the person we are serving not on how we look. It’s a blessing in my life to know that what I do makes an impact on the lives of the people I serve and that is reward enough for me.
When I serve it is a direct extension of who I am. I take myself out of the picture when I’m serving and it helps me focus on other people’s issues. It also helps me to see other people’s strengths and look for ways to implement them in my own life.
Here are some ways you can get involved and serve the people in your community, your church, and your family.
- Volunteer at the local boys and girls club. Be a mentor to children who need a positive role model in their lives.
- Help out at the local food bank or food pantry. Anybody can write a check or donate food, but it takes a special person to physically help people in need.
- Volunteer at a senior center to play cards, do crafts or just plain talk to the senior citizens or Silver Ambassadors.
- Sign up to read to children in your local school district or at a children’s hospital.
- Make a plan to pray for each of your friends in real time and on social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Leave a short message on their page to let them know you’re thinking about them.
- Send cards out to the people you know who are having a rough patch in life. Let’s face it we all fall into that patch from time-to-time and a card carries so much thought.
- Call your family regularly and ask them if there is anything that you could do for them or find out what’s going on in their lives that could use some prayers.
These ideas just scratch the surface of ways you can serve people.
A serving attitude comes from a loving heart.
Do you have that heart?
10 TIPS TO MEANINGFUL DAYS
- Choose the right attitude According to renowned author John C. Maxwell, we should “choose and display the right attitude”. Our attitude is a choice we make every minute of every day; it’s what we bring with us into every situation we have. Look at it this way “Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, what’s in your heart?” (Facing the Giants)
- Eat Healthy When we take in the proper nutrients through our food our minds work better, we think more clearly, and are not apt to make rash judgments. That jelly filled donut and coffee you have every day on the way to work only spikes your blood pressure and shoots your insulin levels up. It does not wake you up but gives you that mid-morning crash.
- Make time for the family When my children were in school I worked for a company that had flex time, which means I was able to make my own hours as long as I was at the office for at least 5 hours during business hours. This gave me the opportunity to start my day at 5:00 am which means I was home before my kids got home from school. I was able to make every track meet, basketball game, band concert and mid-afternoon school parties. You have our whole life to work; your children are only with you for 18-20 short years make them count. For those without children, spend time with your nephews and nieces, call your parents weekly, connect with your siblings.
- Acknowledge someone for going above and beyond Our society has become a society that gives out awards for waking up in the morning. We have lost that work ethic that was once present all around us. No more can our teachers fail a student for not doing his or her homework now it’s okay just to show up “you get an A; you made it here!” It’s been said that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. I don’t agree with that; now it’s like 1% of the people do the work and 99% of the people want to reap the rewards. Acknowledge those people that actually do the work, they deserve it.
- Learn something today In Leo Buscaglia’s book Papa My Father, Leo talks about his father who even though had a limited education instilled an evening ritual for his family. Before dinner everyone had to share something they learned new that day. Before you sit down for your evening meal or if you eat lunch with your co-workers ask each other “what did you learn new today?”You might be surprised at the outcome.
- Be on time Most people don’t understand when you arrive late to an appointment not only do you show disrespect for the other person you’re meeting, you show an “I don’t care attitude”. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi would tell his players if you’re here on time you’re already late. Lombardi Time states “Show up for every important business meeting 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled meeting time.” The idea is to use the 15 minutes to catch your breath, collect your thoughts and plan what you want to accomplish in the meeting and how you’ll go about it.
- Be a “YES” person We have been programmed from a baby to say “NO”. “Do you want to buy” are words that make all of us cringe. Usually when someone asks us a question, our minds are ready to say the word “NO” before the person finishes the question. Say “YES” to listening to the whole proposal before making up your mind. If you close your mind too early you won’t hear the possibilities.
- “Don’t sweat the small stuff”The first chapter in Richard Carlson, PH.D. book by the same title. He states “Often we allow ourselves to get all worked up about things that, upon closer examination, aren’t really that big a deal.” You know that person that just cut you off on the way to work, you don’t have to chase them down and get back even with them. Let them go, don’t make their problems yours. When we allow all the small stuff to build up we find we have bigger problems.
- Don’t worry about things you can’t control You get an email early in the morning from your boss secretary “the Boss wants to meet with you at 3:00 this afternoon”. You start to panic, what did I do, are there going to be cutback, am I going to get fired, what do I tell my wife and kids. Our minds play through many scenarios, in fact your boss only want to congratulate you on a job well done on the last project. We worry about everything. Worry makes you physical sick. Really it’s exhausting. Let go like water off a ducks back, you’ll be better for it!
- Be chivalrous When was the last time you did something “just because”. Hold the door open for a stranger, allow them to step in line ahead of you because they only had 3 ideas and you had a cart full. We live in a “ME” society, me first the hell with the rest of you. My wife and I raised 4 sons as Modern-day Knights, thinking of the well being of other people first. That person you just held the door open for was having the worst day of his or her life and you just made it better. An act of chivalry only costs time, but the reward lasts forever.
I want to thank my husband, Joe Jacoby for writing this blog post, it means so much to me to have his love and support each and every day we are together. His support and guidance helps me make each of my days count.
If you’ve been following this blog, you already know that I am in love with books. I usually buy one good book a month and read at least five books at a time. One of my favorite authors is John C Maxwell. One of the books I am currently reading is Make Today Count by John C Maxwell.
When my husband tells me I need to read something, he’s usually right. Once I picked it up to read it, I couldn’t put it down. Plus I started to take notes on it. Something I do with books like this. The first chapter is titled “Attitude.” Our attitudes make or break us. Our attitudes toward ourselves will speak volumes for other people. If we are supposed to inspire other people, a bad attitude will show the world that we are not worthy of following. Plus a bad attitude makes today worthless. Our attitudes are choices we make each day. We can choose to be positive or negative and our day will reflect those choices. While we cannot choose our heritage we can choose our attitudes by getting rid of the negativity in our lives.
Which leads me to the next book I am reading. The 10 X Rule by Grant Cordone. I found this book by listening to Grant on his YouTube videos. While it talks about the differences between being a success or a failure in the business world his practices make sense in the other arenas in my life. The 10 X Rule is just as simple as doing something 10 times to see greater benefits whether it’s applied to business, weight loss, child rearing, or our relationships. In raising children, we don’t just tell them once that they shouldn’t do something that could hurt them, it’s an ongoing process. We also can’t think that if we workout once a week we are going to look like a super model. I just love the candor of this author and speaker to tell “it like it is” approach. Grant Cardone is the “Howard Stern” of the business world and a much needed breath of fresh air.
Do yourself a favor and read Make Today Count and The 10X Rule together.