Leadership

Leigh Steere: Create Meaning for a Day

_SMP0923What is the meaning of life?

I believe each of us is here on earth to make a contribution. To give and to serve. To stand up for what is right, even when doing so is uncomfortable. To take our blessings and pay them forward to encourage others. To connect with others, because in the synergy between two or more people, ideas take shape and compassion flows.

You will make your finest contribution by cultivating five habits:

  1. Be present. If your head is in a phone, you may not see the senior citizen who drops her groceries and needs help to collect them. Or the teen who is 10 cents short on bus fare and needs a dime. When you place that dime in his palm, you create meaning for a day and maybe even a lifetime.
  2. Be observant. Tune into your environment and the people around you. Sights, sounds, and sensations can lead you to breakthrough insights that give birth to innovation and understanding. The more you engage with the world, the better you become at noticing open doors.
  3. Be optimistic. Concentrate on finding hope, even in hard times. My hero in this regard is the concert pianist Lili Kraus, who continued practicing music in her imagination while in a World War II concentration camp.
  4. Question barriers. I love this quote from Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card: “You can’t rule out the impossible, because you never know which of your assumptions about what is possible might turn out to be false.”
  5. Love your neighbor. Building people up may be the most important contribution you make. Tearing people down diminishes them and you. The passage 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 in the New Testament provides a road map for how to love someone completely.

The meaning of your life emerges as you act. Through your actions, you create impressions, start conversations, and build a legacy.

***

~Leigh Steere, co-founder, ManagingPeopleBetter.com, is a researcher, product developer, and adviser in the field of people management.

Copyright © 2015 Excellence Reporter

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Categories: Leadership, Management

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