Excellence Reporter: John, what is the meaning of life?
John Tschohl: I was intrigued by this question and thought about it for a long time. I pondered if I was that one and only person on earth that was given the answer to that question and was now afforded the opportunity to share it with the world…..NOT.
What I can do is give you my personal thoughts on this subject. I truly believe it changes with your experiences. You grow, you learn, you experience, you fail, you succeed, you love, is all part of it. All the things we do in our life at different ages and stages, determines how that question is answered.
When I was a child, I thought as a child and thought the meaning of life was exactly what I experienced in my house with my family. Food, clothes, laughs, hugs, and parents that loved me. It was simple, if I was good, things were good for me. It was the meaning of a child’s life.
When I was a teenager, my Mom had continuously told me I could succeed at anything if I put my mind to it and I imagined myself successful and with a lot of money. I focused on that and in my twenties and early thirties I accomplished exactly what I focused on. Surely this was the ‘meaning of life’.
As a young man in business I was determined to make a difference in what I saw as a complete lack of professional courtesy when it comes to other people…customer service became the hallmark of my professional life. I was certain I definitely had the answer to… ‘the meaning of life’.
Now, as a business leader my thought process tells me that I don’t know the exact answer, the same as nobody does. It seems to me that as we continue to grow, learn, experience, fail, succeed and love, we move up to a different level of understanding. The meaning of life is different for each of us and we can do good or do bad, simple as that. If we do bad, we have to pay for our consequences. If we do good and help other people, the sky’s the limit. We reap our benefits with others in high places.
~John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is founder and president of the SERVICE QUALITY INSTITUTE. Described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written several books on customer service. The Service Quality Institute has developed more than 26 customer service training programs that have been distributed and presented throughout the world.
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