Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Get Out of the Way...

...of yourself...or myself.

We are most certainly born selfish people, wouldn't you agree? If you don't, you may want to stop here. You were. We were. I was. We're simply wired to look out for ourselves before looking out for others. SelfLESSness is a choice. We have to choose it then choose it again and again and again. Every morning I wake up next to my wife, I have to decide: Will I put her needs in front of my own today or am I going to take front and center? You can apply this to parenting, friendships, work relationships, etc. Think about whom you work for at work. Are they selfish or selfLESS? You shouldn't have any doubt because you feel it, see it, and hear it in everything they do.

My own self-application: I already mentioned the very first choice when I sit up in bed...before the espresso is even brewed. I am one that believes that I am to serve my wife and lead her. If I do it right, "selfish" really isn't an option. I have to decide, regardless. Here are some other thoughts and maybe you'll relate with a few:
  • Driving down the interstate as a car begins to merge from the right on-ramp. Do you let them in?
  • Leaving the pile of dishes in the sink. Wash them or load the dishwasher...or leave them?
  • Voicing your opinion and expecting others to listen but intolerant of others' opinion(s).
  • Finishing the workout and instead of helping others clean up, you bolt...or you help out.
  • Expect accolades from others and pout if you don't get them...yet you never give them...or do you?
  • Let the person cross the road in front of you...or speed up to cut them off. Let them pass with a smile or hit the accelerator? 
  • Getting a fresh towel for your significant other instead of leaving the wet one you used hanging on the shower door. Wet or dry for her/him?
  • It's movie night. You want to watch a new release you've been waiting for. In my case, it's probably a Liam Neeson flick. I can insist on watching my choice or consider the others who are home...ya know, my family. What do you do?
  • You or I have had a rotten day at work. We've been cut off on the road, spoken down to, got cussed at, and got a bad annual review. Do we bring that through the door at home and let our family feel what we're feeling (it's only fair, right?!) or do we choose to love them and leave that junk behind us?
  • Do we work 4 jobs to get the bills paid or do we point the finger across the table and expect others to carry the load? (If you're the man of the house, go get a 5th job and take care of your family!)
  • Do you run long every Saturday and orphan your family just so you can get your miles in...or do you adjust your schedule to minimize impact on them? Which is it?
  • Do you buy that car with a high payment because you "deserve it" even though you know that groceries are going to suffer? Or, do you compromise, save and pay cash...or finance much less of a car to ensure your family stays a priority?
  • Do you see a post on Facebook and think "Not again...I'm sick and tired of hearing about CrossFit...or running...or whatever" ... then act by rolling your eyes and hiding/deleting them? Or, do you recognize what they're doing, think good of it, and scroll on? Yes, this applies. One is selfish and one is not.
  • Do you hold the door open for people? Your kids? Your significant other? Strangers? EVER?
  • Ever shovel the neighbors driveway?
  • It's cold...I mean, really cold. Like so cold they have to cancel school. :) Do you start the car for your mate so it'll be warm and toasty or is "too cold" to do such an act of kindness?
  • Do you wait for everyone to be served at dinner before eating or do you dive in because you just can't wait another moment?
  • How about taking the time to help a co-worker understand something, how to do something, etc. that would help them be more efficient and/or accomplish their task? You know how to make that thing work in Excel and they have no clue...do you assist? Or, are you so busy that you'll won't spare a moment.
  • You dump coffee grinds in the trash but just graze the outside of the trash can so some grinds fall on the floor. Do you pick them up or leave them for someone else to pick up after you?
I am so overwhelmingly tired of the almighty finger being pointed at peoples' own selves vs. those around them in an effort to help, love, serve, and lift up. If we would just have a more servant-like attitude and seek to improve the welfare of those around us and put a smile on their faces. When I walk in my CrossFit box early morning, I make a point to say good morning to folks, even if it's just a wave across the room. Yea, you're tired. Yea, you're grumpy. But get this...expressing kindness and a smile to others will make you smile and feel good as well. Funny how that works, eh? It's reciprocal. I am guilty for wearing my emotion on my sleeve so for me, often more than anyone else around me, I have to be very intentional about this. If you think that "Well, it's going to be awful here no matter what I do so what's the point?!" ... consider that the change can begin with YOU.

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