“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Like most of you, I am mourning the "official" end of summer. So much potential for relaxation seemed to turn on the currents of urgency. Life, death, joy, and recovery were all part of "a summer to remember." And now, "It's back to work!"
I am looking forward to a return to something that is both routine and productive. Oddly, both of these things are a necessary part of work. Without routine, work tends to be haphazard, unstructured and quite possibly counterproductive. Without productivity, work is aimless, unaccountable and unquantifiable therefore rendering it meaningless and valueless. Work without value is like treading water, it may keep your head above water, but you are not making any progress. Even, a Labor of Love.
A LABOR OF LOVE
On the day before Labor Day, of our 33rd anniversary, my wife and I volunteered to work at a festival for a group we had never met, had no direct contact to and did not plan to join at any time in the future. When we got there, we found they lacked a great deal of the organization and know-how required to cook food for the masses. Both of us had significant festival food experience by virtue of being "band parents" for seven years (somewhere around 25,000 hamburgers served.) You never know when or which of the experiences in your life will be of the greatest value to others. For four hours we toiled under humid conditions without the proper tools or facilities. We improvised, encouraged, instructed and organized. In short, we had a ball! We couldn't have asked for a more reaffirming and rewarding experience as an exclamation point to this "summer to remember."
At the end of our shift, the organizer called us "Angels sent from God." I told him he should call my mother and let her know her son is an "angel." This Labor of Love really had extreme value in so many ways. First, we met new people, always a pleasant and vibrant experience. Second, we learned that even the little things we do can make a great difference to those in need. Third, we left an imprint on others that should kindle in them the ability to reach out to others who at some time in the future may need their help too. Lastly, on our anniversary, we reaffirmed our love for each other by sharing our "precious" time doing something "angelic" for strangers.
Intangible Value + Doing Something Joyful = A Labor of Love
GIVING RETURNS SUCCESS
I'm not sure how often you may have an opportunity to volunteer or just take the time to do something that doesn't cross your palm with anything but a handshake, but you should. Service to our fellow beings, human or animal, is one of the keys to understanding the universal question of "Why are we here?" We grow exponentially every time we reach out and connect with someone or some group. That growth is measurable yet infinite as long as it is embraced, not as a means to an end but, as a way of life. The concept of "Reaching out and touching" someone has less to do with communicating than it does with the love we should have for each other and the unique opportunity helping others affords each of us to enhance the total significance of all humanity. When the opportunity presents itself, choose to be a helpful person and you’ll experience a valuable element of a successful life. Remember, success is simply the achievement of an intention.
Albert Schweitzer was spot on when he said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”. Whether you speak or lead people for a living, think about how valuable your skills might be to a cause in need. Having personally experienced the rewarding experience and “good feelings” I get every time my contributions help promote a worthy cause, I can't imagine my life without it. I encourage you to seek the opportunity to make a difference through a “labor of love”. When you do, the rewards of the experience will be priceless.
In this blog, I have introduced a formula. Formulas are a coaching tool I have used for years with profound results. Feel free to collect them and integrate them into your success strategies as you see fit.
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To Your Speaking Success,
The Speech Wiz