Today I got an excellent comment from my employer. “I’m so glad you’re here,” she said. “You’re one of our best assets.”
I’m thankful I can be there to make a contribution. We started talking about my recent contributions, contributions which were not a part of my job description but which I embraced from a desire to improve how things are done and make life easier for everyone.
And since I’m an educator, we also talked about my students, some of whom have been making some great comments about me behind my back. That part in the Sermon on the Mount about going the extra mile really does work.
Things are going really well for me in my employment because I know how this game is played and I’m playing my part. It also helps that my associates working at my organizational level aren’t doing likewise. That just makes me appear even more fantastic.
How exactly is this game played? I constantly look for opportunities to add value and then do so without overtly seeking to advantage myself.
Do it for its own sake
The world of interpersonal relationships is no different. People tend to gravitate towards others who can add value to their lives. That means solving their problems and making their lives easier and more enjoyable.
That can take different forms. It can mean entertainment. It can mean wisdom. It can mean a smile and a friendly word to cheer. It can mean a hug and soothing thoughts to comfort. It can mean so many different things.
But here’s the catch. Just as I have been adding value to my employer without any obvious agenda to promote myself, you’ve got to do the same for others without any obvious agenda to promote yourself.
You’ve got to help for the sake of helping, not to get anything out of it for yourself.
After all, people don’t want to be used. They want to be respected and loved for who they are. So add value to the lives of others, yes, but for its own sake and not for yours.
Get out of your own way
I posted last week on the best way to add value to the lives of others. Your own personal ministry will likely be some means of contributing to others. That contribution represents value in their lives. And when you do it for their sake and not your own, they’ll love you all the more for it.
I never cared to associate with those who did obvious “helps” for people who interested them romantically. It was all too clear that they were really all about themselves. People who don’t seem very genuine generally don’t elicit your interest. They don’t leave you wanting to know more about them or to include them in your life.
The influence they exert actually works against them. They’re their own worst obstacle. If only they could get out of their way.
Actually, they can. But first, they need to wake up and realize what exactly they are doing. Then they need to stop doing what doesn’t work and start doing what does. And what does work? Adopting your own personal ministry.
The Savior had His ministry. He was all about serving others, not himself. He was all about His Father’s business, not His own. We can follow Christ’s example by adopting our own ministry, a means by which we add value to the lives of others.
Simplify your life
Everything gets so much easier when you embrace your own personal ministry. That’s because your personal ministry makes your life so much simpler.
Your personal ministry will serve as a prism through which you see how to use your time the best. When you stay true to that vision, whatever good things you could do that lie outside that personal ministry don’t seem all that important. They more easily fall out of your life. Filling your life with fewer yet more important action items simplifies both your to-do list and your life.
And that makes everything easier. Don’t get me wrong. Life will always have challenges. But a personal ministry gives you the structure you need to weather the storm, the stability to keep on keeping on in a worthy cause regardless of the choices others may make. And it helps you thrive during the long and hard years of waiting for eternal companionship blessings to come into your life.
So if you haven’t yet adopted a personal ministry, what are you waiting for? Embrace yours today. And if you have one but have slacked off, again, what are you waiting for? Recommit yourself and embrace yours today. You best add value to your own life by adding value to the lives of others.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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