As this time of goodwill gathers momentum, it is worth reflecting upon one of life’s most fundamental principles. This principle, when fully embraced, enriches our lives so dramatically that we are soon puzzled as to how so many people still fail to grasp its power and significance. The principle is the foundation upon which our work at TransForm is built: The Principle of Contribution.
Consider for a moment the people you truly admire. Who comes to mind: a parent, a teacher, a friend, a business associate or a loved one? The most important people in your life are those that contribute to your life, those whose very existence gives your life meaning. Great leaders, great bosses, great parents, great partners, great friends and great organizations all have this in common: They contribute to the well being of others.
Contribution can be measured by words of understanding or a listening ear. It might involve helping another solve a personal or professional problem. We also contribute different things in different areas of our lives. At work it might be creativity, leadership, skills, knowledge, or expertise. With our families, immediate or extended, we may contribute understanding, kindness, attention, and, of course, love.
So now, in the last month of the year, we may be wondering where the time went and undoubtedly desiring to improve the quality of our personal and professional lives in the year ahead. Here then is my gift to you for the holiday season. It is a discipline that has done more than anything else to keep me focused and balanced.
Begin each day by putting your disappointments, setbacks, victories and joys into perspective by reviewing what truly matters: What do you believe is your purpose in life? Why are you gifted and talented (and you are) in such a unique way? What do you value and believe in? What do you want to create in 2014 and beyond? A willingness to reflect upon these questions and then acting on the answers will ensure your life will be about thriving, rather than just surviving.
Those of you who know me have heard me reveal some of the roads I have traveled searching for happiness. My reading has been prolific, as I have endeavored to discover what matters, what is fulfilling and meaningful. Nothing has made more sense and subsequently inspired more peace, contentment, and satisfaction than this understanding: The purpose of life is to be a growing, contributing human being.