Tim Ferriss asks a question of most of his podcast guests:
“If you had a billboard that millions of people would see every day, what would you put on that billboard?”
Tim’s guests have given answers ranging from the comedic to the serious. Some have talked about a cause that is their passion, or an inspirational passage they’d like people to see.
Each time I hear the question, I come up with the same three words:
Serve others first.
Serving others first means:
- taking others’ needs and desires into account before our own
- looking out for their best interest first
- our decisions are more thoroughly considered because we’ll be taking time to think about how our decisions impact others
- trying to make someone else’s job easier and more rewarding
- showing someone gratitude for the work they’re doing
- minding our manners (as my mom used to say when I was a kid)
- listening to, and respecting others (even if we disagree with them)
- looking for ways to improve a situation rather than making things worse
- being the first to forgive.
It’s easy to focus on our own interests and challenges first. It’s easy to think everything happening in the world is directed toward us, personally. This “me first” mindset is hard-wired into our DNA…our DNA is selfish about 99.99% of the time.
The tougher path?
It’s the one that leads to serving others first. It goes against our wiring, which takes significant effort.
None of us will be perfect on this path. We’ll stumble, and we may even wander a bit. But, we can be a blessing for others along our journey, and that’s what we should be seeking.
The good news is that following this path gets easier with practice.