Thanksgiving is tomorrow. It is my favorite holiday of the year. I chose Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday many years ago because I feel so grateful for everything and the people that are in my life. I also like to eat good food and spend time with family and friends. Thanksgiving is the time of year when I begin reflecting on what the past year has brought and what I accomplished or did’nt. In other words, it is my wind down point and also the gearing up for next year.
As I reflect on this past year, I have to say that I feel this year has been a major pivoting point in my life. It is the year of the paradigm shift for me. In other words, I began to see the world differently that I had before. So, I feel like I grew up from childhood. It took 32 years but it at least it happened. Some people never reach the point of growing up because being a child is just too fun and selfish. Well, this year was my year to leave that all behind and focus on others.
Life’s most urgent and persistent question is: What are you doing for others? ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
For the first time in my life I feel like an actual adult. I feel like I am starting to accept responsibility fo r myself and others. This is a hard word for many people take on and it was for me up until this year. But I believe that I finally figured something out. It is not all about me! That is right. I finally figured out that I was put here on earth for others.
This is how it happened. Not long ago a friend of mine asked me a question that really hit home for me. He said, ” Derek,do you want to continue doing what you are doing and getting the benefit, or are you interersted in making a difference in others lives?” He then explained to me that you can’t have both, we have to choose one or the other. In other words, I could either start living my life to serve others or I could continue living for myself. I made the decision to start living for others.
This decision to live for others has totally changed my way of thinking. I have so much to live for now. Before, I was self- focused, and always me, me, me driven. Now I am people focused and people driven. I feel like I stepped into another world. Actually I am still trying to figure out all of the new feelings that I get when I am around others. Instead of wanting to talk about myself, I am trying to learn about others and how I can contribute to making their lives better for them. I have started listening to people in a genuine way. It is actually the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. There is nothing like really listening to someone when they are talking, then trying to leave them with a word of encouragement.
I want to encourage anyone who reads this post and to think about the same questions that my friend asked me. Are you happy with yourself and your contribution to the world? Do you want to continue to do what you are doing and reaping the benefit for yourself or would you like to start making a difference in others lives?