Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Serve

Just edited #35:

35. Serve. It’s so easy to spend all of our time asking what we can get out of a situation instead of what we can give. I don’t know about you, but I feel stress when I’m just focused on myself. The moment I get out of my own little set of fears/issues and start thinking about how I can serve and give to those around me, my stress seems to evaporate. Amazing.

Try it out. The next time you’re stressed, step back. See how you’re focused on yourself and you may not get what you wanted. Flip the situation around and see how you can give all of yourself to the situation. Irony here, of course, is that when you truly give yourself to the world, you’ll get more than you ever dreamt of in return.

Reminds me of one of my absolute favorite passages from Viktor Frankl’s Man's Search for Meaning:

“Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: Don't aim at success -- the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run -- in the long-run, I say! -- success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”

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