Recently, I was confronted with a question as to what my moment was. Huh? What did they mean by moment? Well, what they were getting at was this, there are times in our lives, maybe just a moment, one moment, when we get a flash of insight that leads us to our life calling, what it is we were made to do.
That moment for me was when I read this quote from Stephen Covey, “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” I did not fully realize the implications at the time but I knew that quote was huge for me even if I didn’t know exactly how or why.
As I moved forward, did more teaching and coaching and began learning more about what was good and not good in the business world and how it impacted the lives of workers and customers, I began to see that one of the worst things in our workplaces today was how so many employers and managers marginalized their workforce and customers. They treated their employees like a cadre of machine-like drones rather than valuable human beings who can do more than they ever imagined, and thought of their customers only as walking wallets who are only there for profit. It was these observations that helped me see the the value of Covey’s quote and it began to slowly, glacially form in my head as an answer to many of our workplace and life woes.
You see, Covey had made it clear that one of the greatest things you can give someone is to allow them to think their own thoughts, do their own work, share their own ideas, and simply have a voice at the table. This basic idea, dignifying people and empowering them to direct themselves to be the best contributors they can be has over the years informed just about everything I do. “The voice quote” as I like to call it, was my moment. “The voice quote” has become my purpose. “The voice quote”, to give people, whether family, co-workers, or customers a voice to be, deliver, and receive the best life has to offer, has become an underlying force for me.
Now, why the story? Why am I relaying this? Well, I want to ask you, have you had a moment? Have you experienced a time where it became clear what it is you need to do to leave a legacy or make the world just a bit better because you lived? Have you had that moment? Think about it. Reflect. Is the world going to be just a bit better because you lived or will you just have a nice bank account and a lot of stuff?
Too many people think of their lives like a score on a scoreboard, the more money and things I have, the better my life will have been. And it’s not just people thinking this way, many companies live by this same moniker as well. The more profit we make and more shareholder value we grow, the better we are. But in both cases, this is empty thinking. Lying on our deathbeds, what will that empty thinking leave us? What did we do as individuals and/or businesses to do something that made a difference to better people’s lives? With the empty, selfish, things-focused philosophical base, we will leave here having done virtually nothing, at least nothing of lasting substance.
So I challenge you. Have you had that moment where you got a flash that said, “This is what you are meant for?” If you haven’t, think about it and seek out that thing that utilizes your unique voice to help others in some way. Find that thing that makes you the amazing person you are and can lead to making a difference in our broken world. In your own work, find ways to influence your workplace to find its true calling, a calling that goes beyond profit and shareholder value, a calling that benefits employees, customers, and the community, a calling that is about partnership with humans to change our world. Go do it, take my challenge and find your moment.
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