“Our mission in life is to make a positive difference, not to prove how smart we are.”
Marshall Goldsmith, via Peter Drucker
Greetings, friends! I hope you had a great week last week or at least made the best of a challenging week. Whatever it was today begins a new opportunity for greatness.
Disclaimer: much of what I’m sharing today is from the words and work of Marshall Goldsmith but the expansion of the thoughts are mine. He freely shares his material so I have no worries sharing with you.
Let’s not get caught up today in a debate about what our life mission is. Your mission can be anything you want it to be and likely you’ve not thought about it at all and have an accidental mission. Whatever your mission in life may be being a positive difference in the world is a pretty good flavor for any mission. Unfortunately, being a positive difference is not the dominant flavor of many life missions. Proving superiority is.
Goldsmith has surveyed tens of thousands of people and concluded that approximately 65% of all communication is one of two types: either A) talking about how smart, special or wonderful we are – or listening to others do this, or B) talking about how stupid, bad or inept other people are – or listening to others do this. A simple survey of your own communications will reveal some similar percentage. What’s the point? Apparently our mission in life is to prove our own superiority by self evidence or destruction of others. To ask Dr. Phil’s famous question, “How’s that working for you?”
Why not accept that you are wonderful, you are smart, you are dedicated, you are blessed, you are a lot of impressive things. You don’t have to prove it to me or other people, nor do you need to lower yourself in the practice of hurting other persons. You are better than that. Why not use the greatness of you to do good in the world? Why not embrace your gifts and let them shine through encouragement, inspiration, sharing, supporting and many other acts of goodness? Why not embrace a mission of positive difference making and leave the self-evaluation to others?
Listen to yourself this week and notice any tendencies to promote self or degrade other persons. Commit to replacing that language with acts of positive difference making. Like flowers planted in a garden the work you do today will yield beauty for you and other persons tomorrow. This isn’t easy work but it is essential to a better life. Can you do it? I’m certain you can! Let me know if I can help you in any way and have a great week!