Our dear colleague, Lisa Spear, lost her brother-in-law last week. Brian was a young family man, killed by a young driver while walking in a crosswalk. The loss was sudden, tragic and very hard to swallow. As a team, we are praying for Brian’s family to heal and praying to hear the faithful message that something so sad might have for us.
For me, the message I keep hearing is, “life is short, spend it wisely.” I’m guilty of loving and living my work, sometimes acting victim to my work schedule, as discussed by my eloquent colleague, Michelle Baca in her post last week. And sometimes, I focus more on the things I need to do, the deliverables I need to produce, and the activities I need to check off my list than I do on the quality of the human interactions I’m engaging in as I do them.
We can all get into a transactional mode, moving through our day’s appointments, meeting our obligations and then ending the day by evaluating what’s done and left undone for tomorrow. As I write about it, it all sounds so mundane – because it can be – unless you appreciate the spark that gives our work and our time here on earth real meaning – THE PEOPLE!
I love my work because I love my colleagues, my clients and my co-collaborators. I enjoy being with them as we struggle with difficult challenges, engage in sensitive conversations, dream about what’s possible and laugh along the way, too. I get real joy out of helping someone overcome a less-than-leader-like habit or behavior that has been holding them back or master a new skill or behavior that will propel them forward. I love seeing people regain inspiration and motivation and when they do, I regain it, too.
The real trouble is that I don’t realize how much fun I’ve had, or how much joy I’ve experienced or how accomplished I feel until I look back – because in the moment, I’m often too focused on “getting it done” or “making it happen” to allow these feelings of appreciation, joy and love to sink in. Even worse – I don’t tell these great people how enriched I feel when I’m with them or how much I appreciate them in the moment. Afterward, I’m on to the next “to do” and less likely to express how much each person’s presence meant to me in that moment, now gone.
As I begin to prepare for this holiday season of evaluation, appreciation, outreach and giving, I want to be more overt in my expression of appreciation for the gifts that each person brings in my life, so I don’t have to wonder if I enjoyed or appreciated it enough when it’s passed. What about you? Are you caught up in the transactional race? How do you slow down and appreciate those you work, play and live with? Please share your ideas!
My prayers are with Lisa and those near and dear on her loss and to those who Brian touched and continues to touch.
How do I slow down and appreciate those I work, play and live with? I typed on one page and inserted in a clear page protector the mindsets I want to change as well as my life lessons and I try to read them daily. Below are examples.
Mindset and Possible Changes
When upset with someone’s reaction, speak loudly
• Speak with Love Softly
Remind Yourself Of What’s Important
Howard, thanks so much for your input and I know Lisa appreciates your kind words. Lisa shared a video of Brian's life that the family produced with me last night and it is awesome. It really showed his growth and evolution in his life and it is truly tragic that he didn't get to keep on truckin' (he was a Grateful Dead fan like me :)). Life is short and the secret sauce is the love and friendship we gain along the way. Glad to be friends with you!
Sorry to hear about Lisa's loss. I am glad she has people like yourself who can help help support her.
Your message is very good! Just in time for Thanksgiving! It really is all about people. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to meet each other this year. Posts like this really hit the heart and sometimes we need to stop and do some personal reflection.
Have a Great Thanksgiving with your family and make sure you share this post several times in the coming days before Thanksgiving.
Thanks, Brent. It's awesome that Twitter helped us connect even though we're in the same city. I appreciate your kind comments and willing reflection. Please share the post to your followers if you think it will be of value and I will re-share early next week, too. Take care and let's see what we can do to help each other in the new year ahead!