Comfort vs Contribution: What’s your take?
I recieved this from Dieter Jansen and just had to share:
“The key to life is not accumulation. It is contribution.” – Stephen R. Covey
I have a routine in the mornings before getting the day started. I spend about 30-45 minutes with a cup of tea, a journal, a bible and my thoughts. I read, I pray, I think, and I write. I find it a routine that grounds me and the day is incomplete without it.
One morning towards the end of last year I was reflecting on the positive place I was in with regard to most aspects of my life. It was the holidays after all and there was no stress. But I got a thought, clear as day, that said “It’s great that you are happy with where you are, and that everything is going well, and there is nothing wrong with it. But that’s not the purpose of life!”
Not the best message to receive, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that happiness is achieved in making a contribution. And for what I’m about, making a contribution means getting involved in the messy, controversy-ridden areas of life, to restore relationships, to develop people to achieve more than they think is possible, to provide leadership, to change the status quo, to make peace by drawing out, confronting and resolving conflict. It’s an area that does not endear me to all, it’s often a battlefield, and it threatens personal power structures. It also challenges my own perspectives and beliefs, and shines a very uncomfortable light on my own mistakes which in turn need to be confronted. It is draining and energizing, discouraging and exhilarating, frustrating and fulfilling all at the same time. Confusing, but it requires that I am able to be at ease in an imperfect and messy world.
In coaching, often my contribution is to help others find the areas where they are best suited to contribute, whether it is in their business, personal or community lives. And of course then there is also the ultimate contribution: that of assisting clients to resolve internal conflicts and beliefs that shape their thoughts and actions, and doing it in such a way that my own beliefs do not influence the outcome. This in itself is a journey with many highs and lows, but then that is the nature of change.
What contribution are you inspired to make?
What is holding you back from making it?