From limited me to unlimited potential
Have you ever lost yourself in a project? Have you ever volunteered for a cause near and dear to you, that time flew by and you forgot to eat? Have you ever been part of a protest with hundreds, or thousands of others and felt that adrenaline, as you joined the chant? Or perhaps at a concert, losing yourself in the chorus? Wasn’t it liberating? Wasn’t it exhilarating? Did you not feel ‘more alive’?
What was happening?
For that period of time, I was not focused on me. I was focused on something greater than me. By allowing myself to ‘let go’ and focusing on something greater than myself, I was able to reach a state which I could not reach on my own.
And no, I am not taking away from my personality and who I am as a result, or diminishing myself. Rather by being part of something larger than myself, it enhances my identity.
Robert Waldinger, in his TED talk, titled “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness” (which has been viewed over 13 million times), concludes that keeping warm relationships is key to living a longer and happier life. “Loneliness kills,” he said. “It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”
The only way to keep true and warm relationships is by not being selfish, or self-absorbed. If I want that type of relationship, I must be selfless and genuinely put another’s feelings and desires ahead of my own.
The more time I spend thinking on the bigger picture of what I’m here to do and the less time I spend being self-absorbed, the happier I am.
Imagine you work for Coca Cola and you are trying to convey an opinion. Which makes a stronger impact? “I, Mr. Smith believe that…” or “We at Coca Cola believe that…” Have I diminished my identity, or have I exponentially grown it?
Being part of something much larger than me and not being so absorbed, can only enhance my own identity and feel like I am fully alive.
It’s ironic. The more self-absorbed I am, the more miserable I make myself. Whereas the more I focus on what my calling in life is, focusing on how I can use my unique gifts and talents productively and for the benefit of others, the happier and more fulfilled I become.
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