Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work.
What is our work? Our work is not the job or career we’ve chosen, although they can be related. Our work is our mission in life, to use our gifts to benefit ourselves, others and the world around us. I think it’s also to acknowledge other people’s gifts. We feel validated and seen when others tell or show us that what we do matters. Our value is not related to how much money we make or how many friends we have on facebook. It’s about how we’ve contributed to the world through our words and actions.
Sometimes I let myself get caught up in trivial concerns about appearances instead of what’s important. What will people think of me? How do I look? How can I get more LinkedIn contacts? Instead, I need to think about how I can best respond to someone in the moment. How can I use my strengths to help? If I focus on others instead of myself, my needs are often met too. This is not, of course, about allowing myself to become a door mat and ignoring that I have needs. It’s a recognition that when I focus on helping others, I strengthen relationships that then help and support me.
When we build each other up instead of looking for the flaws, everyone benefits. I feel appreciated, you feel appreciated, and it’s easier to address the areas in which we don’t agree. This is our true work. To build up, to create, to encourage, to support each other.