The height of my business success came after I had been a direct sales rep for three years and a business owner for two years. I believe the biggest reason for my entrepreneurial success was because I realized the power of the right team culture.
My Lightbulb Experience
Sitting at my desk one day, I had a new experience. I can’t totally explain how it happened, but I was in my office like any other day… recruiting sales people, interviewing them, training them, and developing them (not all of which is usually done in a single day), and something occurred to me.
I was in my mid-twenties, and for the first time, I felt like a light bulb popped into existence and hovered over my head – as you’d see in any cartoon. It really felt like that and I had never felt that before.
The light bulb didn’t come alone. The thought attached to it was this… I finally understood the meaning of life. That sounds hokey, I’m sure, but it’s the truth. What occurred to me was that my life would be measured by how many other people’s lives I affect positively. Pretty simple.
From then on, I had a vision for my actions and my team that I hadn’t had before.
Being Congruent with My New Meaning
As a person, I started doing a lot more little things like holding doors for strangers, letting people with less items or who were in a hurry get in front of me in the check out line, smiling and saying hello to anyone I pass, and making sure to say please and thank you to any cashier, wait person, or door person.
As a business owner, my goal was to be as helpful to my team as I could possibly be. However, as a manager of a good size team, I couldn’t be the only one available to help my people. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, and even if I could fill all of my hours helping others, I’d spend so much time doing it that I’d miss out on other areas of my own life.
Once I helped my team understand the power in helping each other, my workload was lighter, and we had the most effective people helping in the areas they were the best in – in some cases, even better than I was. That was a double win four our organization. Creating a culture of people helping each other was the best thing I ever did for my business and the people in it.
My reach went from helping those that I could fit into my schedule to helping others learn to help others. It’s sort of like paying it forward and more people are affected positively. Zig Ziglar always said, “If you help enough other people get what they want, then you’ll get what you want.”
I have explained what I believe is the measurement and meaning of my life, but that doesn’t mean I believe it is the meaning of every person’s life. You may find meaning in the same thing I do, but you may feel you have a completely different purpose. You have to decide for yourself what it is for you.
What is the Meaning of Your Life?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you figure out what the meaning of your life is. I recommend you write your answers down in your phone, tablet, or computer, a journal, or on a scrap piece of paper. There is a lot of power in writing down your thoughts and in being able to review them in the future.
- What have been a few of the best experiences of your life so far? In other words, what have you gotten the most enjoyment from or felt the best doing?
- What was it about those experiences that made them so great? Was it the activity itself? The interaction with others? The use of your physical or mental faculties? The outcome?
- When people talk about you, what would you want them to say? It would also be good to evaluate whether or not you are behaving in a way congruent with the perception you want others to have of you.
- What do you believe about life? Write down as many answers as you can think of without forcing yourself to write down things you don’t really believe. In other words, don’t make stuff up; just write what you believe.
- If you died tomorrow, what regrets would you have? Would there be things you were sad you never experienced? Would you wish you could have done something differently?
If you go through this exercise and you still aren’t confident you’ve come to understand the meaning of your life, that is more than okay. You don’t have to answer that question. There is no right time frame for the answer to be part of your life. Plus, it could change at some point and that is okay too. There is no rule saying your meaning of life can’t evolve as you grow and experience more.
Just doing the exercise should at least bring you some clarity on you, your beliefs, and your desires. That is beneficial enough to justify answering a few questions.
I’d love to hear if you’ve decided on a current meaning to your life. You can share it in the comments below.
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