It’s not about you but really it is not about me. Well to me it’s not about me, but to you it is not about you. What I mean to say is that it is not about me but I have to tell you that it’s not about you either. Basically it’s not about yourself or myself, it’s about others. You get what I mean? Let me clarify this a little more. At the leadership conference I talked about last week, a man by the name of Tyson Wooters spoke about his time as the Oregon Duck. During that time he learned a lot of lessons which he passed on to us, one of them included it’s not about you or it’s not about me. . .ah you get what I mean.
Just think of all the things that we do for ourselves: we go to school, we go to work, and we hold doors open for others. You may say not all those things are for ourselves, but think about it. We go to school to get a good job; we go to work go get paid, and the last time someone didn’t say thank you after holding the door open for them did you make a comment about it? Yes, maybe we are not always looking for physical compensation but we usually want to be recognized in so way for what we did. There is nothing wrong with this, it is human nature and I do it all the time. Sometimes I even get upset when someone else gets credit for my idea even if it is helping people. This is why we all need to learn that it is not about us. It is about others.
Just doing a good deed and helping out others should give us the satisfaction we want but it often doesn’t. Even if all we want is a simple thank you we still are looking for something. Maybe this isn’t a problem though, is it really wrong to want some recognition in return? I do not think it is but that is not why we should or shouldn’t do something because, yet again, it’s not about us. Think about mascots like the Oregon Duck. They do so much for their schools and fans from energize them when the game starts to making sure they are smiling when things aren’t going great. The mascots are acclaimed heroes but the people inside rarely get any recognition. This must be a hard gig but it still can be so rewarding.
How does it feel when someone tells you that you have just made their day? Isn’t that an awesome feeling? Is it awesome only because you got recognized for it? Imagine being able to get this feeling without the recognition. You know that you made someone’s day and that alone is where the awesome feeling stems from. This is what would happen if we began to realize that it is not about us.
What I am talking about is more than humility and modestly, it about doing the right thing for the sake of the right thing. It is about doing a good deed when no one is looking and not wishing anyone was looking. Picture a world where people did the right thing just because it made them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. How much change would occur? How much better would our ever day lives become? Well maybe this is not a concept that the whole world will adopt but like the wise Gandhi said, “we must be the change we want to see in the world.”
I often do over the top shenanigans to make people smile and try to make people’s days but maybe it is time to be a little more inconspicuous about them. Yes, I will most likely miss the recognition for these good doings but I believe I will begin to get more out of them. You should try it too. Start off slowly, by doing one anonymous act of random kindness a week until you start to really understand and accept that it is not about you. When you go out to eat, pay a person’s bill at another table without telling them. Write someone you appreciate or admire an anonymous letter telling them they are awesome.
It may take a while to actually accept that concept, I know it will for me, but it will be worth it. So next time you find a 5 dollar bill on the ground it could be a coincidence or maybe it is an anonymous act of random kindness.