A long, long, time ago, well about 30 years ago, there was a woman who was hanging out with her boyfriend at home. The young man began looking through her closet and noticed a cool jacket hanging in there.
He told her, “Hey, this jacket is really cool.”
The girlfriend immediately told him he could have the jacket. It was all his.
She explained to him the reason for giving him the jacket was her desire to make her life more enjoyable. The girlfriend explained that if you have a closet full of clothes not worn, life is not as meaningful. She told the boyfriend life is more meaningful when you’re able to give freely to others.
The young man was Anthony Kiedis, frontman for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and this is a true story. In fact, this story was the inspiration behind the band’s hit song, “Give It Away.”
You have to have it…in order to give it away.
Too many people are afraid to go after their dreams. They’re afraid to go after what they really want.
I believe a big reason why is fear of what others think. When people take a leap, go after their dreams, and want more it intimidates others. Those who are intimidated will then make the other person feel guilty for wanting to do more. It’s a “why do you think you’re better than us” or “why can’t you just be happy with what you got” mentality.
You can be grateful and driven at the same time. There’s room for both. You don’t have to feel bad for it; and you shouldn’t.
I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them, so I got rich and gave back to them, that’s the win-win. ~Jay Z
My friend and mentor, Adam Bradley, tweeted the above lyric last week and I love it. Think of the old oxygen mask on a plane adage. When in need, who’s mask do you put on first? Your own or the person sitting next to you? Naturally people would want to help the person next to them, but we must put our own on first if we want to be able help others. And the same is true in all walks of life.
No one can live a truly selfless life, and that shouldn’t be the goal. In order to be selfless, one first must be selfish. Sounds backward, I know, but let me explain. We should follow the 20/80 or 30/70 rule. This means 20-30% of the time we need to do things that make us happy. We should do the things which truly bring us joy and happiness. Make time to talk a walk or hike, go work out, go to a movie, read, go buy something fun. By doing so we are fulfilled and then are able to go out and truly serve others.
We can’t serve others unless our own individual needs are met first. We can’t help the poor if we’re poor ourselves. We can’t educate others unless we are educated. We can’t lead others unless we have wisdom. We can’t give joy unless we have it.
We have to have a mastery over something before we’re able to give it away to others. Most people just dabble and are average in many things. Often, they’ll quit when the going gets tough. But the great ones stick through it, find their inner joy, and then are able to give freely to others.
A great coach is one who has found inner peace and true self-awareness. They don’t feel the pressure to conform in order to win games. Great coaches like John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski are great because of how they teach and love others. They were able to do this because once their needs were met, they focused on serving others.
We can’t give anything away unless we first have it ourselves. Money is not the ultimate definition of success. Having the most amount of money can’t be what drives us. However, there’s more than enough to go around. There’s an abundance in our universe and there’s no shame wanting more if you’re going to do good with it.
Whether it’s peace, joy, love, happiness, wisdom, or financial freedom there’s no shame in wanting more. I try to get better a little bit each day to achieve inner peace, joy, and fulfillment. And I realize now we don’t have to feel bad for wanting more as long as our intentions are pure.
Remember, you have to have it in order to give it away. You can’t help others unless you’re in a position to do so.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.