Through a culmination of life events, on-time choices and a few perchance happenings in my life, I have found myself wanting to be the most successful in the world at what I do.
And it is not really even a want.
It is a need,
It is a burning desire.
And I know how this sounds. I know this sounds gluttonous, perhaps, or even a little over the top and unnecessary and a little like perfectionist theory when we are usually telling kids to stop trying to be perfect and that no one is perfect – just be the best version of you.
But I would tell you that this is wrong.
Think about it. If you wake up in the morning and you roll out of bed, ready to get after it, and you are excited about the prospect of getting after it – whatever “it” is for you – it’s going to be a good day for someone.
It’s going to be a good day.
For someone (besides yourself).
Because if you are rolling out of bed ready to hustle, ready to grind and you are actually excited about it, that will probably be good for you and will lead to your own feelings of goodness about yourself and being motivated and anxious to see what the day brings.
But it is probably even better – this burning desire for perfection – for the recipient.
I’m sure of it.
If you don’t believe me, consider the students and colleagues of the ever-exuberant classroom teacher.
The teacher who gets out of bed at 5:00 so he can get to school by 6:00,
There with the morning milk delivery.
The same teacher who is waiting at the door for his students when they arrive –
Each and every morning,
The one who greets each one of them by name and with some type of silly handshake,
Or perhaps with a quick check-in because he knows something was going on the night before.
He is the one who comes to each faculty meeting with a smile on his face,
The one who sits up in the front,
Even though some of his closest colleagues may be sitting toward the back.
The teacher who asks questions and tries to get something out of the meeting,
Even though there really isn’t much content relevant to his particular duties.
It’s mostly administrivia and stuff that could have been put in an email.
Think about this particular teacher and the impact he is going to have on each person he comes into contact with every day.
Think about his students every morning,
and how his attitude and optimism make an indelible impression on each and every one of them.
He has the power to take a bad day and make it manageable for receptive young adults.
Some may even look forward to seeing him each day because they know
It’s the only time that day they will receive any kind of warmth from anyone.
And think about his colleagues.
The ones who aren’t thrilled to be at work that day (probably because they are viewing it as work).
The ones who sit at the back of the faculty meeting and
or surf the internet
instead of being attentive and showing respect to the presenter.
The unsaid influence he has on these fellow teachers, the impact his smile and that pat on the back has, will go a long way toward their overall attitude and mood.
They may not even realize it at the time…
I had a student come up to me last week. I was standing in the hallway at the end of the day, talking to a group of students before they departed for the weekend. If I remember correctly, one of them was crying over her worry at not being able to afford the college she wanted to attend. She’s a junior, mind you, but that’s a story for another post.
This student came up to join our group after he retrieved his belongings out of his locker. As we were preparing to go our separate ways, he turned and said, “I want to thank you. Without even knowing you did it, you helped me have a great day by what you said to me in the hallway earlier today.”
“Well, you’re welcome. I’m glad I could help!” I offered up, with a smile and a fist bump.
He walked out the door, clearly off to have a great weekend.
To tell you the truth, I don’t even know what I said to him.
I remember having a brief conversation with him, but couldn’t tell you which part of it was the catalyst for his great day.
But that really doesn’t matter.
What matters is how he felt after speaking to me, no matter how brief our chat.
What really matters is that we, as human beings, don’t leave anyone’s feelings to chance.
What really, really matters is that we wake up every day wanting to be the best, wanting to be number one, and that we have a burning desire, an inner drive, to be the most successful in the world.
Someone is on the other end of your desire. While you are busy trying to be the best, someone is the unknowing recipient of all that greatness… greatness disguised as kindness, warmth, caring, hope, optimism. How great you want to be matters. It matters a lot.