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The Most Important Lesson I’ve Ever Learned

Within the last couple of months, I gained some clarity on what is the single most important core value for me – the number one filter for every decision that I make.  This simple filter has absolutely transformed my life on so many levels, and I believe that it is very useful in terms of becoming a highly effective leader who inspires greatness in others. 

I’ve found that the more closely I live up to this ideal, the more magical life becomes.  Success in growing my business seems to be directly proportional to the degree to which I live up to this ideal.  More important, the more closely I live up to this ideal the more happy I am.  I often feel as though I am truly living in heaven on Earth.
I had been using this filter since about 2003 when I began living and practicing as a monk.  However, I had this particular value split up into a few other words that I listed as separate on my list of core values.  Recently, I realized that I could summarize these top three core values into one question:  How will this help me to serve others?Although I certainly don’t live up to this ideal perfectly, moving in this direction has been life-changing.
To apply this tool, we simply filter every decision we make through the question: How will this help me to serve others?  To put it another way, we are essentially giving up any concern for ourselves other than ensuring that we are doing what we need to in order to be in the best position to serve others.  We make an effort to only consume or do what we need to do to ensure that we are happy and healthy, which means that we may give up some of our wants.
So, I’m not suggesting that we spend all of our waking moments actively serving other people.  The vast majority of us would burn out pretty quickly if we tried to do that. 
What I am suggesting is that if we can’t make a clear link between what we’re doing and how it will help us in some way to serve others, then we simply don’t do it.
For instance, some of us may need to see a movie every now and then to recharge our batteries.  But do we need to see 3 movies a week?  Probably not.  That time could almost certainly be better spent elsewhere.
I don’t think there’s any magic answer for all people as to what the right balance is for doing things to recharge us, doing things to improve our capacity to serve, and actively serving others.  However, I’m very confident that we can all find the right balance for ourselves if we simply start to apply the filter of “How will this help me to serve others?”
I’m also quite certain that if you start applying this filter, you will notice some amazing things start to happen in your life.  You’ll be happier and you’ll be a more effective leader who serves and inspires greatness in others.
What are some ways that you might be applying this already?

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2 thoughts on “The Most Important Lesson I’ve Ever Learned”

  1. Re-iterates what you so beautifully spoke to my class about. Love it!
    After you spoke, I wrote this quote on a notecard that is by the handle of my door. I look at it every time I leave my house. It’s a nice reminder.
    Thank you.

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