I recently said farewell to my mother after a great visit. We had a wonderful time as we made our way around Europe. However, there were times when she had some very honest truths for me. She proved to me that we must keep our family close at all times. And, that I can sometimes be kind of an ass. Most Importantly, never forget where you came from on your path to where you want to be.
On the way back from the airport my driver was having no trouble racing me to my hotel in anticipation for the next person who would press the request driver button on their Uber application. After crossing the Dnipro River we veered towards the center. I looked out at an abandoned warehouse located between us and the shores of the river. The broken windows and rusty metal roof reminded me the structure was once a functioning factory. It was once brand new and unweathered by the elements.
My eyes turned towards the river and saw the sun glistening off the water. I felt sad. The innocence I once held, pure joy and positivity, had been stripped from me. I turned cold and hard. I forgot who I was and what makes me operate. This sense was brought on by advice given to me by my mother the day before. She said I am allowing the world to rob me of my purest gifts. She was right. I forgot my greatest asset is bringing joy to others.
I know it sounds corny. So, I will back that up with an example. When I was a child my mom would only get calls from my teachers for being a class clown (other than that time I flipped off a girl I had a huge crush on). Why was I always the class clown? I loved making others smile. It was less about being the center of attention and more about the joy that comes from being the source of other people’s happiness.
On my fridge I have the words written, “it’s not about you.” Why are these words on my fridge? Well, I watched an online sermon from our church in America. I heard the pastor say the phrase, and felt the need to write it down and put it on my fridge in order to remind myself how to live my life. Life is not about getting ahead of the person next to you. It is about helping them get there first. This may never be attractive to or understood by everyone. Never put me in a Cadillac or a million dollars in the bank. But, it will allow me to embrace my true self and live a fulfilled life. Cash is not the only currency and nothing is for free.