Are you thriving? Seriously, are you? I believe one of the roads to personal joy is service.
There are many roads that lead to our service in the Air Force. Some of them selfish, some of them selfless. Whether you joined for college education assistance or to defend our country, we all wear the same uniform and chose to serve on this great Air Force base. I wish I could tell you that I joined because of a long family history of military service or because I was inspired by events like 9/11, but I can’t. Maybe you can’t either, and that’s OK.
Regardless of one’s original intent leading themselves to service of any kind, the work of a leader is to seek out and find these core reasons in others and themselves. Ultimately, leaders need to find a way to merge these ambitions into a pattern of service.
Whether it’s a product or a service, personal satisfaction comes easy for people when they have tangible results. For the person who enjoyed the work, it is a pleasure. To the person who did not enjoy the journey, they can at least focus on the satisfaction of the final work because of the impact it brings.
Help yourself and others to see that both roads will eventually lead to an internal joy. Sometimes the work takes time and sacrifice, but the self-discipline to stay the course and not give into the need for microwaved instant gratification will ultimately be well worth the sacrifice. Things that come easy are rarely treasured anyway. Think about it.
I personally believe we were created with a nature to serve. It’s funny to me when people are surprised about how good they feel after helping their fellow man or woman. A local food drive, mentorship of those in need or even something as simple as thanking someone for their service - These things should bring a smile to your face and theirs. Of course they do. When you help others, it brings joy into everyone’s world.
What may start as selfish ambition can be turned into selfless service with the right focus on how it changes you or others. I’m certain you are doing this on a daily basis if you stop and think about it. Think about that one time you made someone feel good. Don’t you want to experience that again? You can.
I challenge you to encourage those in your scope of influence to service on scales small and big, even if it appears that they have selfish ambitions. Regardless of the motive, eventually the results of service will come around to benefit everyone, both the giver and the receiver. The joy of service is always well worth the effort.