Giving Yourself Away

Brooke and I had five kids within seven and a half years.  More clearly stated, Brooke had 5 kids and I played a very minor role.

Part of my minor role included taking our 10 year old to the Smoky Mountains this summer.

Jim Gaffigan says it best:

“But truly, women are amazing. Think about it this way: a woman can grow a baby inside her body. Then a woman can deliver the baby through her body. Then, by some miracle, a woman can feed a baby with her body. When you compare that to a male’s contribution to life, it’s kind of embarrassing, really. The father is always like, Hey, I helped, too. For like five seconds. Doing the one thing I think about twenty-four hours a day. Well, enjoy your morning sickness—I’m going to eat this chili. Mmmm, smell those onions.”

When that many young children are that close in age, there are bound to be messy, ugly conflicts.  Fights over toys, closet space, seats in the car, the last piece of pizza.

Fighting, arguing, putting yourself first.  That’s the easiest and most natural thing for kids to do.  And adults.

We’ve tried to consistently remind our kids that being selfish is easy.  Being argumentative is easy.  Jumping to the front or even cutting in line is easy.  The world is full of those people.

It’s far harder, but much more rewarding, to give yourself away.  To exhaust yourself of your own self-interest for the interests of others.  To take the initiative for the benefit of others.

Compared to the taking of selfishness, we will begin to see the value given to others only when we give ourselves away as leaders, teammates, colleagues, wives, dads, friends.

Simon Sinek, in his fantastic book titled “Leaders Eat Last”, says it this way:

“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”

Today, find an opportunity to give instead of take.  Encourage instead of criticize.  Jump to the end of the line instead of the front.  Build up instead of tear down.

Give yourself away.  It’s harder but better.

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