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It’s Not about You


Guest articles > It’s Not about You


by: Deb Calvert


You can breathe a big sigh of relief because this blog is not about you. In fact, there isn’t much in this world that is about you. Throughout time and space and even in this moment, almost nothing is about you.

Feeling better now?

We live our lives in such a self-centered vacuum. At times, it feels like there is no other choice. Look around and it appears that everyone is looking out for number one, that the only way to get what’s yours is by taking it from someone else, that we have to fight for our fair share. But things are different when you realize that it’s not about you. People who live their lives with an orientation to others don’t carry the burden of being self-engrossed.

When the world is bigger than you, your problems become smaller. Your perspective becomes broader. Your thinking becomes bigger picture. Instead of getting lost in all that, you may find yourself in it. When you stop making it about you, you will emerge. Sounds a little out there? Consider this:

When it’s all about you, here’s what you miss:

  • Other people have fascinating opinions and ideas. Being open and receptive to others doesn’t take away from your beliefs or positions. It enhances them when you understand others’ perspectives, too.
  • Other people’s feelings are no more valid and no less valid that yours. There isn’t a “right” or a “wrong” when it comes to emotions. Taking time to understand what’s behind others’ feelings and even empathize with them can give you clarity about your own emotional drivers, too.
  • Putting others first is really gratifying. There is no greater gift than someone else’s time and attention, given unselfishly and without expectation of reciprocation. All too often, we do something for another because we expect to get something in return. That turns our time and attention into commodities that are to be traded away. Instead, we should think of others’ time and attention as priceless gifts. We should give our time and attention in a manner that causes them to think this way about what we’re offering, too.
  • Every single person you encounter has something to offer you. Instead of assessing and judging others, take the time to discover who they are and what they can offer. Be open to the joy that comes from a smile, the warmth of a connection conveyed through eye contact alone, the shared experiences that unite us all. It’s not about finding out what others have to offer because you can take it for your own gain. It’s about valuing others and recognizing their worth.
  • You have something to offer to every single person you encounter, too. It will not deplete you to give freely to others. A kind word costs nothing. A smile given pays immediate dividends in a returned smile and an instant connection. A listening ear earns you the right to be heard at some point in the future when you really need to be heard.
    Being self-centered doesn’t really serve anyone all that well. It may look and feel, in the moment, as if you scored something for yourself. But did you really? At what price? And what did you miss or relinquish in order to have that minor victory?

We forget that we are all part of a whole. We don’t even like to think in those terms. But it’s true. None of us could survive without the rest of us, the nameless/faceless people who also contribute to this world we live in. We are connected in many, many ways.

American culture prizes individualism. Being an individual is something to be celebrated. But part of truly being an individual requires that we be in touch with the collective of people, ideas, thoughts, emotions, opinions and activities around us. It’s not about you. It’s about us.


Deb Calvert is President, People First Productivity Solutions

Contributor: Deb Calvert

Published here on: 08-Dec-13

Classification: Development



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