Service To Others

2013-01-17 09.28.39This post is the first in a series about my working life

I used to be ambitious but soon after I became ill I realised that personal ambition was incompatible with the advice I was receiving from my doctors and more importantly from the International Still’s Disease Foundation which provides excellent lifestyle advice.  I decided that I needed to live a life in service to others, my focus needed to switch to:

  1. Freely giving my work (presentations, documents) and ideas away to anyone at work or (like this blog) to anyone with a search engine
  2. Ambition for my ideas, not myself, if other people take my ideas and run with them then I consider that success for me, even if I don’t get any recognition
  3. A change in focus to making other people successful, so I support and coach key people who I consider great leaders and work to promote them when I can

In practice this means that in many ways I work in the background, serving a few key people.  Working in the background is also a huge opportunity as it frees me from the need to attend many meetings, gives me more time for thinking, research and prototyping.

At home I’ve come to appreciate the joy of serving my family through the housework that I do, rather than seeing it as a chore.  Even when I’m out and about I pickup litter, hold doors for the elderly and generally look for opportunities to serve.

Although I was forced into a life of service, I think it happens to many people at some point.  Either they realise that personal ambition is a road to overwork, stress and burnout or they just reach their natural limits and decide that they are happy where they are. 

For some people their focus can be on the success of their employer.  I find that too abstract and frustrating, there’s very little I can do to affect the success of a huge multinational.  There are too many people working (unintentionally) to derail the companies success.  Service to the few I respect is far more rewarding.

The picture is from Filey Cliffs where I’m heading later today, Anna and I were walking along here back to our caravan after doing the evening shop and watching this amazing sunset. 

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

2 Responses

  1. March 31, 2014

    […] Focus my work on service to others […]

  2. August 15, 2014

    […] less continuity.  I’m less in control of my working life and contenting myself with trying to serve others to the best of my ability, it’s often satisfying but it’s not a […]

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