“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
In my work in a 12 step program of recovery we are taught the importance of being of service to others. I’d say the cause of my addictions and all my suffering was the result of self-serving obsession. I was driven by money, sex, power, prestige and nothing was ever enough. I was miserable. I coped with my misery with vices that became addictions. When I surrendered to a program and started to heal I was bombarded by people who were where I was and extended their help to me. I am here today because of the love, support and service others gave to me. I am blessed at the opportunity to be of service to others.
When I came up with the GREAT acronym (Gratitude, Recognize Negativity, Excitement, Action, and Thanks) I was doing volunteer service at a homeless shelter in Santa Monica. The workshop was titled How to Have a GREAT Day. I loved doing the workshop for that audience. I was inspired by the optimism of my participants. Every time I ended a workshop as the participants exited the classroom they would smile and tell me “Have a great day.” I couldn’t help but think of how wonderful my day had been by being able to serve them.
Today my GREAT framework has evolved and is the basis for a book that I hope to get published. It is the model that I use in my coaching work and hope it will be the platform to do speaking engagements and workshops. The model had transformed my life. Today the vision for my life is to share what I’ve learned with others. In my vision I hope to change the meaning of the word GREAT. I want to teach people how to be GREAT; how to be a GREAT leader; how to be a GREAT parent; how to be a GREAT friend. I want to teach people how to have a GREAT day, and by doing this I want people to look back on a GREAT LIFE. I want people to help others be GREAT. Maybe one day people will know me as that GREAT guy… long after I’m gone I want a GREAT LIFE to help my Nephews children and God willing my children and grandchildren live a GREAT LIFE.
I love my life and don’t take any aspect of it for granted. Yes it could be better. I could be dating the love of my life, I could be earning more money, I could be living in the home of my dreams. But is there anything better than being of service to others? My life is a blessing and a miracle. My life has meaning as long as there is someone I could offer my time, some advice, a shoulder to cry on, an encouraging word, or even just a smile. Service has saved my life. The service others have offered me, and in my finding purpose to my life in serving others.