My friend taught me about kindness. People have struggles. Far too often, we forget this because we are swimming in our own pool of problems. But it’s during those exact times that we have a gift to share with others. In my all-time favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch tells his daughter, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Think about others. Be kind, always. My friend taught me this.
My friend taught me about forgiveness. People make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are accidents, and sometimes they are not. It does not matter because you see; forgiveness is a gift to ourselves. When we don’t forgive, we carry the burden, and never reach true peace. Have grace on those people. Forgive quickly, always. My friend taught me this.
My friend taught me about love. People hurt others. Honestly, that might never change. However, my friend taught me in those unfortunate situations we need to love even more. Sometimes we might not feel as if that person deserves to receive our love, but that is when we must love them even stronger. There is no more powerful emotion. Love, always. My friend taught me this.
But the greatest lesson my friend taught me is this:
No matter what position you hold at work,
how much money you have in the bank,
if your child scores the winning basket,
if your pants are a size larger this winter or,
how impressive your home is…
none of it matters because you can’t take any of those “things” with you.
However, if you give kindness and forgiveness and love to all of the people who cross your path, then you have made a difference.
My friend taught me this.
I wish he was here so I could tell him,
My friend taught me what it means to truly serve others.
My friend taught me what it means to be a servant leader.
My friend taught me to do everything with a heart of gratitude.
My friend taught me to #BE E.L.I.T.E.
My Friend taught me to Elevate - Elevate expectations for yourself, those you lead, and those you have the opportunity to serve with each day. My friend taught me to Elevate others to be Greater Than Yourself (GTY).
My Friend taught me to LOVE – To LOVE those I serve by LEAPing and living a life of JOY.
LEAP - Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof
JOY - Jesus, Others, Yourself
My friend taught me to Ignite – Ignite the desire in others to dream big. To Ignite and empower others to push boundaries, be bold and be brave in our individual journeys to ELITE.
My friend taught me to TRUST - TRUST and be vulnerable. To build TRUST with those you lead and model that being vulnerable is not a weakness, but rather the courage to show up and be seen!
My friend taught me what it means to go to the EDGE – To embrace productive discomfort to be better today than I was yesterday and better tomorrow than I was today.
My friend taught me that as a leader “IT must happen IN YOU, before IT can happen through you!” To lead with authenticity, values, trust and conviction.
These lessons have helped me grow in my empathy for others and to realize that lifting others beyond yourself is more gratifying than experiencing that success alone. These lessons have restored my desire to grow in my personal journey to consistently invest in others so that they may grow and pay it forward.
Thank you, my friend, for making me a better leader, and most importantly, for making me a better person.
You are ELITE,
My friend taught me the power of action is greater.
He has accomplished what many thought was improbable, yet he lives with great humility. He has conquered mountains, but sees himself as no different than anyone else.
His professional position carries with it great authority, but he is unconcerned about his standing. He works as a servant to those he leads.
When he loves; he does so by showing up, giving praise, and focusing on the needs of his family and friends. He is always second.
When he is challenged, he provides no excuse, no surrender, and no fear in failing. He simply works hard to overcome. His ego is non-existent.
My friend has taught me the power of his actions say more about who he is and what he believes than any words he could utter.
His life is the chorus singing about who he is and what matters. His legacy is grounded in his humility, his unmatchable desire to see others succeed, his tenacity, and the love he shares with us.
In today's world we are pressured to define ourselves through achievement, promotion, possessions, and reputation; all in an effort to gain approval for the tapestry of who we are. But my friend has taught me it’s about how we serve others. It’s about our actions.
Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
My friend taught me what that change looks like and I am grateful to follow his lead. But don't take my word for it, let my actions speak.
Brian J. Lidle
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @brianlidle OR The Brian Lidle Company
My friend taught me to give myself permission. Permission to forgive myself. Permission to feel struggle (and live in it for a while). Permission to be vulnerable, and above all, permission to live wholeheartedly in my truth. I never used this self-empowering tool before, but I soon realized, giving myself permission would alter my own paradigm.
The power of permission is a beautiful freedom. I can give myself permission during my times of need. Yet, this "permission" seems uninviting in my own weariness to self-examine; to pause and reflect. It’s hard to process in moments of struggle, pain, hurt, and suffering. Therein lies what my friend taught me....
Permission to explore these personal areas are difficult. It's not like I “cannon balled” into reflecting on my weaknesses. This is not to say my friend was implying he was the keeper of my permission, but rather, my friend was saying, "today hit you hard and I'm here for you and if it hits you hard again tomorrow...give yourself permission for this - for time - for all you need." My friend taught me the most worthwhile journey in my life is the one when I give myself permission to struggle, to ask for help, to be vulnerable, to be weak, to be honest.
I won't say it's easy, because it's not (and I don't think it's supposed to be). I will say the journey seemed too much to handle at times, but then I started to catch on, so I gave myself permission for this process to be messy, rough and challenging. I hope these "steps" find you - as they did for me - with peace and acceptance on the unpredictable journey we all face at times.
My friend taught me to give permission to myself for any amount of time and for as long as it takes. It’s nice, you know, to give myself this gift. Open it for yourself too.
From one friend to another,
Permission photo credit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SewKatelin?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Winnie the Pooh photo credit: http://www.boredpanda.com/best-winnie-pooh-quotes/
Each week there will be one guest blogger share their story. Each entry will be 200 words or less. The guidelines are simple. Each post asks the blogger to answer a simple, yet profound question, what has your friend taught you? Each post will begin with the following:
My friend taught me...
The rest is up to the blogger. More to come.