August 01, 2018
This is a simple post, created because of a realization I made recently about the type of people I appreciate most. They all seem to share some basic characteristics and thought it would be good to share them with you.
Why is this important? Because we all have people in our lives we appreciate, those who seem to exude life and somehow are able to breathe life into us, rather than suck it out. As I thought about this I came up with a few traits they shared in common so here they are.
The first is teachability. Few skills speak to a person's character like teachability. It conveys a sense of being mouldable, even self-aware. I can't ever recall a person I've worked with having this characteristic who conveyed an air of arrogance and pride. We've all been subjected to someone who acts like a know-it-all and tends to argue every detail as proof of their intellectual superiority.
Those who are teachable exude a curiosity that is contagious. Life is literally an adventure of learning and their curiosity to develop and grow keeps them humble. Some of the smartest people I know share this quality, even though they could boast of their expertise on a particular subject, they instead portray just the opposite. That they are only just beginning to understand the complexities of a subject with so much more to learn. A memorable reminder of this came during my doctoral studies.
I had the privilege of being in class with a noted scholar whom I invited to lunch. He gracefully accepted and during our lunch conversation he migrated onto the topic he was renowned for. He didn't do this to brag or to demonstrate his scholarly achievements. He brought it up because he had learned something new and was bursting to share it with someone.
There I was, sitting with a well-known scholar, who was bubbling over like a four year old over a recent discovery he made in his respected field. I can't tell you the impression that left with me as well as the new found respect that went deeper than just academic deference.
The second is motivation. I recently heard a phrase that illustrates this perfectly, though I can't recall where I heard it first. The phrase is ""Do they come with their own batteries?"" I personally love the picture that phrase creates. It's like the energizer bunny commercials that stressed a battery that ""kept on going!"" We've all known people who have this energy, this motivation, this ability to get the job done.
They don't need coaxing or further incentives or threats. They are motivated to do the job because it is simply the right thing to do. Here's is something I've noticed about these people. Whatever it is that motivates them, the thing that charges their batteries, doesn't just relate to the completion of a task, it also translates in the way the task is completed.
Here is what I mean. From my observations these individuals do everything with excellence. You know that when they finish whatever they are working on you are going to see something that is more closely related to a piece of art than a job complete.
I love being around someone who does things well. Not haphazard or careless or without concern for the final product. We've all dealt with people who just want to get it done without any consideration for the process, let alone the end result.
The final one is difference. Now this one is a little trickier because it has such a wide definition depending on who I am relating it to. For instance, and pardon me if this insults you, but I'm not thinking in terms of whether or not someone is a good mom or dad, or good at their job.
To me, those are expected responsibilities. What I mean is are they making the world a better place? Are they changing the trajectory of the world in some way for the better? It doesn't have to be front page news kind of stuff, but noteworthy nonetheless.
If they were to suddenly disappear from the planet would a ripple be felt? I've tended to so many who's lives are consumed with their own glory and satisfaction, but contribute nothing to the rest of us that is meaningful or lasting. Harsh, maybe, but this post is about the qualities I appreciate in others. For me, its refreshing to come across someone who does not feel responsibility to just themselves, but to God first and others second.
When that sense of purpose drives their priorities, the world becomes the benefactor of their dedicated lives. Those are my observations, and hope they help you identify the qualities in others that make your life better, like those in my life who exemplify what I've listed here. Blessings to you all.
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