This may come as a surprise, but it’s not about you
I am still dumb enough to forget that life is all about God and not about me at all. ~Francis Chan.
If ever a truth was uttered, it’s this: It’s not about you!
Those are the first four words of Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life. Today more than ever, the opening salvo of that book released in 2002 rings true.
If you have never read the book or its updated and expanded versions, add it to your reading today. It’s a life-changer for sure.
Though Facebook post after Facebook post may suggest otherwise, the world does not revolve around you. Or me. And that doesn’t mean you aren’t important or that God doesn’t have a plan for your life or that you won’t be a world-changer. All of that is still true, and it’s true simply because…well, it’s not about you!
You can argue where all the “it’s about me” began. Was it the “Me Generation” of the 80s or did it begin later with the infiltration of the entitled or the rise of victim mentality? It didn’t start with any of those actually, but we can discuss that another time.
The key to your success in life and the key to understanding the road to victory for you lie in the grasping of that phrase: “It’s not about you.”
The best-laid plan won’t get you there if you aren’t thinking outwardly. The best ideas are those designed to improve the lives of others. Your greatest rewards come when your actions benefit someone else.
Human nature tends to ask the question “…what’s in it for me?” and today’s world will teach you to “get” rather than “give”.
But it’s not about you.
You — and I — are not the center of the universe, but we are part of the bigger story, as John Eldredge would say. We were born into the story that began long ago and, guess what, the story will continue once we are gone. Which means — you got it — it’s not about you.
“Life is a team sport, it’s not about you,” Sue Enquist says.
If you want to get on in life, find someone to help and make it about them. Want to make a big splash? Find someone to help who can’t repay you, who can’t help themselves, whose story hasn’t made the headlines. You’ll soon find yourself in the middle of one of the biggest stories of your life.
One of the biggest culprits of the “it’s all about you” era is the news media, especially in the political arena. Opinion based and advocacy-driven “reporters” now tell you what you should do and how you should feel rather than simply reporting news and allowing your mind to discern your direction.
It’s spilt over into psychology and talk shows and other entertainment as well. And it’s even leaked into our churches. Today’s mindset is as much about instant gratification and a drive-through convenience as anything.
With hundreds of people on television providing shortcuts to success and quick fixes to your problems, it’s no wonder our society believes it’s all about you. You can fast track nearly everything under the sun. You can become an instant winner, and instant millionaire, an instant author, an instant expert. Just add a little water, shove it in the oven, wake up in the morning and, voila!
But success is like an iceberg. What you see is the result of long, hard, sometimes agonizing work along with many failures and disappointment all of which you don’t see. All you see of that iceberg is the very tip-top sticking above the water line. But that iceberg wasn’t formed overnight. It took many years of slow, methodic growth.
It’s not about you, though.
When you stop to think about it, there are more books, more articles, more blogs teaching you how to be a success, why to walk away, how to tell someone off than how to be humble, help others and make the world a better place for everyone!
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ~ John C. Maxwell,
In a world that believes it is owed something and deserves everything, you stand out when you give something and contribute everything. Putting someone else first doesn’t mean you are second. It simply means you have redefined success and have chosen Kingdom principles or the principles of the “get it now” world.
Try it, even if no one notices or recognizes.
When no one else notices, God will. The old adage that “you can’t outgive God” is truer than trite. Moreover, “…research shows that giving to others leads to greater happiness than spending on oneself,” according to a Harvard Study.
In a world consumed with selfies, turn the lens around. You may be surprised by what you see.