Friday, April 26, 2013

Put In and Get Out

EY 2012 Get involved event
EY 2012 Get involved event (Photo credit: EU Social)
by Weldon Smith

Much too often I have heard people say that they don't want to be involved with something because they get nothing out of it.

They get nothing out of school or church or family time together or their jobs or a meeting, so they think they should be excused.

It's natural for us to not want to spend our time on something that we don't enjoy, and it's very natural for some people to have nothing to do with something that is not all about them.

But a leader and a winner are not natural. They have risen way above natural.

In the first place, no one who is past the juvenile years should be so juvenile as to think that they can do only what they want to do. In fact, most people in the juvenile years should be at peace with that. If no one ever did anything except what they wanted to do, almost nothing would get done.

In the second place, it is a true principle that we get the most out of something that we put the most into.

Too often, someone who doesn't get anything out of worthwhile things is just plain lazy, and won't put the effort into making the experience of worth to themselves, and often more importantly, to others.

I'm perfectly aware that a person can put just about all he is and has into a job or a marriage relationship or a meeting, and they're still utter wastes of time. I've been there.

A winner and a leader spends less time complaining about it and more time getting busy to change it or to change the circumstances such that worthless things don't occupy much of his or her life.

Here's a thought: How much do we get out of ourselves? How much have we put into ourselves? Just think about it. That's all I ask.

I love to think of an example that I have heard from many people. I don't know who came up with it in the first place, or I would mention their name here. If a glass is full of water, can you put more in? The answer is, of course, yes, if you pour some out first.

The only way you can become more and receive more is to give some of you away to others. If a glass sits full of water - or even half full or a quarter full - the water will become nasty in short order. But if water is poured out of the glass often enough and more water added, the water will stay fresh.

If we complain and cry about having to do things we think we get nothing out of, we are like the glass of nasty water, but I don't think we ever got full. We might be like just a splash of pond scum in the bottom.

It is a true principle that if you don't put something in, you get nothing out. We have to put some sort of fuel into a machine or a person or a relationship in order to get work or energy or emotion out. Where nothing is put in and nothing comes of it, that thing is stagnant, and is therefore of little value.

If we try to figure out how to make what we have to do of worth to us - if we're creative and take initiative to make sure we get something out of it, and to make sure that other people get something good out of it, we are like the full glass of fresh, cold, clear, delicious water. We are always relevant.

And wherever a relevant person is, and whatever a relevant person is doing, that place and activity are relevant. Want to have a good job? Want to have a good marriage? Want to have good and trustworthy friends? Want to have a fulfilling life? Be relevant.

Here is truth. In the physical world, we can put no more water in a glass than will fit in the glass. We can pour a lot out and fill it back up, but only what will fit will fit. Beyond the physical world, which is where a leader and a winner spend a lot of time, our glasses can grow.

When we pour ourselves and our influences out to help others, to make what we and other people are doing worthwhile, our glasses grow. We have more to enjoy and more to do good with.

A winner and a leader get a great deal of their enjoyment in life from figuring out how to help what is going on in themselves, in their families, in their communities, in their jobs, in their companies, in church, or whatever they may be involved with be something that they and as many other people as possible get something out of.

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