Does any of this really matter?

It’s a December Sunday morning and I’m in the grocery store, thinking to myself, “why am I grocery shopping on a Sunday morning during the holidays? It’s so crowded and so busy.  I know better than this.”

To add to the complexity, my next three stops were to pick up gifts and stuff before I head out to a holiday party in the afternoon.  More lines and more traffic.

Despite feeling kinda “ughhhhh” about this, I did feel a touch of gratitude in the moment.  One, for being able to afford my groceries and gifts and stuff.  Two, at least there’s a lot of decorations and lights to look at as I move around town.  And three, I had a plan for how I was going to make my route and stops as efficient as possible.

As I moved through the day, I must admit that I asked myself on several occasions, “does all this holiday stuff really matter?”  and “how did we get to a spot where an Insta-Pot is the most coveted holiday gift?”  Are things really moving that fast these days?

Ask the tough Questions!

I enjoy asking and considering questions like the one above “…does this all really matter?”

As I look around and watch everyone go about their business, I find it fascinating to consider how different people will answer the same question in many different ways based on their unqiue experiences and influences.  

I've found that asking the tough questions can be enlightening. 
I recently asked 800 high school kids how they would answer the following question:

“What does success mean to you?”

As you can imagine, there was a wide variety of answers shared.  For most, their answer was a bit cloudy and when you consider how fast things are moving and the amount of messaging that hits us daily, it’s not surprising at all. 

Imagine what it’s like to try and answer that question today as a young adult or at any age for that matter. 

We’ve got grandparents sharing their perspective of what success is.  We have parents sharing their ideas of what success is.  We have teachers, mentors, coaches, bosses, politicians and so on sharing their idea of what success is.  And, then of course, there is governments, big business, religions and so forth all painting a picture of what success looks like.  (Not to mention social media.)

It leaves us trying to figure out our own definition for success as we take all this information in.  For some, it's overwhelming.

The Gift of Inspiration!

As you move through the holiday season this year and consider the gifts that you may feel that you need to get for others in your life, consider this…

Give the gift of “Inspiration” this year.  It might be the greatest gift that you can give.

Pause this season, focus on the questions that you can ask others to really understand the world that they are trying to create for themselves.  What does success mean to them?

Engage with those around you this year.  Be patient in the process.  Learn what you need to learn and start fresh.  It doesn’t matter so much what they’ve done.  That’s in the past.  What matters is where they are now, what they can leverage from the past and where they want to go.

If you can pause, focus on others, ask good questions and take the time to listen and learn what success means to those around you, you will be in a stronger position to connect the dots and help them get there. 

That’s a gift that can last a lifetime.

Be inspiring!  It’s energy-giving.

Happy Holidays!