As a Rotarian for around 15 years and proud Past President of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman I can tell you that I have heard many guest speakers. Most are are ok, some are even good. This past Thursday I was so fortunate to be there when Dr. Thomas Haggai, Chairman of IGA Global Supermarkets, spoke to our club. He would be in the rarefied company of great guest speakers at our club. His comments really resonated with me, and I think they will with you also. Read on.
Dr. Haggai is a well-respected speaker, and has lead IGA supermarkets on a global growth strategy over the almost 40 years he has been with the company. He keeps up a grueling travel schedule, and this trip to Cayman was to personally present the local owners of the IGA store here in Cayman with an award. The company honoured Woody Foster of Fosters IGA at a company event in the USA several weeks ago, but it is an important part of the culture of IGA to have the award also presented locally.
Rotary was the real beneficiary of his visit as he used the time allotted to him to share his thoughts on how to be successful in life… in three easy steps. They are:
Take the time each morning to contemplate the day. Do this before your scan of email, or the news, or flicking on the TV. The mood that these first few moments puts you in will shape the rest of your day. So, what should you do?
- Take 3-5 minutes to write the 3 – 5 things you are grateful or thankful for as you wake up.
It’s that simple. Dr. Haggai’s comment was that it is really hard to be depressed, down or hard on yourself when you have started the day thinking about several things that you are grateful for.
Your life should be on mission for some goal. It is incredibly easy to spend months, years even, essentially going nowhere. Having friends that do not lift you up. Employed in a job that has you in a rut. Having no job at all, but not availing yourself of the terabytes of free information there is out there to improve your learning or skills. All these come from your life not being grounded in mission, be it ever so simple.
How do you gain the understanding of what your life’s mission is?
Refer to point #1 above… daily meditation.
What will having some mission in your life bring you?
- Clarity – a mission will focus your efforts towards a goal. Every day you will see the tangible benefit of doing at least one thing to advance you towards that goal.
- Vision – with a mission in mind, it becomes easier to craft a vision of what your world, your life, will look like should you achieve your goal. This vision in your mind helps you daily in filtering out all the noise out there that would serve as the resistance to pull you away from achieving your mission.
- Planning – you are not going to get there by accident. You must plan. meditation will bring clarity which leads to a vision. However, you must plan an appropriate series of steps of smaller goals if you truly want to achieve your life’s mission, or calling.
So you have gained the habit of sitting and meditating for a few moments every morning, and you have been able to articulate your life mission, and have planned steps to get you there. However you are facing an uphill battle. Why?
Perhaps it is because you are a rude, arrogant, selfish person who people just don’t like. The easiest way to improve this… have some manners and respect. No. Have a lot of manners and respect. Be grateful to be in the presence of people who can help you grow. Develop your relationship with friends and associates. Develop your spiritual relationships.
These changes in your manners and attitude to others can dramatically alter the speed at which the change towards purpose and mission in your life takes hold and sparks the imagination of others.
I’m grateful that my time allowed for me to attend this past week’s Rotary meeting and have the opportunity to listen to these points as articulated by Dr. Haggai. I probably have not done them the proper treatment they each deserve, but there is something in the simplicity of it all. If you are struggling in your direction why don’t you try the first step for 30 days and see if it brings some clarity around your mission. And hey, if it does not work for you, don’t complain. I never promised you a rose garden!