The following was originally posted on January 18, 2011 on Kristina's blog.
Kristina Leonardi is the founder of The Women’s Mosaic. She is a career/life coach, speaker, seminar leader and expert in the areas of career development, work/life wellness and personal growth. Click here for her special caoching rates through the end of January.
“Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the most common desires I hear from clients when embarking on a new career or making a transition is that they want to be doing something with meaning, something that helps people.
My approach is to ask them, “What is the thing that makes you, you? What you are passionate about; when do you lose track of time?” I inquire as to what their fantasy job would be, and very rarely does that answer have to do with becoming a social worker or joining the Peace Corps.
You don’t have to become the next Mother Teresa, Gandhi or MLK to make a difference and live your life in service to others. Perhaps that may be your path, but as Dr. King also said, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” Running for public office or volunteering on a regular basis can certainly fill that role, but service can be expressed in a myriad of forms that aren’t always so obvious or grandiose. Just being yourself and doing your best at YOU allows us to benefit from whatever unique gifts and talents you possess.
When one’s work is done with love and integrity, every job is one of service. MLK day is also about celebrating diversity, which can refer to many things including occupation. We all have jobs that make the world go round. Whether it’s the super taking care of your building, the bus driver making sure you get to your destination safely, the guy who makes your coffee and bagel every morning, the janitor that cleans the public restrooms you use, the designer of the clothes you are wearing, the comedian that made you laugh last night, the singer whose song you enjoyed on your Ipod, writer whose novel you devoured over the weekend – no occupation is too insignificant, as long as it is done to the best of one’s ability, you can see how any of those people have served you on some level.
And regardless of your job, there is also the service you can provide by smiling at someone when you’re walking down the street, or showing a kindness to a stranger, and notice how for moment you made someone happy or uplifted them in some way.
The thing that I enjoy most and lose track of time doing is talking to folks about their life’s work and helping them make their everyday existence as meaningful and peaceful as possible. I would love the opportunity to help you connect the dots of your life, create more work/life balance and recognize the value in whatever you do, so just give me a buzz as I am always here, at your service.