In my last post I spoke of making the difference for someone. I believe you could make the difference for yourself as well. When you look up the definition for "difference", you find an interesting perspective. The definition says, "Difference - a point or way in which people or things are not the same" Now isn't that interesting? Now we can technically decipher what the definition means, however there is much that can be said about this description of what a difference is. What if you left people and places better than you had originally found them? What if the life that you would bring to an environment would influence others in such a way that they are not the same after an encounter with you? What if your impression was a lasting one that would cause others to want to improve their lives? Funders and Founders did a study and estimated that the average person interacts with 80,000 people over a lifetime of 78 years. This is a huge opportunity for us each day to impact someone's life for the better. Who's life will you impact today? Funders and Founders reference: https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-does-the-average-person-physically-meet-in-a-lifetime
When you think about something making the difference, you think of something filling the gap. We know that the answer to a subtraction question is known as the difference. This causes us to think about the gap or the comparison between the two where one was of greater value than the other. But making the difference is more like bridging that gap isn't it? What are you doing today to make the difference in others? Notice I said "the" difference instead of "a" difference. "A" difference could be anyone's guess as to what that is. It is almost like a TBD - to be determined. But "the" difference means you have to know something about the person to invest in the right area. Will you bridge the gap for someone today? Will you bridge the gap for a customer, a student, a co-worker, a company? If you will commit to getting to know them, ask questions, be genuinely interested, you will be able to go beyond the norm, beyond "a" difference and become "the" difference.
Let’s go back to the small fishing boat. If as a small fishing boat captain, I decide I want to take the family on vacation, then I need a greater level of access to that vacation. If I give my customers a greater level of access to the unlimited resource that I supply them (fish), then they will pay me more which will give me greater access to that vacation. Hence, if I increase the level of access to others, then they will increase my level of access to the things that I want. But, I must first do something to increase their level to their desired state. I must increase my level of access to what THEY want before I can give them more of what THEY want. Notice where my focus must be if I am to be successful in increasing my capacity. Give and it shall be given.
Give and it shall be given. This is a wonderful proverb that transcends time, gender, culture, ethnicity, etc. I was part of an operation in the Middle East several years back. In preparation to go I had to learn about middle eastern culture. I learned something very interesting. “Courtesy is the universal language.” That’s right, even if you can’t speak their language, be nice and they will recognize it and will accept it. Give and it shall be given unto you. If you want to increase your level of access to something that you want, increase someone else’s capacity to what they want and they will increase your level of access to what it is you want. Zig Ziglar said, “If you will first help others get what they want, then they will help you get what you want.” As has been long said, “Give and it shall be given” – Jesus Christ
Our capacity is a reflection of our level of access. We have a level of access to an unlimited resource. We choose our level of access. We may be dealt a certain level of access by birth or by other circumstances but the level that defines us to the world is the level that we choose. You see, we can change our level of access. We have to do something to bring that about. We have to grow ourselves, we have to partner with those outside of our organization and inside of our organization and we have to bring value to all involved. When we increase the level of access for ourselves, we can increase the level of access for others and when we help others succeed, they put us on a faster track to increase our capacity even more.
Now let me ask, “Are there plenty of fish in the sea?” We have all heard that question asked from a different angle, haven’t we? But in the context of the last post, are there plenty of fish to go around? I think we all know that there is an endless supply of fish in the ocean because fishermen bring them in every day. Restaurants are full of fish, supermarkets are full of fish, fisherman are making a living every day. So, what causes a small fishing boat to stay a small fishing boat? I think one reason is they can’t see themselves as being a big fishing boat or a thriving fishing company. True, they may not want to be bigger but it still begs the question, why? Let me ask you, “Why don’t you want to grow?” You may say, “Oh, I do I just…” John Maxwell told me, “You may not always get what you want, but you always get what you choose.” Remember, the people you serve are receiving a level of access through you to an unlimited resource. The level of access you give to them is directly proportional to the level of access you give yourself.
I was recently in Fort Walton Beach and I noticed all of the fish being brought in daily. Every day, fish were being brought in by the thousands, the supply was limitless. There were boats of every size fishing these waters. The bigger boats could go to bigger waters and could carry larger amounts of fish. The smaller boats couldn’t go where the bigger boats could and couldn’t carry what the bigger boats could. What causes someone to settle in on a certain capacity? That’s all they have? That’s all they need? That’s all they want? I know you are probably thinking what I am thinking in that surely these bigger boats started small and the small boats will up-size to bigger before long. Maybe so, but how about this question, “Do they stay small because they think there isn’t enough room for them if they get bigger or there isn’t enough fish for them if they get bigger?” Think about it and let’s talk on the next round…
“What if?” I love this question because it has so many possibilities. It causes me to use my creativity and think into the possibilities. “What if I couldn’t fail, what would I try then?” or “What if I had all the money in the world, what would I do?” These were always fun thoughts growing up. Now that I am older and I see the things that really matter I ask, “What could I do if I had unlimited resources in which to do it?” Come to think of it, is this question any different than those I asked as a child? I mean, I was thinking on a limitless scale back then so what about now? Now I think in terms of boundaries, in terms of what I can’t do. I think thoughts like, “I wish I could but I can’t” or “If only I had the money to help them.” It seems I believe that there are limits on my resources and capacities. Now let me ask, “Who is putting the limits on me?” Ask yourself the same question and let’s revisit this in the next blog…..
Wow, is this a loaded question or what? I could spend all day talking about this one, but allow me a moment to expound on one angle. Capacity is defined as the maximum amount that something can contain, and the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something. I like to define capacity as “level of access”. If my capacity is high, then my level of access is high. If it is low, then the same applies. Whatever I determine I will give to someone else, it will be governed by my level of access. In other words, the level of access I give to others is directly proportional to the level of access I give myself. I cannot transfer a resource at a higher level than the level that I am able to tap into it…unless I increase my level of access. What do you need to up-level today?
I recently hiked to a beautiful waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When I got there, it was awesome! I put my head under the waterfall and it literally took my breath. It was an oasis in the middle of the wilderness. The only way you would know it was there and get all the water you could stand is to go there. There is an abundance of water there. There is even enough power to turn a grist mill there. That supply of abundance has been there since before I was born and will be there when I am gone. How many years did I pass by and never go to where it was at? How many times did I NOT position myself to receive its benefits. Abundance is all around us and we have to align ourselves with it to get ourselves in the flow of what it is giving. I had to GO where it was. Where are YOU going?