I found myself facing a tough question recently.
I was asked the following: “What is the one word you want this year to be themed around?”
I kind of froze for a bit. I have been asked questions similar to this one before, but never really tried to express it in one word. It took me a while – in fact, it took me so long that I left the conversation without really finding an answer.
It wasn’t until a few days later that it dawned on me. It was actually a pretty simple idea: I wanted this year to be about “others.”
It’s so simple, but so powerful: We all have the ability to make the lives of others stronger and healthier, and to help them grow spiritually. It was like a whole new world opened up for me.
We all have an innate sense that helping others is the right thing to do, but when you make it the main thing you do in a year, it’s crazy how God brings people to you!
How do you go about doing that, though? Here are a two ways to begin to put others first.
1. Find your capacity
We often think we need to have a lot of free time to help people. Sometimes, we don’t help others simply because we are too busy. But I’ve found that purposefully thinking about my capacity to help others, helps me devote time to do so. I now devote one to two hours a day, two days per week just to speak to people. I find I get to know the person better in that one hour than I would just trying to meet up with them on a regular day in an unplanned way.
2. Be attentive
When you set aside time for others, make sure that all your attention is on them – that they are the most important person that at that moment in time. I usually put my phone away and focus on what the person is saying, and maybe even work through some of the stuff – they need to know you’re listening.
Making time for people should come naturally, but because of life and the way our schedules may look it’s hard to give ourselves to others fully. The two elements above have helped me to just listen and take time with people. You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone.