Wednesday, July 4, 2012

7/5/12—Living a Remarkable Life

Today's Draw: Eight of Pentacles from Samantha's Tarot. Are your remarkable in your job or in your life? Are you looking for a way to find more purpose in your life? Would you characterize the way you live your life as "sacred"?

Day Four of Five Lessons to Learn Before You DIE!!! is, in many ways, about service and reverence. It's also about becoming remarkable in your craft.

All of us have, within us, the ability to be remarkable at something. It's not always about how well you do it. Sometimes it's about the way you do it. That's where the part about service and reverence come in.

Whatever you do for a living, whether it's working at McDonald's, being a homemaker, being a doctor or dancing nude, you're serving others. I've always believed that when you can look at the work you do every day as service, you get more out of it. It becomes less of a drudgery when you approach it as "I'm serving my customers...or my family...or myself."

Fact is, people need what you do or you wouldn't have a job. There is a higher good you're serving, whether you've ever considered it that way or not. And when you can elevate your work to the level of service to the higher good, you can then go further and serve with reverence. When you serve with reverence, you serve in a way that is remarkable.

You've seen it before. It's the guy in the copy center at Staples who treats your job like it's a work of art. Or the vendor at the farmer's market who takes a lot of pride in the herbs he grows. Or the teenage drive-thru chick at the Taco Bell finds Zen in her job.

Then there are people who are just plain unique in the way they do things. Dee works at our local variety store. I knew her first when she was working at the health food store. There, she would always wear a vest covered with 100 "I love Jesus" type pins. And her personality was always loud, enthusiastic, happy and wacky. Then I knew her at the pastry shop. Loud, enthusiastic, happy and wacky, sans the pins. Now she works at the variety store and she's still loud, enthusiastic, happy and wacky. I'm sure she's a good employee and all, but she's remarkable because of her personality and the joy she spreads.

I don't know that any of these people are world-class at every aspect of their jobs, but they add something extra to what they do, be it pride, passion, personality or focus. Those qualities are remarkable, just as doing a job well is remarkable. Meryl Streep, Oprah, Bill Gates...all are remarkable for being extraordinarily good at what they do. People like Steve Jobs are remarkable for the original way they approach their jobs. So there are many ways to be remarkable at what you do, even when someone else has greater skills.

What can—or do—you do to be remarkable in your job? Have you ever considered how much your attitude could change about your job if you saw it as service? So many people slog through their professional lives, or for that matter, their personal lives, when they could raise the whole darned kit and kaboodle to the level of service and reverence, thereby making their lives a sacred act. Doesn't that sound like the life you want? 

The Eight of Pentacles comes to tell us that we should all find the remarkable within us and share it with the world in service. As I've written about before, just making the one change of seeing my job as service changed my entire attitude about my career a number of years back. Bringing purpose to your work brings the sacred into the everyday and gives your life more meaning and depth. That experience is your birthright and, if you haven't already claimed it, you shouldn't waste another day.

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