If it’s true that the soul’s stature is measured by the yardstick of love, you might be asking yourself, “How do I stack up in the love department? Am I a loving person?” I have an answer for you: you are a loving person. You love all sorts of things. Whenever you extend yourself to invest in the highest good of someone or something – that’s love.
I often extend myself to invest in the highest good of my customers. So by the definition above, I love my customers.
My neighbor Jim extends himself to invest in the highest good of his Harley. He loves his motor cycle. Kelly extends herself to invest in marathon training. She loves running.
Love is the selection process that determines what you will do and what you will not do; what you value and what you throw away; what you seek after and what you spurn; what you will devote your time to, and what you will ignore. The question is not: “How can I be a more loving person?” You are already a loving person. You love all sorts of things. The question is: “How can I love the things that are most important and beneficial?”
Your marriage suffers when your spouse feels you love yourself more than you love them. Your family suffers when your kids feel you love your career more than you love them. Your business suffers when your customers feel you love your processes more than you love serving them. We do love. The question is: “What do we love?” and “How do we know what’s best to love in the moment?”
The answer is not as simple as, “Don’t love things – love people.” You do love your old Gibson hummingbird guitar, and if my definition for love holds any water you should. By all means extend yourself to invest in its highest good: polish it, store it at the proper humidity level so it doesn’t crack and don’t let your four-year-old shred it with a bread tag.
But if you don’t know when to put your Gibson down and listen to your wife’s concerns about the colleague who’s trying to assassinate her character at work, then she’s going to feel you love your Gibson more than you love her. That will not be good for your marriage. If you go ballistic when your teenager spills hot chocolate in your SUV, he might not have a huge desire to hang with you.
I remember helping a friend move. The ramp of the moving truck was very slick and I slipped and hurt myself. My friend came running over and immediately expressed his concern – for his dresser. He began running his hands over the wood to determine if any damage had been done. The message seemed articulate: “I love my furniture more than I love you.”
I think in general, loving people enlarges our soul more than loving things. Perhaps that’s because people are harder to love than things. They seem to require a greater extending of ourselves and a steeper form of investment. Extending yourself to invest in your cottage has a pretty linear form of payback to it. The relationship between cause and effect is trickier to track when you invest in people.
So love things, love ideals and love people. Most of all, learn to detect what the moment is calling for and focus all your attention on loving that in the moment.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
Vice President, Business Development
Business Development, Juice USA
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