Self sacrifices

June 1, 2011

I unwrap my breakfast sandwich, take the first bite and reach for my iced coffee. As a few people pass in front of me, I catch a quick update of the morning news. I have roughly 15 minutes before boarding the plane to Vegas for the Mac Tools Tool Fair.

As I finish my sandwich, the gray noise that is off to my right (the people that walked by minutes ago) now has my attention. I am overhearing every word while keeping my eyes fixed on the flatscreen in front of me. After listening for a while, I give a quick glance to gain a visual on the voices: Mom is trying to hurry her two kids’ breakfast so they can take their meds before boarding. She is close to losing her composure, trying to get all of this done within the next few minutes. Just past her, two seats down, is Dad eating his sandwich and starring at the television, giving as much attention to the gray noise as I was earlier. I stare at him a few seconds before gathering my things to head to the gate.

What I witnessed happens every day. Truth be known, those kids could have been any one of us years ago, not giving a care about what has to be done, just enjoying the new surroundings. That seemingly irrelevant incident made the trip to Vegas with me, popping in and out of my thoughts throughout the flight. It took me back to my childhood, with Mom always hurrying me to do something, and for the life of me I couldn’t understand what was the rush!

Your inner appetite

One thought that kept cropping up was that I too am a selfish person, not so different from the dad two seats away. Now before you start to think the worst of me, let me explain and help expose something about all of us.

We are all selfish. We all have a desire to achieve the most we can, to feed that inner appetite that wants more. I can prove this; how many of us woke up this morning and thought “man I hope today is unproductive?” Hopefully there were no hands raised on that one! It is not a bad thing to have that calling that says “I want more.” It is what makes us successful.

I thought of this because, while I try not to throw stones, I could see that Mom really could have used a hand and he offered no help. Trying to rationalize what I saw brought selfishness to light, and prompted a little self-reflection.

Appreciating others

Was what I witnessed a look into the future of that woman’s life? I had to ponder how many dedicated moms are there among us who hold talents that could have brought them to the top of their field of choice were it not for their unselfishness to provide for others, leaving little time for themselves. Could you say that moms are selfish? Possibly - many take great pride in raising their children right so they can “do better than average” and “make their parents proud,” parental rewards that are much farther down the road than the instant gratification that we seek on a daily basis.

Flying to Vegas, I had time to do what I wanted and even slept a little, while a few rows away, Mom stayed busy making sure that everything was OK with the kids, with only a few moments here and there to flip the pages of a magazine (break time) before she was needed again.

You may be asking what all of this has to do with our business. In our busy lives of trying to maintain a profitable business, we may sometimes lose sight of some really important things. I came to the conclusion that in many cases (including mine), someone else (and not always Mom) has made sacrifices and unselfishly stepped up to provide us with opportunities to reach our heights. Where we are today has a cost, but not always monetary, and not always to us.

Our reward is monetary, but theirs is your sincere appreciation and a heart-felt Thank You! Make sure that you remind that someone that they have indeed made a difference.

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