You will never achieve your greatest potential on your own.
I am awe inspired by people who make it against whatever life has thrown at them. They rise up from the ashes of a tragedy; persevering to overcome difficulties that we view as unimaginable. Whether it is a soldier returning from the horrors of war, runners recovering from the Boston Marathon bombing or those who are regaining their lives from upbringings that are unfathomable; they are truly inspirational.
I want to be one of those individuals to rise up from wherever I am today and become something greater tomorrow. But when I think about what these people have overcome, I know I am seeing only a part of the story. What I see in the local or national TV news or read in the papers does not show all of the people who are standing behind that soldier or runner or survivor. It’s a seemingly invisible army of people who gave their love, support and personal talents to the cause.
It’s no different than with my work. I have a receptionist, a legal assistant and an office manager whose jobs are to support the work that I do. There is no way that I could produce not just the level of work that my legal assistant does, but do it as efficiently. I know what she does. I know how to do it. But that does not mean I can do it as well. The same is true with my receptionist and office manager. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention the other three legal assistants in my office who each have undertaken responsibility that keep the office functioning better than I ever could by myself.
I can only be my best, do my best and achieve my best when I have a team of people who support me, while I support them. We help each other to do the best we can at the work we do. We want each other to be the best we can within the limits that our work environment allows. By respecting, listening, caring and taking the time, we lift each other up.
Just like the legal team I have at work, I have a personal team that is dedicated to helping me be the best person I wish to be. My wife is the biggest part of Team Jim. My children, close members of my family and friends are on the my team. Just like them, I’m on their team as well.
You know what is strange? It is easier for me to help someone whose team I am on than to ask someone to help me. I don’t understand it. I am more than happy to be by their side helping out. But when I think about asking others to help me, it can feel like weakness, dependence or neediness. I don’t want to impose. What is up with that?
In my post The Power of Two, I talk about the realization that my marriage is more than about being happy, secure and raising our children. It’s about helping me become a better man. I want help each person’s team I am on to be the best they dream of being. I know how it makes me feel when I play that role for them. I have to remember that it’s equally true for my friends and family when it comes to helping me become more.
Pretty much every time I ask for help, not only do I receive it, but also there is a stronger sense that I am not alone in this process called life. I know that what I am undertaking will be done better because of their support. Calling on the members of Team Jim increases my personal feeling of accomplishment. And so the cycle of support continues.
Who’s on your team? How does it make you feel when you help others to accomplish their goals? Harness the caring and desire to support of those on your team. When you strive to become more, you are lifting those who help you at the same time. And, you are reaching your greatest potential as well.