I’ve just returned from training and consulting in Tulsa, Oklahoma and am humbled by the wonderful people doing great work there. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way – it seems everywhere I go I am awed by what I witness and learn. It’s the perfect antidote to the negative things we hear going on in DC. The reality of most of our lives is we’re surrounded by Unsung Heroes! Are you one?
As I sat in the airport, with the latest bit of shameful and embarrassing news blaring, I reflected on the integrity of the people I met and their sincere dedication to their work. These are people who won’t necessarily make the news, win big awards or garner much public attention beyond their small circle. It’s these people who are everyday heroes.
What are the qualities that make someone an unsung hero? As I thought about the ones I know, the list kept getting longer. I expect we all have them in our lives. What makes them so special? Here’s what I came up with – see if it doesn’t describe many people in your life. Does it describe you too – are you an unsung hero?
CLEAR SENSE OF PURPOSE
When consulting, working with people in many disciplines, I’m inevitably struck by their intense and passionate sense of commitment to what they do. They’re helping others – I’m talking about the police, firemen, sheriffs, health and mental health professionals, local government officials, nonprofit workers, the judges, attorneys, and advocates – all rallying for a common purpose, to improve the services in their communities. They put in long hours, discuss. plan, strategize, collaborate, organize, rally, implement and start all over again to make things better.
At home, I’m surrounded by hard working people who do the same thing to uplift our culture – they are creative musicians, artists, singers, teachers and professors, who share their expertise to inspire and enrich, creating bonds over special shared experiences. They are yoga instructors, massage therapists, business owners, cooks, servers, gardeners, sales people, hair stylists, giving us their all. They are everywhere in every walk of life – loving what they do, and doing it with a sense of purpose. Can you relate? We are surrounded.
Give thanks to the people who love giving to you –they add meaning to our life.
HARD WORK WITH INTEGRITY
The people I know and associate with work long and often hard hours. They dig deep into the details, agonizing when things go wrong, elated when things work or are helpful. It makes me think; isn’t this is our reality, isn’t it human nature is to give, guided by the integrity to do the next right thing?
I see more compassion, honesty, kindness and integrity than anything else. It’s not what we hear about on the news. The truth is…we are encircled by good, honest, hardworking people who want the best for everyone else.
Notice and appreciate the integrity of all those around you who work hard, giving their best every day, including yourself.
When I train with Policy Research Associates Inc., as I did in Tulsa, there is a list of values that we post, for they are the underpinnings of the work to reduce the incarceration of people with mental illness. What I realized is that most people, who are our unsung heroes, operate with values at the core of what they do. Here’s a short list of some of the qualities I often see:
Authentic, Brave, Collaborative, Compassionate, Competent, Conscientious, Determined, Fair Minded, Honest, Hopeful, Kind, Loving, Loyal, Open, Optimistic, Peace Oriented, Networker, Respectful, Reputable, Sincere, Stable, Trustworthy, We Oriented, Wise.
While not everyone will have all these qualities, I expect you know that most of them are true of the people you admire. It’s why you respect them. It’s probably true of your too.
See if you can identify the many core values driving your actions and those of our unsung heroes
NOT SEEKING FAME OR GLORY
Most of the people we would note as our heroes are not motivated by fame or glory. In fact, most are underpaid and under recognized. The sad thought I had in the airport, with the tawdry news from the White House providing a counter point to this thought process, is that most people will never be fully recognized or acknowledged in their lifetime, much less in generations to come.
It’s that quality that makes you and them a hero – not asking for or seeking the acknowledgement. It’s just what’s done from their heart.
Make someone’s day – give recognition to those who deserve it
How many unsung heroes whose acts of kindness, compassion and service inspire you? I invite you to help fix the tendency to take their work for granted – give the people in your life whose work makes a difference some recognition. Give yourself some recognition. Help change our nation’s focus on negativity, prejudice and poor behavior by launching your own campaign to focus on the goodness around you. Recognize your unsung heroes!
We can all be an unsung hero. If you to want to increase your sense of living a purpose driven life and would like some help getting there, see my website www.spectrumtransformation.com for more information. Take me up on my free consultation to see if It would be useful. I’d love to hear from you!