The Importance of Being Important

I have to admit it.  Lately I’ve been in a bit of a self doubting funk.  Seems to be something that raises it head in my life from time to time.  You get the feeling of questioning and doubting whether you’re good enough, whether what you do means enough, whether you’re as much of a contributor as you would like to be.  For the first time in a very long time I’ve actually taken quite a bit of time internally analyzing this feeling to try to get a grasp on what generates it and what is the driving force that makes people feel this way.  In a large part, I think it’s a need that everyone has…to be important.

Now let me preface this by saying I understand that not everyone wants to be in the limelight and want to be the star of the show.  Those of you that have known me for a long time know that one of my struggles is interaction within a large group of people.  I don’t think that being important ties into the need to be in center stage or the need to be the center of focus.  Importance transcends all of that.

Being important is being a slice in the pie of accomplishment.  It’s knowing at the end of the day that you’ve played a roll in helping making something a little better.  Whether we react to that accomplishment in grandeur or in humility is irrelevant.  We all gain when we’ve been an “add” and not a “subtract”.

We feel this from the time we’re kids.  No one wants to be the kid picked last on the team.   We don’t want to be the girl not asked to dance at the prom or the guy who didn’t make the cut from the football team.  From a young age we want to be a part of something more than ourselves.  As we get older we keep that same sense of pride in being something bigger than ourselves.  Someone that sets out to do something and delivers.  Is it for ourselves?  Sometimes.  But unless any of you are CEO’s or owners of companies, most of us strive to do this for someone else.  We do it to be an important part of the betterment of something or someone else.

At the end of the day, we can accomplish everything that we set out to do and set out to be, but without these things being important to someone else and providing some good to even the smallest of worlds, the accomplishment feels small.  In part, we should begin with importance in the forefront of everything we do.  Seek to gain understanding of what you will do will mean to someone else and valuate your endeavors.  Many times we get into slumps in our lives and forget to pay attention to these things and even forget they are there, but you have to step outside of yourself sometimes and search out the realization that we are all important in our own way.

So now, allow me to be the first to extend the branch and practice what I preach.  All of you have taken a few moments to listening to a few words from me.  As my audience, you’ve made me feel important, and in doing so are important to me.

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~ by bfmooz on June 21, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Importance of Being Important”

  1. Thanks Moose. My paraphrased distinction for “important” is “consequential”. Which of us has had no impact or influence? To the extent there is a positive consequence in our work, we have been important. So a way to think about it is to think about what positive outcomes you can produce with your work, your language, your actions.

    –k

    • That’s true. It shares a similar nature to Stephen Covey’s principle of the emotional bank account. Every interaction we have adds or withdraws from the accounts of people. Our actions and work much the same perform the same transaction.

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