Submitted by Marcia Ore, UK
“the greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley
Recent changes in my personal and professional life has, once again, provided me with the opportunity to pause and reflect and my achievements so far. Apart from my professional and personal growth by taking part in various forms of academic study, surviving my three divorces and a thirty-year police career, however, my two children must be right there at the top of the list. Why? Not because of their achievements academically or because they are high fliers in their careers, that is not what is important to me. I have always told my children that I want them to be happy and content with their lives – a career with a grand title or five-figure some salary does not equate to success, satisfaction or happiness. All these factors mean different things to different people, which is why it is folly to compare your life with another. Do you know what they had to do to get where they are? Would you make the same choices?
My children rank top of my achievements so far due to the fact that they are great people. I am often complimented by others from various walks of life and from a variety of ages: ‘your children are lovely…’ or ‘…they’re a credit to you.’ It’s nice to hear I got something right, but also it’s a reminder that we can take those closest to us for granted. Not appreciating their qualities or the loss we would feel if they were no longer in our lives.
This resonates particularly strongly at this time for me as I lost my mother last year after she had suffered with dementia for many years. Even though she didn’t know who I was for the best part of the last year of her life, the void she has left will never be filled. I remember our monthly shopping trips together when she was well, a few holidays we shared and the way she would look disapprovingly over her glasses and say “Marcia” in a tone that I knew I had overstepped the mark.
An acquaintance of mine has recently been told one of her daughters is terminally ill with an incurable, rare and aggressive form of cancer, and she has down tools from her business, to devote to her daughter.
All the money or status that you achieve in your lifetime means nothing unless it had meaning and benefited others.
I have a few questions for you to ask yourself:
- When was the last time you told your nearest and dearest you appreciated them? I didn’t say love them. The “L” word has a tendency to be over used and has become an automatic response used by many of us all too quickly as easily.
- What is it that you appreciate about them? Be specific, it’s like feedback – make it SNAP. by being:
Specific: give examples
Non judgmental: not personal
Actionable : they can do something about it, i.e. repeatable.
Proximate : as close to the incident when it occurred.
If you want to maintain your relationship, then value them as much as you do the job you get paid to do. The currency maybe different but the loss can be just as impactive.
About the writer
Marcia Ore is a Facilitator for Development based in the UK who offers a range of developmental tools to support others with their personal, business & professional development operating in the public private and voluntary sector. Her services include coaching, mentoring and business psychometric tools. She is a member of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council, Association for Coaching and Oxford Books Coaching & Mentoring Society.
For further information about how she could support you, visit http://www.more-2-life.com.