When I think about trying to get over a certain hump or push through a particular problem, I normally ask myself questions like these…
- What can I do differently to move things along?
- How can I do this better?
- How can I change processes?
- What’s my dang problem?
- What disciplines do I need to put in place to bring some kind of success in this situation?
Those questions are fine. They can help get at some new ideas and bust me out of my rut, but they also can lead to navel-gazing and mere guesses at solutions.
The two questions that are more effective in removing logjams (and yes, I know that the first question contains bad grammar, but who really says, “Whom can I serve?”):
- Who can I serve?
- How can I serve them?
That’s it. Very seldom are our problems solely about ourselves. Nearly everything we deal with has a relational component.
If you’re struggling at work to move a project along, then ask those two questions, “Who am I trying to serve with this project? How can I best serve them?”
Those questions clarify the purpose and cleanse motivations. If you pinpoint who you are serving, then the answers become less about yourself and more about solving someone’s problem or serving someone. You see things through her or his eyes instead of your own. You become empowered.
These two questions can even help us out with our health and finances.
If we are trying to become better stewards of our bodies and our money, then asking who we’re serving and how we can serve them provides some level of motivation.
I want to be healthy for my active elementary aged kids. I want more energy; therefore, I exercise and try… try… to eat better.
I want to serve my children by taking care of myself. The connection is not a leap at all. If I solely focus on my need to be more disciplined, then I can burn out more easily.
So today, when you’re considering some moment of ‘stuckness’, as yourself, “Who am I serving with this thing I’m trying to do? How can I best serve them?”
Maybe it will help.
By the way, how can I serve you with these occasional posts? If there’s been a topic you’ve read that you’d like to see more, let me know. In the meantime, I’ll ask myself who I’m serving and how I can do it and make my best guesses….