My life changed for the better when my oldest son Shep asked me, “Mom, what do you think the movie of the decade is?” An innocent enough question, one would think, for late December 2009. However, I kept hearing the word “decade.”
DECADE! It was screaming at me. All I could think was “We are at the end of another decade.” The first decade of the new millennium gone! And what did I have to show for the last 10 years?
As the new year started, I shouted these questions to all who listened:
• “What is the reward for the life well-lived?”
• “What am I going to get in return for living the uncommon life?”
• “What do I get for being good?”
• “Somebody please tell me what is my reward?”
As that week wore on, I realized that I was asking the wrong question. Why? Maybe it’s because I was in the middle of reading Tony Dungy’s Uncommon and listening to Carolyn Myss’ Invisible Acts of Personal Power and those literary works forced me to realize what a common, pedestrian existence I have lived at certain moments.
But if I acted courageously and fully stepped into all of my personal power, if I am to be uncommon, what would I get for it? What would my reward be? However, “What is the reward for the life well-lived?” wasn’t the right question.
As I tried to find the right question, I discovered that what I wanted to know at the end of my days was whether I had made a difference. Had I, Tomi Jane White Bryan, lived a life of significance by making a difference for others? Had I lived a life of service?
And in those reflections I saw the correct question, and it is one I have started asking myself each morning: “How may I be of service today?”
And the reason I know this is the right question is because of the miracles that immediately showed up in my life. In the four days after I began asking that question, four neat things happened to me. The world was sending me golden messages that “How may I be of service today?” was the right question.
We live in such a paradoxical world. When I stopped making it about me and what I was getting, and shifted to being of service, I reaped quick rewards. Isn’t that interesting? The rewards came only when I stopped looking for them.
I plan to ask the right question until the end of my days and I can’t wait to see the delightful miracles placed in my path. Tomorrow, change the way you approach the day. Ask “How may I be of service today?”, then be of service, and watch the miracles unfold! It changed my life and I know it will change yours too.