Do you often wonder what your purpose in life is? Do you question how you can make a difference? I challenge each and every one of you to look deep within yourself and think back to a moment when you may have touched an individual and changed the trajectory of their life. Could it have been just a conversation in which you just listened, letting them know that they were heard, confirming that they or what they had to say mattered?
Have you ever been in a situation where you could feel despair emanating off of a person and just a kindhearted smile or a touch of their arm brightened their day? Where you could feel, even for just a moment, that your actions lifted their burden and touched their heart? Maybe you were able to connect individuals to the right person or organization which helped propel them towards their dreams. In turn they reached back and, with grace and gratitude, lifted up another person struggling on their individual journey.
I believe we were put on this earth to help each other fulfill God’s ultimate purpose in reaching the dreams He has placed upon our hearts. He puts people in our lives to help us grow in one way or another, all leading us towards His purpose. This quote from Joel Osteen is so fitting, “God knows the dreams and desires in your heart; in fact, He gave them to you. He will order your steps and take you where you need to be.” He can also open doors that no man can. I am a testament of that. Through the grace of God, I have been afforded many opportunities and have had the privilege of working within the BaleDoneen Method and Seattle Study Club organizations along with working with many esteemed medical and dental colleagues throughout my career.
However, there are still many times when we do not understand the “Why” which can halt our progress as we continually question ourselves, conditions and even situations that are laid before us. This is where we need to trust in His divine wisdom and believe that there is always an ultimate plan and a reason for everything. Even if we do not at the moment understand. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Look at every situation you are in as an opportunity: an opportunity to personally grow, hone your own skills, learn additional life lessons, or maybe help and guide others around you to do the same. Believe that you are where you need to be for this moment, and trust in the process. I have always believed there is something to be learned from every situation.
Now comes the human nature part of all of this, which I know we can all say we have struggled with in some way, shape or form throughout our lives; and that is the letting go. Letting go and doing what is right by helping others to succeed. To do this, you have to let go of the paralyzing internal fears, the self-doubt, limiting beliefs that bind us, and the assumptions or distrust in other’s motives and intentions. For all of these will hold us back from reaching our own potential. We have to feel secure enough in ourselves to even begin to offer help to others… trusting that everything will be okay and believing just as you have helped others in your time of need, others will be there for you.
I want to share these cherished quotes provided by my favorite inspiring motivational speaker, Mr. Zig Ziglar: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” And “The greatest success we’ll know is helping others succeed and grow.” I genuinely believe this and feel that within the DeW community we have an abundance of opportunities to use our influence, positions and network to help each other do exactly that.
While working at the Seattle Study Club, Dr. Michael Cohen, Founder of the Seattle Study Club, asked me if I could recommend any speakers for him to consider for the Seattle Study Club’s Annual Symposium. Without hesitation I thought about the wonderful, talented DeWs. I reached out to Anne Duffy, and, at short notice, got as many names and contact information as I could to inform them about the symposium presentation opportunity. At the time I did not know what specifically Dr. Cohen’s brilliant mind was envisioning for the symposium, and the theme had not yet been decided. However, I thought what an awesome opportunity for me to help my fellow DeWs further their dreams, aspirations and get more exposure. Even though I am considered a content expert and present on oral systemic and inflammatory disease content, I was working at SSC doing a specific job that needed me 24/7, and the thought of inserting myself into this presentation equation did not even cross my mind. I automatically thought of my wonderful DeW family.
I was asked once by a well-intentioned individual, “What about you? You are always helping others, why do you promote others over yourself?” Although I love to present and educate, this was not the position I was hired to do at SSC. I was hired to help my directors and coordinators develop their educational programs and support them. However, I was able to use my position to help open up doors and promote others, and I will continue to do so whenever given the chance.
I do believe we as DeWs are in a unique position to do just that. There is a wealth of talent within this group. With that talent comes knowledge and so many resources that can be used to help lift each other. As Zig would say, “True joy comes when you inspire, encourage and guide someone else on the path that benefits him or her.” Find your joy!
Helping others is a common theme that great motivational speakers and leaders live by. Do not be afraid to put others first. As Napolean Hill says, “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”
I leave you with these questions: Who can you help elevate today? How do you measure success?