Self-made is a myth. You and I stand on the shoulders of lifters. People that shaped us and helped us believe in something more. My personal list of lifters includes too many to name here, men and women who form a platform that I’ve built my life upon.
Lifting others begins with seeing what could be and then investing yourself to bring it out.
Robert Treadwell accomplished many things in his life. He was a Youth Worker and Maine State Representative. But the thing I remember most about Bob was his ability to see. He saw value in me that I didn’t see in myself and he gave himself to bringing it out. When I was young, he saw what could be in me.
Lifting others includes being an example.
My dad (Walter) changed me. Dad gave me a work ethic and a love for books. He never told me to read and he never explained the importance of hard work. He changed me by his example. He loved books and to this day he is the hardest working man I know.
Lifting others means setting noble goals that challenge perceived limits.
Coach Reed, my High School basket-ball coach, set high goals. He pushed us to be better. He set high standards and pressed our limits.
Remembering Coach Reed helped me remember to set higher goals for some of the young leaders around me. I’ve shown them acceptance and tried to exemplify noble qualities. However, I haven’t challenged them enough.
You are standing on the shoulders of people who lifted you. Honor them by taking a minute to remember them, share their story. Perhaps thinking of them will help us be more like them.
Who lifted your life?
What qualities/behaviors enabled their influence?
How can you honor them by emulating them and lifting others?
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Part of this post was published as “Changing a life.”