For the next few days, I challenge you to pay attention to the words you use. Track how many times you begin a sentence with the words “I love…” because words matter. We are aware of what other people say, especially when the tone is either harsh or helpful (verses just stating information).
When we start a sentence with the words “I love…” we are saying that this is important to me. Besides the obvious understanding that with our significant others saying I love you means that they are important to us saying things like I love vanilla ice cream says of all the treats out there, vanilla ice cream is the one I prefer.
Love is about importance and it is about preference. Whatever is important we will spend time with or on. We may have many things that are important to us, however the classic saying of ‘actions speak louder than words’ is really just an exacerbation of importance. We take the time for people and places that mean a lot to us.
When health is important to us, we pay attention to what we put in our bodies or what exercises we do at the gym. Also, when relationships are important to us, we invest the time to communicate. Therefore, when business is important to us, we will close and lock the door to any distractions that keep us from completing a project.
The same goes for preference, because, well we want what we want. Loving what we do must have include a level of selfishness. I like vanilla ice cream. That doesn’t mean that I won’t eat another flavor or even crave another flavor at times. What it does mean is that whenever I have the opportunity, I will choose vanilla ice cream over everything else since it is my preference.
Here are 4 ways to love what you do…
Loving what we do includes being a giver, a server, a leader, and a liver. When we filter love through each of these four lenses, love becomes easy. The best part is these four elements work for life, love, leisure, or your line of work.
Giving with Love
Being a giver of your time, your energy, your resources, or your knowledge will elevate you quicker than anything else. When we give time to someone, we are saying you are important. And, when we expend our energy, we are saying that what’s important to you is worth engaging. By giving our resources we say that even though I work hard for my money, there is someone or something that deserves my attention. And, finally, when we give of our knowledge, we are saying that we refuse to be information hoarders.
Serving with Love
A person who serves others is actively demonstrating the art of giving. Although similar in practicality, serving another person is the ultimate piece of giving. We can easily throw money or content around but when we give our time to someone, we are giving something that doesn’t come back. We can always make money, we can always learn more, and we can always recover from the energy we spent; however, we cannot replace time. Serving is about letting go of the most precious commodity any of us have for the betterment of someone else.
Leading with Love
If I am a good leader, I will be looking for ways to give and to serve, yet also I will be looking for people to develop into leaders. Loving to lead causes us to desire others to become better. Whether we are leading ourselves, our families, or our businesses, when the desire to see others grow is bigger than the desire to only see ourselves grow, love becomes the leader.
[Side note: when leading ourselves, we create patterns which allow us to become better leaders of others]
Living with Love
Embodying the concepts of love, which are importance and preference, set the stage for how we show up each day… or how we live each day. Embracing the day with a spirit of giving, serving, and leading positions us to live well.
Love by its nature is something that attracts a certain level of vulnerability that must be practiced daily. Being vulnerable is not natural for us. Our bodies are designed to maintain a certain level of safety and vulnerability pushes those limits. Living with love strengthens that love muscle. Like hitting the gym daily, the more we work out the better we get at it.
The Bottom Line
The more we live with love, the better we get at loving. Consequently, the more we love, the better we live. Therefore, the result is more than just loving who we are, it becomes loving what we do.