What’s the greatest advice you’ve ever received?
You and I live in a world loaded with ideas of how to live better—there’s no shortage of self-help advice. Some of it’s junk, and some of it’s worthwhile—“take care of your body”, “be authentic”, “keep your ego in check”, “do your best”, etc. But what’s the one word, the one idea, the one action that can make you a greater person, a more powerful influencer?
It’s the one-word piece of advice that towers above the rest: Love. When we hear the word “love”, it sticks, and we know exactly what it feels like—engaging like a spring day, motivating like a mountaintop, enlightening like an evening with that special someone. We feel it in our hearts, and see it in our homes, but why don’t we always see it at work?
Somehow this powerful idea of “love” has gotten kicked to the curb, put-down, branded as “soft-stuff”, and relegated to second-class status. Why? In Hebrew, the word for love is ahava, which is three letters combined, meaning “I give”.
Whenever we take the “people” out of people, we’re left with “What have you done for me lately?” rather than the self-introspective, “What can I do for you today?”
What is Love?
It’s a lifestyle that can give you massive power to lead yourself and others through anything. Here’s what love is:
It’s creating the most powerful experiences
Not only is love the best business plan underlying any product or service, it’s also the most motivating concept that can carry the hearts of others to places they’ve never been. It can change the world.
It’s staying humble regardless of what you’ve achieved
When you put love into practice, you know your place in the universe. You recognize everything you don’t know, so you can expand what you do know by partnering with others and creating new universes. Steve Jobs said, “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”
It’s bringing the best you to every moment even when you don’t feel like it
Love doesn’t shy away from challenges. It’s courageous and considers work and service the same thing. When you love, you give it all, you leave it all on the field, in the office, wherever you are.
It’s connecting your goals to how they’ll positively impact the lives of others
Love places goals right next to how they’ll make others’ lives better. It doesn’t separate goals out as something to be achieved “for me” and then for them. Love combines it into one great whole.
It’s putting people before technology and listening with constant empathy
When you love others, and you’re talking to them, you put your technology where it belongs: away. You don’t go back to the age of dial-up, but you keep it all in perspective. You put people first, always, knowing that it shows care, inspires, and empowers everyone to be better.
It’s building strong teams where they don’t exist today
Love doesn’t live in siloes. It thrives as people come together, connect and share ideas, challenging each other to give their best, and exceeds all expectations to achieve the impossible. It brings a child-like sense of newness, a powerful realization that failure is key to success, and that risk-taking matters.
It’s giving your all in the service of others
Ever met someone who was only in it for themselves? It’s a terrible approach to living, and it leads to a culture of mirror-dwellers only skilled at selfies. Powerful people who love don’t need all the attention, but they create it by influencing others through kindness, generosity, and constant empathy.
It’s imagining your life as a motivating (shared) movie
When you put love first in your life, everything becomes way more interesting, because everyone you meet matters, and they have their own uniquely powerful story. And you can stop trying to find your life, and start creating it by writing the script with others, and directing a day-to-day that inspires others.
It’s looking first to inspire rather than to criticize
Love and criticism are like water and oil—they don’t work well together. Love inspires and elevates others to higher levels while criticism cuts down. Love creates a path for others, while criticism buries it.
Love is the one-word that can differentiate you in your life, career, and leadership as someone who cares enough to make a real impact in others’ lives. By putting it front and center in the way you work and live, you can become a force of nature, inspiring people in ways they may have never been before. Don’t let the status quo stop you from applying the power of love.