3 Tips to Being Less about “You” and How to Serve Others

This week I wanted to share 3 Tips to Being Less about “You” and How to Serve Others. Do you feel like you are approaching life looking for the best seat, the easiest people to talk to and the least path of resistance in every situation? Are you so wrapped up in performing, achieving and making life happen that you race by people as if running red lights in a car? One of the greatest wastes of the precious time I have on this earth is whether it is spent getting what I want or putting myself aside so that the bigger mission can happen through me.

The sobering reality came for me when I realized that this life isn’t about me. Never will be. Once you come to that reality you won’t be disappointed so easily ever day. Lets face it, the reason we can get so frustrated is if our expectations aren’t met. The world advertises: Grow up, have kids, gather al the money you can, get “comfy” then retire to coast your way to death. The brutal reality came when I realized that doesn’t exist. Now what??

Here’s an example: I usually will arrive at a situation, event, birthday party for one of the kids friends etc. and think, “What am I going to get out of this?” It’s mental prison for me to live, work, and operate this way. Why? Because I am self absorbed in this thinking. There’s no capacity or room for anyone else because I’m running damage control on myself. It becomes a false idol because riding that roller coaster of thinking is a full time gig.

It can grow into a really bad condition to the point that all one thinks is about themselves. I’ve been there. It comes in and out of my life in seasons, hours and moments. Basically we are all big kids “I want what I want “. It’s so easy. Being a Type A driven person it built down to “control”. Letting go, trusting and putting myself aside for others takes work. Every day. Why? Because it’s not in our human nature. It’s learned. It’s a discipline.

I literally have been disciplining myself to stop and change my thinking. The mind is where it starts. I have to look outward. May my life be lived outward and upward.

 

Here are 3 tips I use to get out of my own head and serve others:

1. Everyone has a love language. Like a radio frequency. Some love words of affirmation, some physical touch, others gifts, some acts of service, others quality time. Tune into the people around you and their love language. Find what lets them know they are important and matter.

2. Random emails and sending notes. Nothing says, “I’m thinking of you” or “You matter” than writing someone. A simple text message can transform a persons day when it is intentional and about the condition of the persons heart.

3. Taking a risk on someone. You don’t have to make a new friend every day, just try going out of your way to really take interest in the people you come across. A majority of the people I come in contact with “look” like they have it together but are really hurting inside. They can go the whole day and no one even notices them. I kind word, a moment to listen and it can transform a persons heart. This requires me being not of myself and so busy I can’t notice their signs of need.

I look at the life of Christ: He could have capitalized on his position and had anything he wanted. He could have snapped his fingers and had the soldiers killed who were hanging him on a cross. He could have had riches, honor, power and prestige that was offered to him. Instead, he humbled himself, took on the nature of a servant and made his life about others. Don’t get me wrong. I believe there is a time and place for self-reflection and nurturance and discovery. However, it’s not all the time. It’s easy to become and stay “self absorbed”.

This life isn’t about me. It’s about helping others discover who they are and that they matter. It starts with my wife and children’s heart. Then moves outward.

Remember: We have a great example in God how to do this: He came to us and could have really capitalized in his position for self worth and ambition. Instead, he humbled himself so that a knuckled like me could be a part of his gift that he offers: Freedom.

Philippians 2:3-11 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The greatest days of my life are those that I lay my head on the pillow and realize I didn’t give one thought to “me” all day. I fueled those precious lives around me.

This original drawing of “The Good Sport” shows the brother being a good sport during his sisters dress up time. As you can tell, this isn’t “preferred”. However, he does it anyway for the love of his sister in that it make her happy. The drawing is available for purchase on a first time first come basis.

The_Good_Sport-compressor
Buy Now!

I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you’ve learned to put yourself aside and notice others? How could these tips change your daily living?

Please share, repost and tweet this bog. Even more, please join the conversation by leaving a comment below. I’d love your comment.

Have a blessed day and thanks for being a part of the journey!

24 thoughts on “3 Tips to Being Less about “You” and How to Serve Others

  1. Scott Hall says:

    Dear Noah,
    I want to thank you for this posting this article. I’ve realized that I’m thinking too much about myself when I’m frustrated, ungrateful, anxious, fearful, etc. I’m so self absorbed at times and it’s no wonder why I’m miserable! I’m focused on me….”What about me, what about me, what about me me me”. Just today I was going through a case of “The Me’s” and knew that I had to get out of that so I started making phone calls to friends I haven’t spoken to in quite some time. Even though I got voice-mails, I left friendly messages letting them know I was thinking about them and hoping that when they heard my message, they were well. I automatically felt better….those feelings of fear, anxiety, frustration, and wondering what I’m going to do with the rest of my life vanished…..but I have to make it more of a habit and ask God to remind me of when I’m reverting back to “What about me mode”. God bless bro! I’ll be in SoCal end of August so hopefully I’ll get to visit your art studio or even see you at wonderground gallery at downtown disney!

  2. Empress Carla says:

    Hi Noah! Thanks for posting this today. I was upset about a work situation, and I realized that not everyone sees this job as I do, and that communication definately needs to improve. I work for a Non-Profit, and while some others see this as a “job”, I see it as me doing the best I can to help support the company mission, that I need to do the best I can every day to help others. Some of my co-workers need to realize that we are doing good…Not to complain about just what is in it for them. It’s about what we do for others.. Thanks for helping me get the message to them…It will definately be shared! And thank you for helping me realize I AM doing good things…:). See you soon…

  3. Randy Crane says:

    Great reminder, Noah. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and our own “stuff.” It takes intentional focus, intentionality, and renewing our minds to change that. And I’ve noticed it’s a daily battle. Some days are easier than others, but it’s still not something that comes naturally. I always try to bring my clients, my readers, and myself back to that truth, because it’s so crucial to not just what we do, but also how we do it.

  4. Dave Couch says:

    Noah – What you’ve unpacked here is so true; Society encourages us to focus on what we want, and make that our purpose in life, which ironically, leaves us very empty. God has an amazing way of putting us where we need to be so that we can find ourselves. He gave me a completely different perspective 17 years ago when my oldest son was born with cerebral palsy due to birth trauma. God finally put me in a difficult situation that I couldn’t control and didn’t want to run away from. My first born child and my wife both needed me to pay attention to something other than myself, and I had to rely on God to show me the light while standing in pitch black. Part of me was scared to death because I didn’t know what to do, but another part of me was learning how to look at life differently than I ever had before. I began to see people for who they were, and embrace their imperfections. As an artist, perfection is often a handcuff for me until I realize that perfection is using the ability that God blessed me with so that I can share His artwork with others, and give the glory to Him . Thanks for reminding me that life isn’t all about me.

  5. JoAnne DeBlis says:

    Hi Noah! Just came across this today when I really needed it. It is coming up on the one year anniversary of my husband’s death and I’ve been struggling with sadness. You made me realize that by focusing on the other people that were in our lives, our sons, nieces, friends, and not on me I can get through this. . .thanks for the reminder to surrender up to God with abandon. Love to you, Chantel, and the kids. . .

    JoAnne

  6. Frank Torres says:

    Hey Noah,
    Just wanted to reply to this blog. Reading it really hit home for me. Actually, there are a couple things that I’ve experienced from meeting you that have hit home for me in my life, especially recently. But before I go into that, let me explain……….long story short……..
    My wife and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been together since. 13 years total, going onto 9 married this month. We’ve been through many ups and down personally and as a couple. Everything from money problems that could have sent us to the streets, infidelity on my part, trust issues, family issues on both sides, etc. With each obstacle, we were able to pull through with the strength and commitment of our love.
    Our last huge obstacle almost led us to break up. About three years ago, I suffered from a long fight with depression and anger. It was mainly caused by such things as hate for my family and hers for many things that I didn’t see eye to eye with them on. Other reasons included me hating my career and I had a big problem with negativity and seeing a lot of bad in things other than good. That led me to always be negative, sad, and angry about how my life was, no matter how good it may have been going. Ultimately it led me to alienate my wife, and everyone else for that matter, and I began to have feelings for and hang around a lot with another girl. That girl happen to be my wife’s friend. Luckily for me, this girl was a good friend and confronted my wife with what I was doing when I started to come onto her.
    This is where we almost split. We spent a lot of time not talking, and just as about she was going to leave me, I confronted her with how I’ve been feeling with my depression and how it led to do the things I did. Even luckier for me, she had the heart and love to give me a second chance and fix myself. She sent me to therapy for treatment. After about a year or so of help and restoring the relationship with my wife, we are happier than ever. I grew to be more honest and open to her. I learned to look at the positives in life rather than the negatives, and to love and be happy rather than being sad and angry. And when things happen to cause anger or sadness, I’ve learned to approach them the proper way by working them out and taking the positive route. Anytime I’ve had something weighing me down, I go to my wife rather than shutting her out. I admit, by no means I am not perfect and I still make many mistakes. But how I handle them is better and I know I’m doing better.
    Since my turnaround, we’ve been happy and loving each moment with each other. The fact that she not only didn’t leave me, but she gave me a second chance and took the time to help me be a better person, made me love her more than ever. Since, we’ve been enjoying every minute of each other big and small. Our first vacation shortly after we got married was going to Disneyland. Since then we’ve been the biggest Disney fans, going multiple times a year. We’re like bigs kids over there and its so much fun. This last year, I took her to Disney World in Florida, which was a first for both of us. It was literally the best two weeks of our lives. Right before out APs expired we had to go back a few months later. Its definitely been a fun past year or so.
    So, after all this, here’s the kicker to the story. After all we’ve been through, we decided that we should really try to have children, as a next big step in our life. We’ve actually been trying for a few years and with no results, decided to see a fertility doctor. When we did, we got hit by news that would devastate me more than anything, even more than that time I almost lost my wife. We found that we couldn’t have kids unless we did invitro, and we had to do it NOW to have a chance. We were devasted. How could a perfect couple like us not be able to have a family? The news actually angered and saddened us. How unfair?!?! And it costs as much as a new car! Why do I need to pay that much money for something that others, many times by accident, get for free?!?! Appalled, we decided to let it go and decide not to have kids. It hurt, but we figured that it was meant to be just us.
    That following weekend, we went to OC to see some family for 4th of July. We stopped by to meet you for the first time at the wonderground gallery, as you were making an appearance for your “mayhem” release. We bought all four litho prints of your latest black princess pieces, and a repro canvas of the beauty and the beast rose for the epcot flower and garden festival this year. You signed all the pieces and added a scripture from proverbs at the bottom. By the way, it was sooooo awesome meeting you. You talent, humbleness, and kindness is truly a gift and the world needs more people like you. We’ve been a fan of your works since day one and we have many pieces of yours in our home from litho prints, canvas, and even skateboards (I happen to love those!!!)
    Anyway, when we got back to the hotel, I decided to look up the verses you put on our pieces. I was literally hit by a lighting bolt. I don’t remember the verses word for word, but I’ll always remember the message. The message that God has a path for you and that you should never question but always trust the path, and no matter how it may look to you, it will lead you the right way. Immediately, I felt HORRIBLE for deciding not to try the invitro. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why, but I felt like I’ve destroyed my life for good with this decision. It kind of put me into a funk for a few days. My life felt empty and meaningless.
    A few days later, I run into this blog post of yours. And you talk about how you took your girl onto the autopia ride and how happy it made her, and in turn made you happy. You talked about how you put her and all your other loved ones first in your life to achieve greater happiness, meaning, and fulfillment. And most of all, you put yourself aside and left it up to the Lord to direct you where you were meant to go.
    After reading this, the lighting bolt hit me again! Back when my life you heading in to the gutter, I decided to look up to the sky and ask God, “Please help me and guide me to what I need to do to make things right.” Immediately things started to change, I found ways to work on myself and my life, and my life hasn’t been better. Since, then though I’ve returned to more of my usual “control freak” attitude and this infertility thing was no different. I thought that I should never spend that much money on something like this when I couldn’t just spend it on myself. If I wasn’t meant to have kids, that so be it, that just means a free life for me and my wife to do as we please. But with that attitude, like I said, I started to feel empty and lost. After reading this blog though, It hit me. Just like a few years ago, and for the rest on my life, God has a path for me and I need to trust in it. I don’t know where it will take me and it definitely won’t feel good many times, but in the end, it is what you are meant for and will lead to your meaning an happiness. I thought I of the daughter or sons that I would have that I would love and would love me back, and that I could pass my teaching s and experiences to them. I could take them to Disney World for the first time, just like I had last year, and see the looks on their faces when they see the castle for the first time. I can see them grow up and learn from their mistakes just like I did.
    So here we are. My wife and I started the process about a couple months ago. She went through countless early mornings of blood test and being poked and prodded. This last Friday, she got implanted with the embryos we had and we will see this Monday if she is pregnant or not.
    This whole time we thought, so maybe our path was meant to “just be us, with no family.” Maybe it was the other way, and we just had to experience it THIS way. Or maybe…….it is just meant to be just US and were we just suppose to go through this to find out. And we had, of course, many other possibilities in between. But with each of these thoughts, we turned our selves back to the truth that we don’t know God plan or path, we just have to trust him and follow, no matter how hard it is, bad it feels, or tough it looks. And that what we’ve been doing. And when we find out what was meant for us, we will then know that God had in store.
    I know this is a pretty heavy and crazy store from someone you don’t know, but meeting you, reading your proverbs verse, and reading this blog really inspired me to look at this deal we’re going through and it truly has helped us a lot. As result, we had to share it with you.
    Thank you for your time and listening. We wish you and your family all the best in the world. God Bless.
    Frank & Robin

  7. Melissa Ferguson says:

    This article was amazing I appreciate the reminder that we live for Jesus Christ not for ourselves by doing the things He wants us to do and being the humble and Godly person He wants us to be. It’s very easy for us humans here on this earth especially myself to be frustrated, angry, anxious etc with The world. I’m working on this myself by taking each day slowly and giving it to The Lord every morning and praising Him for the good things and bad, and I realize how much better I feel at the end of the day if I just live through Him! It wasn’t easy for Jesus on this earth so why would it be for me? As long as I surrender my day to Jesus everything is better even if I had a bad day, in doing that I noticed I’m happier, less stressed
    and being less selfish and helping others more the way Im supposed too. 🙂 God bless you Noah and your beautiful family!!

  8. John says:

    You are an amazing soldier. Thank you for all your he-art work. I have always loved your work. My first image I purchased was Starlet. It took my breath away as I looked at it. I do not see the beauty of a woman or icon when I see it everyday. I see what a wonderful gift our Father has given us and how tragic it could end by making the wrong life choices.
    Thank you once again Noah!
    Peace!
    John

  9. NANCY PAULSON says:

    Hi Noah, I have enjoyed reading of your journey………of your coming to grips with our own frailties of life. and sharing with others…….. Your family is beautiful……..and what you did for your wife .. was a gift to all of you…..
    you said ”
    The greatest days of my life are those that I lay my head on the pillow and realize I didn’t give one thought to “me” all day. I fueled those precious lives around me.”

    I have not yet been blessed with grandchildren…and may never be…but I know from watching and hearing from others. that a grandchild is one of the greatest gifts we are blessed with and can make a gift of to our parents………I know your parents must have so much joy, happiness. blessings from just a note. a picture. a drawing.. and that you are a great encourager to your children to love their family by giving…….just an “I love YOU”….. I am thankful for the blessings of your words that are helping others.. They are helping you as well.. God Bless you and ALL OF YOUR family… this Blessed Easter Season….. the season.. of faith in the One Who Died for us all……and forgives all our pain, wounds..and helps to heal our hearts. Thankyou for your wordS of Faith and family….and what is really important in this life…….you said “Just a note. a text. a card. a call”. You are so right……….. THANKYOU NOAH.. FOR SHARING YOUR WISDOM WITH SO MANY…..

  10. Jim says:

    Very inspired reminder of living a happy life. Thinking of others. Thank you for taking your time to post this for me. I really do appreciate it as do many of my friends whom I share it with on social media. We all need to be reminded from time to time of why it is we are here.

  11. Bridget says:

    The 3 Tips are so simple yet powerful. The last tip reminded me of a change I made not so long ago… In reading a recent issue of Oprah’s magazine I saw their new campaign of Just Say Hello. Since then, despite my struggle of shyness, I’ve made an effort to do just that; making eye contact & smiling, engaging in light conversation, asking how they are, and/or giving a compliment. It’s becoming more natural and feels amazing, especially when you see the surprise and happy reaction of the stranger’s face; their spirit lights up! We go along with our lives, day after day, wrapped up in our own worlds, thinking about what others think of us & how we’re living, yet feeling completely invisible at the same time. I’ve found that when you acknowledge that person, they don’t feel invisible anymore, they feel like they matter. The other day I was the one whom somebody acknowledged by simply asking my opinion on a product while shopping. She could have turned to her phone and looked up reviews, but instead she said hi to me and truly wanted to know my thoughts. Wow! It made my day! Having been on both sides, I couldn’t agree more with your post, Noah; it is so important to reach out to others, bet it a thoughtful note or a simple “Hi” 🙂

  12. Dave Michal says:

    Hello Noah,
    Through a mutual friend I learned about your community. You and Terry are doing a wonderful thing for your community here. I hope that all your followers identify with this blog. You can pursue all the goals and dreams in this world and many of you will find success. However, lasting happiness will only be achieved through a solid generosity model. If you are not a Kingdom based thinker, then it needs to be a model of giving back to your community and the world as a whole. It’s ok to accumulate riches and things in great abundance, but your generosity model need to be equally matched. For me, it is about Stewardship and a Kingdom based walk with my family, friends, and business partners. I have had some of the greatest partners that walk the earth today, Frank Shankwitz, founder of the Make-A-Wish is just one of them. I can tell you he knows happiness like no other man I have encountered. So simply I end with this to your Community. When a mentor teaches you the priority of serving others and putting the community around you first, it’s magic. All your pursuits will grow and succeed with greater ease. However, when a mentor teaches you with the final ingredient of Kingdom paths in your plan, well it is truly Heaven on Earth. Doing Well while Doing Well for Others is a great formula. Noah, thanks for being a great leader. If I can do anything for your community, you, or Terry, just let me know, Enjoy this opportunity, Dave Michal of Legacy Partners 314. Multiplied Blessings to all…

    • Noah says:

      Michal, grateful for the comment and encouragement. Keep it rolling and glad your here. Thanks for your offer of gifts and talent. Blessings, Noah.

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