How many times have you dedicated yourself to a purpose or made a sacrifice for someone, only to feel unappreciated or undervalued? How in the world could that have happened? Surely, it’s a direct lack of respect shown by the other party(s) involved.

Or not…

Perhaps they just didn’t know. Or even more, perhaps they knew and just didn’t care. You see,¬†we are so conditioned (myself included) to feel that our mission is shared by all of those around us, even those not closely associated with us. Social media has given us all a voice, one that truly matters. My social badges and friend count show how important I am and why my viewpoints should be shared by all. Right? Wrong!

Last year, as I was beginning my journey in personal development, I went to a speaker’s convention in AZ. A good friend saw the passion I had for developing myself as a speaker, and he had the means to gift me a spot at the event. The value of that trip, and his selfless act, will last a lifetime.

The most valuable piece of information I took home from that event was this: S.T.A.Y. (Stop Thinking About Yourself). In the grand scheme of things, our opinions matter a lot less (to a lot less people) than we think. Stop thinking about what you can do to make yourself happy. Stop thinking about your crusade. Focus on something else. Start thinking about how you can make someone else happy, how you can make their lives better.

I do a lot of things – blog, write book(s), train, teach, speak, research – the list goes on. BUT, now more than ever, I am focusing on living my life in a way that provides value to others. And sometimes those ideas are home runs, sometimes they’re singles, and sometimes they’re big whiffs. Regardless, the intrinsic value I feel from making someone else feel good is equal to or greater than the greatest night of my life, the Rick Story fight…I mean my wedding…I mean the birth of my daughter…

It’s late. I’m going to bed. And please, S.T.A.Y.

– Spaniard