Leading with Trust

You Matter – The Truth About Your Purpose and Value

You MatterYou matter.

I wish I had said that to my friend John when I saw him last. It was a chance encounter at a neighborhood gas station. We chatted about random, everyday stuff and then we drove away, sure to see each other soon. Soon never came.

A few weeks later John committed suicide.

You matter.

This past Friday my company held its annual meeting and we had a guest speaker, Matthew Emerzian, share about the life experiences that lead him to write a book, Every Monday Matters—52 Ways to Make a Difference. Matt talked about the significance of helping people understand that they matter and the impact that realization has had on his own life and the lives of many others. It’s a message my friend John needed to hear. It’s a message I needed to hear. It’s a message you need to hear.

You matter.

You are one of a kind! In this world of nearly 7 billion people there is no one exactly like you and that makes you a precious, rare jewel. You owe it to the world to share your uniqueness with those around you. We don’t want to miss out on your brilliance.

You matter.

Life isn’t about you. Until you understand that true joy and fulfillment comes from placing the needs of others ahead of your own, you will fail to grasp how much you matter. Serving yourself may lead to quick success but it will eventually leave you unfulfilled. Serving others leads to lifelong significance.

You matter.

You are not alone. There are times when everyone doubts their self-worth, but the good news is that if you seek them out, you’ll find many people who are willing to come along side you to provide mentoring and coaching.

You matter.

“Why?” is the wrong question. Whenever we face a challenge in life our first instinct is to ask, “Why?” “Why did this have to happen?” “Why me?” Obsessing on “why?” can paralyze and prevent you from realizing how much you matter. Instead of dwelling on the “why” of your circumstances, focus on the “what.” “What can I learn?” “What do I need to do to grow from this experience?”

You matter.

Share your story. An excellent way of serving others and discovering how much you matter is to share your story—the challenges you’ve faced, the struggles you’ve conquered, the mountain tops you’ve climbed as well as the valleys you’ve traversed. You’ll be amazed at how many people have experienced similar life situations and the strength and support that results from the bonds you create.

You matter.

Leading in the Midst of Tragedy – Thoughts on the Murder-Suicide of KC Chiefs Player Jovan Belcher

Yesterday morning Jovan BelcherJovan Belcher, linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs football team, murdered Kassandra Perkins, his 22 year-old girlfriend and mother of his 3-month old daughter. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he briefly talked to head coach Romeo Crennel, thanking him for all that he had done to help him, and then committed suicide in his presence as police arrived.

How in the world do you lead in the midst of such tragedy? It’s unfathomable.

Until you have personal experience with it, you don’t realize how pervasive this problem is in our society. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24. As of 2007 it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. and disproportionately affects men, who are four times as likely to die from suicide, as women.

People I love deeply have wrestled with the specter of suicide. There are times I’ve felt helpless as how to help my loved ones because ultimately their personal welfare is out of my control. I can encourage, support, and listen…but I can’t be in control…and that can be debilitating.

Even though I can’t be in control, I can still lead, and so can you.

We need to shine a light on suicide and bring attention to how people can be helped. If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide, seek help! You are not alone and there are people and resources to give you the help you need.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273 TALK (8255), is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In my local community of San Diego, Up2SD.org offers a wealth of information on suicide, its prevention, and resources available to help those in need.

Seeking help is not a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of immense strength. Reach out to help yourself or those in need. It’s what leaders do.

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