The Joy of Serving Others

We certainly live in interesting times!

Confucius would have a very wry smile on his face if he could witness the political, economic and social turmoil of the world we live in today.

This Blog is not an appropriate forum in which to express political views but I have to admit that I find myself shaking my head more and more nowadays as stories of self enrichment, corruption, dishonesty, deception, incompetence and indifference surface from government institutions and those very people who are supposed to have dedicated their careers to serving others.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

joy of serving others

The joy of serving others (continued)


No greater privilege

There is no greater privilege than serving other people and, if it is done with passion, integrity, humility and caring, it can be the most rewarding and fulfilling experience available.

Actions should be judged on their intent

As honest, hard working citizens, we are entitled to expect the highest standards of morality, ethics and good judgement from our political leaders.

Like everyone else they are humans and will make mistakes but their actions should always be judged on the basis of their true intent. Is that to promote the best interests of the people they serve … or is it to serve their own – or narrow party political – interests?

It is deeply disturbing when it becomes quite clear that people in the highest echelons of leadership are blatantly prepared to sacrifice the interests of those they serve for their own positions, privileges and self-interests.

Perhaps even more worrying than this is the trickle down effect that poor leadership and a flawed understanding of what it means to serve, can have on people lower down in the line of command and, as a result, on the public at large.

Training people in the art of serving

We all have stories to tell of public officials who are unfriendly, curt, dismissive, lackadaisical and even arrogant in carrying out their duties towards those they serve. The problem lies not with these people but with those who are responsible for training them in the art of serving.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that by not properly educating and training people in the art of serving others, these supervisors and, ultimately, the top leaders, are denying them the pleasure and joy that should naturally come with the turf.

Happy outlook, happy life

A happy demeanour makes for a happier person.

Try this for a moment. Stand up straight and tall and put a great big smile on your face. Then try to tell someone about what makes you unhappy. Not possible, right?

Now slump back in your chair, wear your deepest frown and try and explain what makes you happy. Equally difficult, not so?

I have a local coffee shop that I frequent. The atmosphere is nothing special but the coffee is the best in town and the Barista and his fellow staff never stop smiling. In fact, they reserve their biggest smiles for when they serve up coffee to their guests.

I once asked the Barista how he managed to keep such a happy demeanour, day in, day out. “I guess you must be paid really well?” I said. “Not really,” he replied, “I’m sure I could earn more elsewhere but we have a lot of fun here. I just love seeing the look on my customers’ faces when they taste my coffee. It just makes me want to try even harder.”

Imagine if …

Imagine if one could ‘take a plaster cast’ of this attitude and transplant it into some of the government departments we have to deal with?

Just imagine if, instead of harbouring resentment about their hours, their pay or whatever else it is that induces that sullen, bored look that we customers have to endure, they could compete for smiles on their customers’ faces by surprising them with levels of service and friendliness that they don’t expect?

Not only would the customers be impressed but the quality of their own lives would rocket too!

A huge opportunity

In all that I have written today there lies a challenge – and a huge opportunity – for those readers who work as trainers, advisers or consultants to public ‘servants’.

Effective customer service training is as much, if not more about inculcating an enthusiasm for making others feel happy as it is about imparting a knowledge of the relevant products and processes.

Happiness comes from within. Good working conditions and fair pay are important, of course, but at the end of the day these things will do nothing for better customer service if attitudes of self-interest, entitlement or resentment are allowed to take hold and spread.

Linking back to life coaching

As a final thought, let me link today’s topic back to the industry in which I operate and in which many of you readers work or have an interest.

Life coaching is perhaps the only career in which the sole aim of what one does is to bring more joy, more happiness and more of life to one’s clients.

There are certain skills, tools and techniques that it is important to master and be able to apply as a life coach. And it is a given that coaching services should be conducted with integrity in a thoroughly ethical way.

These things are important … but they matter for nothing if you approach life coaching with the wrong attitude, that is anything less than a passionate desire to help your clients be the best they can be!

Take it from those of us who’ve been in this game for a while. Seeing people become more self-ware, grow, develop … and smile … thanks to your help, input and guidance, is massively rewarding!

This is the joy of serving others!


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  1. Cherri
    Apr 5, 2017

    As Coaches, part of what makes our work so awesome, is that it is 100% ethical. (Well, I think that!). When we see others behaving in an unethical manner, it is not up to us to point that out to them, unless they are affecting us directly. However, there comes a time when we must make a stand against the greed, corruption or whatever the behaviour is. I think that time has come!

    • Bill
      Apr 5, 2017

      Thanks for your insights Cherri.

  2. Candice Tomlinson
    Apr 5, 2017

    So aptly put Bill! The last week for our country has been incredibly disappointing and trying. A different perspective is absolutely what is required.

    • Bill
      Apr 5, 2017

      Thanks Candice!

  3. Barbara
    Apr 5, 2017

    I am surrounded by such amazing, enthusiastic people that I overflow with joy daily. I am truly blessed.

    • Bill
      Apr 5, 2017

      How wonderful … and good for you!

  4. Karen
    Apr 5, 2017

    It is only when one takes the time to carefully choose a set of life giving values, that one exudes passion, enthusiasm and confidence. What if every single person in this world gave themselves the greatest gift of all – the opportunity to learn and grow by embarking on a journey of self discovery such as New Insights has to offer? If that were so, I have no doubt that our country and this world would be overflowing with thriving, flourishing human beings filled with more creative and innovative ideas on how to live a more enlightened and balanced way of life than we currently find ourselves leading.

    • Bill
      Apr 5, 2017

      And this is what could come from selfless, caring, innovative leadership. The future could be so very bright!

  5. Jana
    Apr 5, 2017

    Excellent article, Bill. Maybe the government should take on life coaches to train their staff to become more effective and happier in the work their do. A very novel idea indeed but not one to be scorned at!!!

    • Bill
      Apr 5, 2017

      Indeed. Get out there and sell them on the idea!

  6. Cedrick Mathekga
    Apr 5, 2017

    How true indeed, let us spread the gospel of always smiling and serving others, let us all remember that the future generation needs to learn good ethical morals to survive.

    • Bill
      Apr 5, 2017

      Thanks Cedrick.

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