I spend a lot of time writing these posts each week. I’m actually a little embarrassed to say how much. I don’t stop until I feel like every word is in the right place and even then I wake up the next morning only to pick it apart a little more until I actually publish it.
Why do I put myself through this torture? For you. My readers. There are 170+ million blogs on the Internet and you chose to read mine. I don’t take that lightly. I am grateful for every pair of eyeballs I get. In return I try to give you the absolute best I have in every post.
No strings attached. No expectations.
But since we’re on the subject, how come you guys don’t Tweet my posts more often? You mentioned that you liked it, but I noticed you didn’t “Like” it on Facebook…does that mean you didn’t “Like” it, like it? And since you are here already, any chance you could leave a comment every now and then? Or perhaps signup for my mailing list? It would help!
Hmmm, OK…so maybe I do have some teensy weensy expectations. But, don’t we all?
Nope. Not all of us. My friend Mike doesn’t. At least not in this particular case. And this is big enough that he should get a pass for all of the other times he did have expectations of someone else if it were up to me. Since it’s my blog, it’s up to me.
You see, Mikes wife’s friends husband (better known as Mikes friend) needs a kidney. As luck would have it, Mike has two of them. Most of us do. Unlike most of us, he’s willing to give one away. Happily. With no strings attached.
It’s kind of hard to think that he is actually removing one of his organs (with the help of a professional of course) and he has no expectations of his friend whatsoever. But I stared the guy down over an egg white omelet. It’s true. You could tell. This is not one of those “I gave you a kidney, the least you could do is pick up the tab when we go out to dinner” kind of things. Although it would be a nice gesture.
Of course, you could argue that he is benefitting in his own special way by feeling good about doing something so big for someone else, but that’s a little different. He’s not projecting that onto his friend. He has no expectations of his friend. He just feels good about doing the right thing. How can you not? You are saving the life of another human being.
I consider myself a do-gooder. I shovel the elderly neighbors driveway without being asked every winter. Even so, it still takes me well into July to stop patting myself on the back for the good deed. My kids were reprimanded for running around in their yard last week. My response? I forced my family to sit through a 20-minute diatribe over it, only to finish off with “and this is the thanks I get?”
While Mike is quietly parting with a vital part of his body, I need a town parade and a key to the city for shoveling a few inches of snow.
Well, that is about to change.
And so is this. I have gauged the success of my blog based solely on numbers. How many visitors? How many subscribers? How many comments? How many Tweets? How many “Likes”?
Stuff that doesn’t tell the real story. The impact I have had on other people.
Because of this obsession with measurement, I have occasionally written content for the sole purpose of bringing in new readers. This glaring example comes to mind. All the while, my expectations of you were pretty high. After all, you were supposed to carry me off into the sunset on your shoulders by now. Or at least Tweet about it.
Well, I’m sorry about that. Today, I am renewing my vow to you. Every single post that I write will be my absolute best. Every word that I write will have a purpose. And I promise to continually give you as much value as I have to offer.
No strings attached.
Now it’s your turn. What are the expectations you have in others? I challenge you to start cutting the strings that you have knowingly or unknowingly attached to all of the things that you do.
Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. That’s all. Try it. It’s harder than it sounds. Let me know how it goes…