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Service Above Self

When was that last time you provided Service above yourself? It was about someone or something else, and you expected nothing in return.

I was privileged to be a Rotarian for 14 years. Rotary International is a global organization guided by the concept of “service above self” and it is all about making a meaningful difference for others and contributing to the local and global community. Many businesses do a great job of this and usually try to include their employees in the service component as well.

Locally, I see countless companies that contribute each year to improve the lives of people in the community. Back in the summer of 2013, Calgary and other areas of Alberta were severely flooded. I remember reading and hearing countless acts of kindness with companies donating their services and expecting nothing in return. It was just the “right” thing to do.

Tony Robbins – best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist – partnered with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to help provide 100 million meals to families in need. He also invited the public to help match his personal gift of 50 million meals to Feeding America so, together, 100 million meals can be provided through Feeding America and its network of 200 local food banks.

Volunteers help with clean-up after the 2013 floods in Calgary.

What I found very impressive was that all of Tony’s profits of his new book, MONEY Master the Game, have been donated in advance, along with an additional personal donation that will provide 50 million meals to people in need this year. While Tony Robbins is a very wealthy man, some may say, sure he can afford it, but the reality is that he didn’t have to donate all the profits, but he did. I see it as “service above self”. Tony had hardship as a child and others donated food to him and his family at one point and Tony committed to making a difference if he could one day afford it. In this case, he is honoring this commitment. Way to go Tony!

The old saying, “what goes around comes around” is so true in this case, but most organizations and people who provide “service above self” don’t expect anything in return, yet they usually receive far more than they gave in the first place. This isn’t always in the form of more sales or business, but their name and reputation are elevated and respected even more than before. You can’t put a price on that!!

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” – Tony Robbins

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