A Labor of Love

How often do you do things that you aren’t expected to do but you do them out of love? Chances are you do How often do you do things you aren’t expecting to do but do them out of love? Chances are, you do more than most people know. It’s not that you wish to bring attention to yourself, but you want to see the people you love happy. It’s the little things that people treasure most. I love putting a surprise like a card with a gift certificate in the mail to someone I love. Or maybe surprising a friend with something I know that they need. I’m not looking for anything in return. I only want to make them feel appreciated. At work, I love doing things to make my assistant’s life easier. Sometimes I will leave her a care package with various fruits or a small token of appreciation to say “thank you for going the extra mile.” People don’t need to feel that their actions have no meaning. They do need to feel they matter.

No rulebook says how to show love. Sure, everyone has their ideas and versions, but we are all different. What’s essential or significant to one person may not have the same significance as the other. For example, a parent who passes down a business to a child may feel they are doing a labor of love with a sense of purpose for the future. But the child may feel differently. The child may feel compelled to keep the business going, and while this reason is where communication has to occur openly. The parent may not recognize that their wants and dreams are not what their children desire. However, if that child loves the type of work their parents left behind, it could be conveyed as a labor of love.

A different example could be with the people you work with. Let’s say that you work for a corporation that is so A A different example could be with the people you work with each day. Let’s say that you work for a corporation that is so professional they forget their employees are humans. Making small gestures like helping with a task, giving an early morning coffee, or even extending compliments can generate better emotions from people.

The cool part about the labor of love? It doesn’t have to be expensive or bought. What it does need is a little thought from you, a little empathy, and a lot of willingness to make someone else’s day a little better. I keep thinking about the movie “What Women Want.” In the film, Mel Gibson’s character accidentally allows him to read women’s minds. He’s shocked at what he hears and learns. Yet, throughout the movie, he encounters a young woman who doesn’t think anyone would miss her if she were to disappear. He shows her some kindness and prevents a tragedy from happening in her life.

This world is difficult to navigate throughout our lives. We all have our preconceived notions of where we want to This world is difficult to navigate throughout our lives. We all have our preconceived notions of where we want to be and often berate ourselves for not getting where we want when we want. Instead of making things more difficult for ourselves and others, showing one another that we appreciate them can significantly impact us than we can comprehend.

So on this Monday, I hope two things for you. The first is to recognize others and show them they matter. If you never stop finding out those who work around your names, maybe that could be a start. If you know your co-workers’ names, maybe do something nice that catches them off guard. One of the best ways to get workers to do better at their jobs is to make them feel valued. When people want to be there and are fearful of losing their jobs, you can often get the best out of them. That’s not always the case, but that’s why we have probationary periods.

The second is to take time for yourself and show yourself some love. If you are anything like me, everyone else gets a piece of you, and you are stretched extremely thin. It’s okay to feel that way. What’s important is that you find ways to take care of yourself so that you don’t end up making yourself sick.

Enjoy the day as well as you can. Take care of yourselves and each other. Have a great day, everyone.

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