Two distinct words.
Yet, how often do we put them in order of what we want vs. what others could benefit by?
Far too often — especially if you live your days in the mass media/consumerist culture.
Changing this at its roots requires heart, mind, and will, all fused together. Can it be done? Absolutely; I am living proof that it can transform a life.
How did I do it? Or, better phrased: How am I continuing to get better at it?
The answer is that I am purposeful in what I allow to enter my mind. Your thinking is the lever of your life; if you let your thinking go south, let alone take your own advice, or the advice/opinions of those who don’t have the results/success which you strive for, you’ve lost a battle. Does this mean that the war is lost too? Not in the least! Just go back to your “trip point“, which is the information. Information changes lives. Undoubtedly.
Service can be defined so many ways; one way that it can be framed is in the context of servant leadership. When you understand leadership as equaling influence, you know that by being a servant, and putting service ahead of self, you’ve blessed someone else. Ego must be subservient to excellence, just in the same way as service > self.
Self -focus is caused by a society/culture which glorifies success in a mis-defined manner: By the love of money ( as money is not the root of all evil; the love of it is); by characterizing success as financial (“being rich“) only; by what the celebrities & sports stars are doing; or even by encouraging competition ahead of community/interdependent ( ‘Law of the Inner Circle‘ , ‘Level 4‘ thinking.)
Going back to the information as the root source leading to the lever going up (service) or down (self) — it does require humility/humble-ness, hone-ability, a lack of self-deception, and courage to want to take steps to change the information flow. Here in the connected/internet/info age, information is beyond plentiful; it is all encompassing! It surrounds us like a cocoon, and if we aren’t perceptive, it can impact our thinking in mere seconds. Think of how your mood changes by listening to a negative source, such as the TV news; why would you constantly shovel snow ONTO your grass when you could use your snow blower to REMOVE it? This is analagous to letting bad/un-edifying/uplifting info into your head when you could turn it off.
Be a blessing to others by serving them. Think of how you felt when you volunteered at a charitable event, or when you donated monies, or when you helped at your church , or when you stepped up to help a neighbor in need. That’s obviously putting service before self, and doing this consistently can be encouraged by starting at the information ‘step’, and observing the changes in your thinking over time.
Thank you for reading, and all the very best in the days ahead!