Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who Do You See When You Look In the Mirror?

Today at the Farmers Agency Development Center I had a special seminar for all of the Agents that I train.  I had a special guest speaker, Joe Schoenig, from Lubbock, TX.  Joe is one of the greatest agents in the history of Farmers Insurance, but more importantly, he is a great man.  I have heard him speak many times and every time he has made an impact on my life.  Well it happened again today.  I make a living by teaching salespeople how to hammer out a living in a highly competitive industry.  Unfortunately for me, I am usually the one speaking to people rather than being spoken to.  I learned a long time ago that you learn more from listening than you do by talking.  I believe this is the reason God gave us two ears and one mouth.  Since my business requires me to talk all the time, I don't get many opportunities to get to hear other people and learn from them.  Today was a good day.  I got fed!

Over the last 7 years of my life, I have seen a lot of agents come and go.  So what is the difference between success and failure in all facets of life?  One of my favorite quotes (and a quote that I try to live my life by) is, "Successful people are successful because they form the habits of doing things that failures don't like to do."  This quote is from the essay "The Common Denominator of Success" by Albert Gray (take time to read it, it may change your life).  I believe this statement to be true in business, marriage, raising kids, sports, and the list goes on.  We all want success in everything we do.  The question is not whether or not we want success.  The question is are we willing to do the things that we don't want to do in order to obtain success.  I don't like doing laundry or washing dishes, but if I don't, the wife is not very happy with me.  If the wife is not happy, well...I will stop there, you probably get the point.

OK, so where am I going with all of this psychological mumbo jumbo?

While I still hope to continue to live my life by the quote I referenced above, Joe shook things up for me a little bit today.  I have probably heard Joe make this statement before, but it just didn't register.  Maybe I wasn't quite ready for it before?  The foundation of Joe's business and life lies in the following paraphrased quote:

"When you look in the mirror, who do you see?  Our job is not to __________ (fill in the blank) our job is to serve our fellow man.  Our responsibility is to help our fellow man by improving their lives.  If you focus your time on serving your fellow man, one day you will look in the mirror and you will no longer see yourself, but you will see your fellow man."  

My thought after hearing this today was, "Man I'm selfish."  Whether it is our business life or personal life, what is our responsibility?  This is a hard one for me.  This is one of those things where I know the right answer, but man it's hard.  I hope someday I look in the mirror and see my wife, my kids, my parents, my brother, my brothers in christ, my business associates...........

8 comments:

Jill said...

Wow, that's really deep. It's good, but deep. It really got me thinking though. Thanks Babe!

ltolleson said...

Dang Brandon, what were you smoking when you wrote that. That is some really deep stuff your throwing out there.

But seriously, what Joe was saying is absolutely true and is backed by many examples in the Bible of how we should be a servant to others. The Bible uses the word "Servant" 481 times in the NIV and the word "Service" 75 times. Just that alone to me show the importance that God places on us serving others.

Great post... I enjoyed your deep thoughts.

Jenn said...

This is a great post, Brandon. Maybe you should be up teaching our bible class!!

Skelty said...

Zen Master!

Jenn said...

Dude, where is your 10 things from yesterday???

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Yeah, where are your ten things from last month???

Blog already!

Jenn said...

New post, dude!!

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