Maybe you may have heard of this radio station before, WIIFM, which stands for “What’s in it for me?” This has been one of the most popular stations that many of us have tuned into for far too long. And now, it might be time to change the station.
The new station we all should try and tune into is WIIFY, “What’s in it for you?”
What if our conversations, actions and attitudes centered around how we can help others instead of wondering how they can help us get what we want? I can share what would happen as I echo the most famous quote by Zig Ziglar, “You can have everything in life that you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
What if every day we tried harder to hear with an ear of understanding, listening for opportunities to help? Not just listening long enough to jump in and talk about ourselves or our needs, but truly listening to the needs of others. Here is what Joel Osteen says, “Encouragement to others is something everyone can give. Somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. It may be your listening ear. It may be your arms to encourage. It may your smile to uplift. Who knows?”
What if our field of vison and line of sight was broader, actively seeking people to serve rather than looking for others to serve us? One of my favorite books, “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” a book that has been translated in 200 languages and has never been out of print, was written by John Bunyan. And he said it this way, “You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
It is easy to search the internet for positive quotes that can inspire and motivate us to help others. And I love seeing the creativity of how people turn awesome quotes into amazing messages. The question is how long do those last? Do they last only long enough for us to post something on social media and hope someone sees it, likes it, comments on it, and maybe shares it? For some of us, the answer could be yes, and if it is, it just might be time to change the station from WIIFM to WIIFY.
Let me share a very real and recent example of someone who lives with a servant’s heart, someone who exemplifies the “What’s in it for you” attitude. I had reached out to one of the pastors in my life, Ryan Canaday, who lives in the Denver area. I shared with Ryan that I had a friend in New York who was struggling with a family situation and I believed that he was the right person to speak with my friend. Without hesitation, he asked me if he could have 15 minutes and then he would jump on the call. You might say, well he is a pastor, that’s his job. But that is not how or why he responded the way he did, he did it because he has a heart for people. He and his wife, Tami, also run a ministry, called FREE. FREE provides a supportive community for people struggling with addiction and going through recovery. Ryan and Tami are totally tuned into station WIIFY.
And a huge shout-out here for all of our first responders, health-care workers, EMTs, police officers, firefighters, military, and all the selfless people in our communities who are doing everything they can to protect us, keep us healthy, and working so hard to help and serve in so many awesome ways, thank you.
How about you? Are your conversations, actions, and attitudes “me” focused? Are you listening for opportunities to help others? Are your eyes searching for people and situations where you can be of service? I would love to hear all of your “WIIFY” stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we live each day taking the focus off ourselves and change the station to “What’s in it for you,” it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.
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