In your dying moments, your business will not hold your hand.
Many times, when pressures squeeze the oxygen from our lungs, or stress makes our heart pulse more times than it should in a minute, we forget what’s important. But the truth is, in our final minutes on this earth, relationships matter most.
Great business people balance well between home and work. They are not afraid to demonstrate love to those who care for them. They respect those who work with them. And they invest in finding out what each individual needs. Recently, one of my clients reminded me how necessary this is, and how precious little time we have to do it.
My cell rang, and Jack was on the line, “How are you?” he said. His wife passed a few months ago, and I knew the sting of her death still grieved him.
“I’m good, what about you?” I said.
“Doing okay, but I have a question, “Have you ever read The Five Love Languages?”
“A couple of years ago.”
“I wish I would have known about this book while Esther was alive. I missed it. She tried for thirty-seven years to tell me what she needed, but I didn’t understand. Anita, this information is important. Can we talk about it when you facilitate our group next time?”
“Sure. I’ll need to refresh my memory, but I’m happy to.”
“Thank you. It’s too late for us, but I want others to learn from my mistake. We only get one chance.”
The urgency in his tone told me not to disregard the request. And I started thinking about how easily we get caught up in the daily grind, only to miss priceless opportunities to build relationships that matter. Work is important, but not at the cost of other people.
In our last days, projects will not gather around our bed, but we do hope to see the faces of close friends and family. Their smiles will strengthen us. And they will hold our hands, because we invested time and energy in giving to them, instead of selfishly straining to get what we want. Because we learned how to meet their true needs.
None of us knows how soon we’ll face death, but it’s a certain reality for everyone. We avoid the subject, but it won’t keep mortality at bay. When our time comes, all of the good we have done, all that we have gained in the world no longer matters — except love. It’s never too late to give the greatest gift, as long as there’s breath in your body.
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
1 Corinthians 13:3 (NIV)
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri.