A question that more people should ask is “Can a position or title bring you happiness, make you feel important or finally put to rest the question that plagues so many – Do I really matter?” I believe this is a question that many wonders about, but only they can truthfully answer it.
If a position (or a title) is what you need in life in order to believe that you matter, then you should reconsider what your goals are. While a position/title does bring a certain amount of satisfaction and makes you feel that you are important, it should not be the reason people aim for it. Yet sadly, if we look at the world around us this is exactly what we see taking place. Desperate to feel that they matter, we see people take on a title or being placed in position who simply shouldn’t as they cannot fulfil the role within that position. To them it is more about the title than the function which is attached to that title.
With a title comes responsibilities.
Now whether it is a position/title within an organisation (perhaps at school, college or at a workplace), found in the context of marriage or life in general, a title is more than just the abbreviations that get added to your initials. With a title comes responsibilities. If you are unable or unwilling to fulfil the responsibilities that come with that position, then perhaps it’s better that you rethink the title you are striving for. Yes, each one of us should have a next step in mind – definitely do not settle where you are in life. However, taking on a particular title will mean that you need to have the maturity and wisdom needed in order to fulfil the function within that position. If your goal is simply to feel that you matter or that you are important then you need to give this a bit more thought before pursuing that.
Again, the real issue that needs to be dealt with is “whether or not I really matter”. Until this question is put to rest, we will simply be setting ourselves up for a series of hurts and failures which in the long run will continue to break us down and leave us feeling even more worthless than when we first began wondering if we truly matter. As I’ve already said, we find that people become so desperate to answer this question that they try taking on positions they believe will add value to their lives, making them feel important and in the end feeling like “I matter”. I wonder how different our thinking, our aim in life, would be if we walked in a state of contentment with who we are? What would we choose to take on and what would we simply overlook and let go of?
It’s not inward looking but rather outward looking.
Let’s be completely honest – a position/title doesn’t ultimately bring you happiness and will never really fulfil you. Ask any individual with a position you believe will bring about a feeling of importance and they will warn you of the many difficulties they are faced with. The reason people who find themselves in a certain position is, and should be, for the sole purpose to be of help, to make a difference in the lives of those around them. It’s not inward looking but rather outward looking.
I become a policeman, not because I like to walk around with a gun and feel superior, but because I can’t stand to see people taking advantage of others or placing them in a position of danger. Now if it was simply about me wanting to feel important, to have a title, I would run in the opposite direction at the first sign of danger. It’s all about the function that position holds. This simple principle applies to virtually every facet of life.
I become a parent because I want to teach and impart, to show love and care, to watch as this small individual grows into who they were meant to be. I marry (taking on Mrs.) so that I can show love, affection, take care of and walk a journey with that one individual who will choose to walk that very same journey with me (there is so much more that can be said on the topic of marriage alone).
I become a leader in my community so that I can see the individuals around me become the men and women they were meant to be and see the community uplifted. If one understands that with each of these titles (and the various others that are out there) there is a great responsibility required by me, one can rest assure that you are stepping into a position with the right motive and mindset. But if I step into that position, hoping to find fulfilment for myself, to fulfil the longing of believing that I finally really matter – then I can be certain that some disaster won’t be that far off for both myself and those around me. Sadly, it’s this kind of misguided perception of acceptance that so many hope to find in a title/position. I think the results speak loudly and clearly in the world around us.
It’s all about function, not the title
It doesn’t help that when we look at the world around us you see the ones who constantly love to play the “look at me now” game, trying their best to create the impression that you only matter according to the title that you carry. The truth is that you are a unique individual, a person with real dreams and feelings – that itself should be an indication that you matter. Think about the laws we are all called to abide and adhere to; they were written and put in place with your best interest in mind. You really do matter. If you didn’t, those laws wouldn’t be there. Within your DNA, within your being, you carry the change and help another individual requires to take the next step in their life. When you think about this you begin realising that it is not by chance that you keep bumping into certain individuals on your life’s journey. We miss this simply because our focus is on finding fulfilment for ourselves. As much as you need the help of others to make you believe that you matter, you carry that same help and support someone else needs. Perhaps it would be a good exercise to think about every individual you were able to help and lend a hand to throughout your life. Whether big or small. Had you not been there in that moment they would have struggled until someone else was willing to lend them a hand. The more you are of help to those around you, the more you matter. It’s all about function, not the title that makes you matter.
So, before you take on a certain position / title look at your motives. If it’s to fulfil a need within your own life, to believe that this will make you important and that you matter, then best you wait a little longer or perhaps put it down for good. If it stirs up a desire to help and inspire others around you and you are willing to put in the time and effort, then pursue it. But be careful, we often blur these lines, deceiving ourselves in to thinking it is for others. Be honest with yourself. Like you, those around you matter too.
You won’t find fulfilment, a true sense that “I finally matter” in a position/title. The truth of the matter is that you do matter; but this you need to discover and realise on your own. Once you do, nothing and no one will be able to take that away from you and you will begin functioning from a position of helping others within that position or title.