A few short weekends ago, my wife and I joined a group of brave Freedom fighters who had an incredible church fundraiser in beautiful Puerto Rico.
On this trip, we had the opportunity to not only visit many historical and beautiful sites, but also became acquainted and got to know some of the super caring locals of this magnificent and majestic island. It came as a bit of a shock to find out how little I particularly knew of this beautiful place along with its rich culture.
Something, literally right of the bat, which stuck me in awe were the incredibly kind, generous and caring people of Puerto Rico. Let me just say, Puerto Ricans have an incredible warm hospitality. Beyond mere courteous and politeness, the people of this Island have such a spiritual uniqueness. Their way of life… Their actions… Their very movement and flow… Puerto Ricans have such a deep friendliness and love for their family which resonates through their spirited play and fun. Guests too.
My wife and I arrived in Puerto Rico around 3pm in the afternoon. We were met and shuttled to our just-amazing hotel in San Juan. Let me make quick mention; if you’re considering visiting Puerto Rico, I highly, highly recommend (minimally once) staying at the Condado Vanderbilt. Although both the interior and exterior are simply stunning and welcoming, the personalized service is simply out of this world.
Because we were running a bit early for the hotel, our room had not yet become available. However, on the flip side, we had another dilemma. Not only were we running behind to our important event, we also needed to change and freshen up. Being in and out of airports for half the day leaves one feeling a little sticky-icky.
Incredibly, without asking or hinting, the concierge (at the Condado Vanderbilt) recognized the situation. Without pause, he escorted us both to a sizable greenroom consisting of a his and her bathroom suite, replete with showers, sinks, towels and with all the amenities. Whew – we were immediately overwhelmed by this level hospitality. They didn’t have to do any of this. So, where things can perhaps become lost in translation, this is exactly what is called being completely and utterly of service… No hesitations. No shrugs or forlorn ’you’re putting me out sir’ type looks. None of that. Nothing begrudging. Simply a welcoming smile with a solution. Boom baby!
Next we were shuttled to the majestic St. Regis resort on the northwest side of the Island. The evening consisted of a superb five (5) course dinner along with very lively, unique and energetic salsa-dancing entertainment. The performance and eye-popping costumes were simply out of this world. And oh, if that wasn’t enough, my goodness!! …if I could literally draw a picture of the personal care during this entire experience… First off, the center pieces, the table settings! Heck even the napkin-folds were just over the top friggen top spectacular – far beyond anything expected (and let me say, I’m not easily impressed). Oh, and did I happen to mention (hint, hint) our five (5) course meal (well maybe I happen to say something earlier – ha, ha) – it was simply exquisite. The service at the St. Regis blew us both away.
Literally, before either of us could raise a hand or look searchingly through the room, a polite smile would immediately appear (from nowhere) ready to exceed every expectation. I might say, this wasn’t like we had some annoying server ’hovering’. Nope. Our server would magically read our minds; appear from nowhere to then disappear the moment he’d fulfilled all our needs. I would ask my wife in wonder, “Where he’d go?”
Later we were shuttled back over to the Fine Arts Center of Puerto Rico in San Juan where we personally had the awe-inspiring opportunity to witness the musical performance of Hamilton, staring Lin-Maneul Miranda. As a side note; this happened to be a once in a life time experience that will not soon be forgotten. Lin-Maneul’s very presence brought this performance to a completely new (sky high) level. The other performers were P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Completely in sync. Completely in agreement. Completely on purpose. Grace. Beauty. Completely and utterly non-stop five (5) star entertainment. One for one, it almost seemed like each performer were themselves deeply inspired (certainly motivated) to be performing with one of the greats – Lin-Maneul. From the curtain falling to the final bow, was like nothing we’d ever experienced. Wow!
I want to take a few moments to comment how this deeply impacted, and inspired my views on service & help.
…of service means going far (way, way, way) beyond mere courteous behavior. It’s going beyond helpfulness. Service-ness is a stellar, high level unique trait. It is mass exchange, mass giving, mass production, mass caring, mass creativity, mass ambition. It’s abundance.
I’m certain we have all known someone like this.
Let me just add; when ‘so called friends‘ sympathetically console with statements like, “you seriously need to be satisfied with yourself first…”; well, what they’re really saying is to “warm-yourself up to defeat. Start becoming satisfied with far less than what they’re actually capable of “.
What they’re also saying is, “become more complacent with what you produce in life.” “Stop trying so hard.”
Let me impart an important little secret; although this appears like sound advise, and they’re looking out for your best interests, these ilk of people aren’t truly your friends.
Friends and family inspire one athers to be more than what they are. They push one another to new heights.
Take for example; a 2 year old child proudly spends ten to twenty (10-20) minutes pouring his heart into creating a masterful-piece for his mother. He is being of service. He is helping his mother. However, if this same child, at the age of 10 created a piece, but this time made it kinda sloppily. He’d hurriedly slapped it together, scribbled outside the lines and presented it to gain attention; well, let’s call a spade a spade. He is performing beneath his own capabilities. Maybe he was in a hurry. Perhaps didn’t care to put forth the time and extra flourishes. Maybe he was distracted or wasn’t even remotely there with a purpose. Maybe he isn’t an artist. Who knows. There might be dozens of possible reasons or justifications. One thing is for sure; being the author of all one creates, you are the only one who knows what you are truly capable of creating, producing or helping.
WHAT?!?! Wait a tick… Are people out there like this?
If my children weren’t satisfied with something they’d created… Or likewise an employee, peer or coworker were simply ‘going through mundane motions‘ but weren’t proud or satisfied with the results, I’d tell them to get their butts back in there and get it done right! Play the game of life. Play to win. Why live a defeatist sort of life, delivering below your true capabilities. Why live life half in such a a@sed fashion?
Maximum. It’s a way of life. Those giving maximum have uber quantities to give, along with plenty of reserves. They work hard. They don’t rest. They don’t take breaks. And certainly don’t rationalize inefficiencies. If you didn’t give it all, don’t go look for a shoulder to cry on. Go find a way to produce better.
It doesn’t matter what you do. Whether you’re the CEO or the janitor. Those who give the maximum level, who maintain their ‘…of service’ disposition are in a realm of their own. That’s job security. They can’t be knocked down. These sort of chaps are in super high demand! They are always working and producing high quality products. They inspire others around them. They have no shortage of energy of spirit. Why…. Because they enjoy what they do. In their eyes, it isn’t work. It’s what they enjoy. They replenish their reserves through their purpose to provide maximum exchange! Oh, and let’s not forgot their morale is super-high!
In at least one point in our lives, we have all experienced, through our help and services given to others, high-flung morale, enjoyment, pleasure and excitement. We all have it within us. This is going beyond what is promised. It is going beyond what is expected. Sometimes it can be a bit scary. Welcome to living.
But let’s not forget about the aged-old weathered excuses, “they don’t appreciate me or anything I do.” Well I say, why do you need a hall-pass to perform your very best.
Always do your very best and quite looking to others to provide sought after acknowledgment. After all, your own knowingness and sense of accomplishment can never be granted to you or replaced by another. It is only granted by the author – You.
There is nothing more fulfilling that being of service to another or others except inspiring others, through your dedicated hard work and actions, to likewise be of service to.
SHAWN MAY – DTS Inc. | Principal Architect & CEO