I am writing to all my amazing friends and colleagues concerning a personal and incredibly humbling experience which changed my entire outlook concerning being …of service to others. I truly hope you find this revelatory.
A few short weekends ago, my wife and I joined a group of brave Freedom Fighters who lead an incredible mission to raise funds for our church. This journey brought us to the absolute majestic island of Puerto Rico.
On this trip, we had the incredible opportunity to not only visit many historical and beautiful sites, we equally became acquainted with the super caring locals of this magnificent island.
It came as a bit of a shock to discover how little we actually knew of this beautiful place and rich culture.
Something right off the bat struck us both in complete awe. The people of Puerto Rico are genuinely kind, generous and caring. The people of Puerto Rico are not only driven on family purpose, but likewise have such a unique care for others.
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Puerto Ricans have this very special, incredible, warm hospitality toward guest. Beyond mere courteous and politeness, the people of this Island have such a unique spiritual outlook. Their way of life… their actions… their very movement and flow… Puerto Ricans have such a deep friendliness and spiritual love for family and people alike. This welcoming and warming love resonates through ever action.
The people of Puerto Rico truly epitomize the words:
My wife and I touched down in Puerto Rico around 3pm on a Friday afternoon. We were met and shuttled to our hotel in true San Juan style.
Let me make quick mention; if you’re even remotely considering visiting Puerto Rico, we both highly recommend (minimally once) staying at the Condado Vanderbilt. Both the interior and exterior are simply stunning. The personalized service and care is simply out of this world.
Due to arriving to hotel ahead of schedule, our room hadn’t been fully made ready for us. This presented us with an interesting dilemma. We were running behind for our event and needed to change into appropriate outfits.
Incredibly, without asking or hinting, the concierge (at the Condado Vanderbilt) recognized the situation. Without pause, he escorted us to a sizable greenroom consisting of a his and her bathroom suites, replete with showers, sinks, towels along with all the amenities. We were able to change, clean ourselves up and get out the door to our event. We were overwhelmed by this absolute incredible level hospitality.
The Oxford defines hospitality as:
The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Latin: ‘ hospitable ‘, hospit – ‘ host, guest ‘
This is where things can perhaps become lost in translation. The team at the Vanderbilt didn’t have to go these measure. Their actions precisely and accurately defines …of service… No hesitations. No shrugs nor forlorn ’you’re putting me out sir’ type-looks. None of that. Nothing begrudging. Simply a welcoming smile accompanied with incredible service. Boom baby!
Next we were next shuttled across the island to the majestic St. Regis resort. The evening consisted of a superb five (5) course dinner along with very lively, unique and out of this world salsa-dancing. The performance and aesthetic local costumes were simply EPIC.
If I could draw a mental picture of this evening’s visit and personal service provided by the St. Regis resort, this was second to none the most incredible journey I have ever taken.
St. Regis is ideally located on a former coconut plantation and situated between the El Yunque National Forest and Espíritu Santo River State Preserve, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is set on 483 pristine acres and 2 miles of secluded beach with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. We were surrounded by private cabanas and oasis pools to soak in the sun in lounge chairs. The state of the art cuisine along with the lush and exotic wildlife of this sanctuary was completely exteriorizing. To top it off, they had a 18-hole course. Anyone can pamper themselves with a custom spa day in their Iridium Spa. The enviable setting, combined with the legacy of St. Regis, is a luxury retreat where adventure, history, elegance and tropical splendor blend perfectly together.
My wife and I are the type to look beyond the obvious Wow-Factor. We look closer at the smaller details. Such as the resort hall, at our table, had these hand crafted center pieces consisting of tropical flowers and unique local plants. Even the napkin-folds were simply over the top friggen spectacular – everything was far beyond anything we expected (and let me say, we are not easily impressed). This elevated dining experience was reimagined with a bright ambiance and spectacular beach views of Rio Grande. Our out of this world five (5) course meal was absolutely exquisite consisting of a unique flavorful Puerto Rican cuisine!
The staff and service at the St. Regis blew us both completely away. Before either of us could raise a hand, or look searchingly through the room, a polite smile happened to appear (from nowhere) ready to exceed our expectations. Our server would magically read our minds; appear from nowhere to then disappear the moment our needs were fulfilled.
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 was a once in a life time experience we’ll not soon forget. Lin-Maneul’s very presence brought this performance to a completely new (sky high) level. His supporting performers absolutely were P-E-R-F-E-C-T too. Completely in sync. Completely harmonious. Completely on purpose. Grace. Beauty. 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.
I want to take a few moments to write something from the heart. Our rich experiences in Puerto Rico has forever and deeply impacted my own personal views for service & help.
…of service is going beyond mere courteous behavior. It’s going beyond helpfulness. It’s being mindful. It’s being courageous and brave. It’s sticking yourself out there. It’s being bold and dedicated to the delivery of service. It’s going far beyond anything expected.
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.
…of service is refusing to be satisfied with what one has delivered, but going above and beyond.
I’m certain each of us have come to admire someone, in our pasts, who has or maintains these unmistakable traits.
Let’s pause to take a different view of this.
Each of us strive to help others and bust our rears to succeed! Unfortunately, and despite best efforts, things do not always turn out how we envision.
The solution to such failure is to get back up, dust yourself off and do it better. It isn’t giving up and accepting defeat.
However, not everyone feels the same way.
Have you ever had, perhaps following a defeat, a so-called friends provide that sympathetic shoulder to cry on? Did they console you with statements like:
- Don’t beat yourself up.
- You ought to try to be satisfied with yourself first.
- You SHOULDN’T try so hard.
These venomous statements ACTUALLY mean, “you ought to become a bit more complacent with your dreams and ambitions. Don’t push yourself to produce in life.”
Their vampire intentions translates to, “Warm yourself up to defeat. Join the club by becoming more satisfied with far less than what you’re capable of.“
I want to impart an important piece of information; although this advise APPEARS sound and good natured, this type of advise is not demonstrable of a TRUE friend.
They are not being …of service. This is the reverse of your best interests. Although this might be hard to swallow, this type of vampire personality is NOT providing advise that is in ANYONE’S best interests.
True friends inspire. They want more for you, not less. They push and drive you to new heights. They want YOU to succeed and achieve YOUR goals.
Let’s really look at this.
Take for example; a two (2) year old proudly pouring his heart into creating a masterful-piece for his parents. This truly is a spot on definition of being …of service. This helps his mother, and he is proud of it.
Take another example; a ten (10) year old creates a piece for his mother; but hurriedly and sloppily throws it together. Perhaps scribbled outside the lines and presents it merely to gain attention. Well, let’s call a spade a spade. This child is performing beneath his own personal capabilities, plus knows it too. Perhaps he was in a hurry or didn’t care to put forth the time and extra flourishes. Maybe he was distracted or wasn’t remotely there with a purpose. Maybe he isn’t an artist. Who knows. There might be dozens of possible reasons.
Being the author of create, you are the ONLY who defines and defies the boundaries of what TRULY can be created, produced or delivered.
It is my pointed opinion; those who make it common-practice to deliver services or products below their capabilities or potential are the very leaches who seek to sympathetically convince others to deliver, through rationalizing, sub-par results.
If an employee wasn’t satisfied with something they’d created or likewise a friend for family member were merely ‘going through the mundane motions‘ but weren’t proud nor satisfied with their results, I’d use some colorful words to get them back in there to get it done right!
Play the game of life for blood. Play to win. Why live with a defeatist disposition delivering below your true capabilities. Why live life with one toe in the water. Jump or dive in. Immerse yourself. Go all in.
Play for maximum and don’t hold anything back! It’s a way of life. Those providing their best have uber quantities and plenty of reserves. They work hard. They don’t rest. They don’t take breaks or rest on their laurels. They certainly don’t rationalize inefficiencies. If you didn’t give it all, don’t go looking for a shoulder to cry on.
Find a way to set things right and produce more by going even further. Push yourself for higher and better results.
“Be Honest With Yourself and Your Own Performance “
It doesn’t matter what your profession is or what you do. Whether you’re the CEO or janitor, those who give the maximum, who maintain their ‘…of service’ disposition are in a high stellar realm of their own.
This is true job security. They cannot be knocked down. These sort of chaps are in super high demand! They are always working and producing high quality products. They inspire others. They have no shortage of energy of spirit. Why – Because they enjoy what they do.
In their estimation, it isn’t work. It’s what they enjoy. They replenish their reserves through their purpose to provide maximum exchange and services to others! Oh… and let’s not forgot their infectious morale is incredible high!
In at least one point in our lives, each of us have experienced – through helping or providing service – morale, enjoyment, pleasure and excitement. We all have this potential. It is going beyond what is promised or asked for. It is going beyond all realms of what is expected. Sometimes it can be a scary. Welcome to living.
If you aren’t scared even a little, you aren’t truly living.
But let’s not forget about the weathered excuses of, “they don’t appreciate me or anything I do.”
For such nay-sayers, why do YOU need a hall-pass to DO your very best?
Being …of service comes in many forms and degrees.
Discover ways to produce more!
Seek to create something everyday!
Define new standards that others can follow!
There is nothing more fulfilling than being …of service to another, except perhaps inspiring another, through hard work, dedication and action, to be …of service to others.
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SHAWN MAY – DTS Inc. | Principal Architect & CEO
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