There is a prevailing belief in the personal development and coaching industries — indeed, in many service industries — that our goal should be to serve more and more people.
In the real estate industry, the assumption — the expectation — is to close more sales than you did the year before.
In the coaching and transformational industries, the push is to enroll more clients, to scale up, to grow your list, to speak to bigger audiences, to take your message to the world.
To be clear, I am fully in favor of scale and leverage. If I can reach and teach multiple people at once, that can be a more effective use of my time and energy than serving people one at a time.
The question is:
When does it become enough?
For some people, it’s never enough. Because the motivation to serve comes from a need to fill a hole inside yourself.
Service to others can be the ultimate escape from the emptiness we feel inside.
This is tricky, because service is typically a noble act. And you might be focused on the many positive motivations you have for serving and sharing your message.
But it’s worth pausing to ask the question: what’s really motivating my actions here?
Are you pursuing more from a place of wholeness, or because you are trying to fill an emptiness?
Escaping the emptiness through service may seem better than escaping it through drugs and alcohol. But escape is still escape.
If you’re trying to fill up through service to others, you will never feel full for long. And no amount of service to others will ever be enough. You will never feel enough.
It’s like trying to fill a leaky bucket.
And in trying to serve more and more people, you risk losing sight of the person in front of you who stands ready to receive your work.
Yes, there are always more people we can serve. There is always more we can do.
And there is power in serving one person who is ready.
What would it feel like to rest in the enoughness of serving the one person in front of you?