Whenever we face a tough challenge, or a personal crisis, or a community tragedy we don't always know what to do, or what to say. However, whenever we find ourselves in crisis, or in the middle of chaos and we ask ourselves internally, "What can I do to help," you are most likely in an Outward Mindset.
One of the best indications that we are in an Outward Mindset is our willingness to be honest and ask ourselves, "what can I do to help?"
Now, if you don't find yourself asking "how can I help, or, what can I do to help," then you probably are "Inward" at the moment. Meaning, when you are Inward you are self-absorbed and self-focused and not able to see others as people, and instead, you see and treat people as objects or ends to a mean.
What Can I Do To Be More Helpful?
"What can you and I do to be more helpful people?" That is a defining question. I don't know about you, but I usually want to be helpful at work, and at home, and around my community.
I certainly want to be helpful at church too. Basically, believers in Christ instinctively desire to be more helpful. Is that you too?
I find that most believers naturally desire to be more helpful to the people they know, and even the people they don't know - they are just glad to be in a place to serve others.
But when I AM HELPFUL I am OUTWARD in my mindset, I feel good about myself and my circumstances. I feel good about others too! It's almost impossible to NOT FEEL GOOD WHILE SERVING OTHERS!
Leaders, Do You Have What it Takes to Lead?
Do we as leaders ask ourselves the tough questions, daily? Such as, is my "helping" actually helping? Unfortunately, many leaders help out of their own needs, and consequently, they are not helpful.
I know that when I am putting a lot of effort and energy into "helping," I really need to make sure my "helping" is also effective. Helping to help is not helping at all. It's instead, a distraction.
"Is my help actually making things better? Is my helping actually helpful to those I intend to help?"
For example, a famous international "freshwater well ministry" was very proud of the freshwater projects they completed. Their goal was to help improve the lives of people by providing long-term sustainable drinking water to poor communities worldwide. Great goal, but the people they were helping needed a different kind of help.
Later, when this ministry asked those they serve, "how did our help, help?" they were surprised they missed the mark. The poor communities greatly appreciated the freshwater, but they actually had higher priorities, and this particular ministry had it within their capacity to provide.
Good Leaders Check Themselves Every Day
Each day and throughout the day it is important for leaders to check their mindset. Ask yourself, "Am I we seeing others as people with feelings, hopes, and dreams? Am I present and am I listening to those I lead, and if so, am I willing to make adjustments to better serve them?"
When my followers informed me that my "helping" is appreciated but NOT helpful like I thought, I was challenged as a leader. Was I willing to accept the feedback, make the necessary adjustments, and then remeasure my effectiveness? If I am, then I am outward toward others.
Basically, if and when I am willing to see and listen and act for others and put them above myself, I am being outward and I have The Outward Mindset. When I am also able to evaluate (or measure) the impact of my helping, I can even be more helpful than I am now.
Am I willing to be patient with others, and am I willing to teach patiently and instruct? More importantly, am I willing to wait on others as they struggle and grow?
DO I HAVE AN OUTWARD MINDSET?