What Do I Have to Offer?

By Mike Pinto, IPLI Mentor & Principal at James Cole Elementary

There is a tendency we all have sometimes of getting ahead of ourselves and worrying about not just our place in the world, but the place of others. This is not the kind of worry that comes when a loved one is down and out, or when someone is in need and needs a buoy of hope or happiness. Rather, this worry comes from looking over our shoulder or in the next lane and comparing our place with that of others. It’s a natural thing to do. I do it all the time and have to tell myself, “Stay in your lane.”

When I get this way, I often think back to one of my favorite books, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. When I read a good book, I try to find one or two takeaways, and what resonated with me was the concept of What Do You Have to Offer? In times of internal frustration, I ask myself these six words and try to reground my focus back where it needs to be on my path through life, and what I can do to affect positive change around me. It’s a little thing that I don’t do nearly enough, but it works. Because we all have something to offer. That offering always should result in betterment for others. When those words are spoken in my head, they ground me away from the chaos of comparison to others or my perceived unfair place in the universe. They focus me back on the words, gifts, and talents at my disposal that I can offer the greater good. Try it. It, or something similar may work for you. Because we all possess gifts and talents and when we focus on what we have to offer instead of what isn’t coming our way, our day and our outlook always looks brighter.