The Secret of Life

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This one sentence, when oft-repeated, can change your whole life!I have discovered the secret of life.

This one statement, when oft remembered, will change everything.  Your whole life will be put into a new perspective.

You’ll overcome fears.  You’ll shrug off insults.  You’ll become happier, kinder, more generous, more loving, and possibly more successful.

The secret of life is:

It’s not about you.

Let’s imagine a scenario.  You’re scrolling along in Facebook, and you come across something you don’t like.

Someone has shared an article or posted a status that rubs you the wrong way.  Maybe it seems hateful or hurtful.

Almost always, their comments are not about you.  Even if they seem very much directed at you, maybe they specifically address something you’re quite passionate about and disparage people with your point of view…

It’s not about you.

Their opinions originate in their own mind, in their unique life experiences.

Someone may share a video claiming all anti-vaxxers are stupid.  Her opinion on vaccines has nothing to do with you, Anti-vaxxer.  It’s not about you, not you personally.  She shared that video because it confirms her own decisions.  It’s about her beliefs, her fears, her trusts, and her choices.  She isn’t calling you, personally, stupid.

Maybe someone writes about how she can’t stand network marketers and they should stop trying to sell stuff on Facebook.  It’s not about you, dear Mama at home trying to make ends meet.  She doesn’t see the real you, the one who is putting herself out there day after day, hoping for a sale so she can earn enough to buy the healthy food or pay for the car repairs.  No, she just sees an advertisement where she wants to see entertainment.  It’s like someone saying “stupid commercials!” when an ad plays before a YouTube video.

It’s not about you.

Maybe your child says something disrespectful and really gets your blood boiling.

It’s not about you.

What is that child thinking or feeling that might cause such an outburst?  It probably has much more to do with stresses in his/her life than it does with you.

What if someone cuts you off in traffic?   Maybe they’re late to work.  Maybe they just got news of a tragedy in their life and are distracted.  Maybe there’s an infant in the backseat screaming!  Maybe they’re young and immature, and didn’t you do some stupid stuff when you were learning to drive?

It’s not about you.

Your friend who is 3 sizes smaller than you looks down at her body and says, “Ugh, I’m so fat.”

It’s not about you.

She’s reacting to some negativity in her own mind, some change in her body, or some feelings of low worth.   We almost never compare our bodies to those we do not envy.

The bad things that happen in your life, the stuff that irritates and offends, those things are not happening to you because of you.  People are not out to get you.  People think very little about other people and so much more about themselves.  I don’t mean in a selfish way, but a natural self-centered way.  We have to consciously think of others. Which leads in to the next point.

If the negative things are not about you, then the positive things are not either!

Imagine you’ve been given an opportunity to advance in your career? Maybe taking a chance could bring you greater success and more money.  “But I don’t need more money or success,” you say.  I’m happy where I am.

What else could that opportunity bring?  Could it bless others?  Would it give you the chance to make a difference in lives beyond your own and your family’s?

What if your success was not about you?  What if your greater income was not about acquiring wealth, but about sharing it!?

It’s not about you.

And your talents, too.  Are they your own?

Last night, I heard a story.  A young missionary named Marlene loved to dance.  She used her movements to dance out her praise to God.  One day, God asked her to share this talent with the world.  “But Lord,” she questioned, “how can I do that since I am a missionary and I don’t live in just one place?”  His answer was that she would teach dance as a praise unto Him wherever she went.  Soon after that, pregnant with her first child and she opened her first studio to teach dance.  As she recounted this story 26 years later, she stood on stage with her two daughters who teach alongside her, a handful of other teachers, almost 20 teachers in training, and too many tiny dancers to count.  They danced out their story in praise to God.

Imagine if, all those years ago, Marlene had said “Lord, thank you for blessing me with this talent for dance.  Let me be the very best dancer I can be and praise you with my movements.”  Now, there’s nothing wrong with the desire to be our best selves and use our talents for God’s glory.  But Marlene listened to God and realized that her gift was not for her alone.

It’s not about you.

So she took that gift and multiplied it! She shared with others who are sharing with others who will share with others.  Instead of one dancer using her movements to praise Him, three hours and an outdoor amphitheater were filled with hearts and bodies praising Him.

When we realize that life is not about us, we live more.  We give more.  We love more.  We don’t hold back!

When life is about you, you refrain from sharing your talents.  “I’m pretty good at this, but I’m not the best.” Your humility is a self-focus that keeps you from living in abundance and sharing your gift.

When life is about you, you stop working when you feel like you’re satisfied with the job.  When life is about other people, you press on until you see the blessings in their lives.

The world needs you!  The church needs you!  We need all your talent and all your effort and all your love.  It’s not about you! It’s about the world that we grow when we turn our focus off ourselves and use all we have to contribute to this life and His Kingdom.

When you think of it, the secret of life sounds a whole lot like the greatest commandment.

It’s not about you.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.  (Reference: Matthew 22:36-40)

What I do with my talent, my attitude, my time, my money…. it’s not about me; it’s about Him and them. 

so Go!  Do!  Be!

And when you’re tempted to stop yourself in fear or insecurity, or “humility”, remember:

It’s Not About You.

4 comments
  1. Wonderful post. I am always in need of being reminded that it isn’t about me. Maybe you should post this everyday. Lol. Thanks for your time and your insight. May God continue to bless you.

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