This past Saturday night’s Women that Soar awards were a wonderful celebration of the extraordinary accomplishments of women. It was such an honor to be selected as a part of this amazing group that exuded excellence in not only their professional lives, but equally important, in their work in the community. I was so moved by some of the incredible life stories of courage, determination and compassion.
Stories like that of my friend, Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, pictured with me above. She’s an amazing breast surgeon that works in the hospital during the week and then goes with her team to the villages throughout Ghana to offer free screenings on the weekends. She’s a wife, a mom, an entrepreneur, a gifted physician and a community advocate. It sounds like a lot (and it is), but if you asked her she’d tell you she’s just doing what needs to be done.
As the night wore on I started to notice these same similarities amongst all of the honorees. Over and over in our acceptance video and speeches there were these recurring themes of service, gratitude, perseverance and unwavering faith in God. On the surface, we were all very different. Underneath, it was like we had a shared DNA. Perhaps it is because women who soar, are undoubtedly women of purpose.
As I reflect on it now, the thing that seemed to bind us all together was the unanimous belief that our lives are about more than ourselves. Somewhere along the way we had all learned the key to true success – stop worrying about how much you can get, and focus on what you can give.
It’s a funny thing how your definition of success evolves as you get older. When you first enter “adult life”, you want a job where you make lots of money. So, most of us pursue a path that allows us to get increasing pay for increasing responsibility. At some point, however, you start to feel like it’s just not enough. You work 60+ hours a week, somebody else raises your kids, and the money you’re making you’re too tired to enjoy. We find that the reality of success is a far cry from the mirage we fell in love with in our youth.
Now before you get alarmed, I’m not suggesting that financial success is not a noble pursuit. Being away from corporate life has not addled my brain to the point I think success requires a vow of poverty. My only observation is that the procurement of money without purpose never satisfies. True fulfillment in this life can only be achieved by serving others. It does not have to be your whole life, but you will never feel like a whole person without service being a part of it.
If you want success, serve. If you want to be rich, serve. If you want to be satisfied with life, serve. Serve and walk into the divine destiny that God has for your life. Before you know it, you’ll look around and realize that you too are soaring.
Loving on Me as I Love You!
PS – Wondering where to start serving? Anywhere you can contribute to those who may never be able to pay you back.