Being Picked Last
Life has a funny way of working things out. In years past I remembered times in my life when I was the athlete picked last to play in the kick-ball game. Being Picked Last has always bothered me. However, it is one of the main reasons that I learned to grow. If I were never last, I certainly would not have learned to work hard or employ a champion’s desire. These forces rose from within as I faced the mirror of my own imperfections.
In a way, being picked last has molded the person I am today. A person dedicated to life-long learning, faith and sharing what I know so that other people can experience extreme personal growth. I admit that a struggle still exists within me when I get chosen last.
Until being picked last became a successful business strategy. (Now I love it.)
As a professional speaker, I fill out my share of speaking proposals. There are many times I get selected and many other times I do not. It could be something simple like my topic didn’t resonate, or my fees were too high. Heck I’ve been in situations where my fees were too low. When you serve in this capacity, it is an ever-moving target. However, I finally found a new way to market myself that made me deal with the old inner ghost of being last. I have learned the trick of becoming a great “fill-in” speaker. Yea, it’s a lot like getting picked last but when people are in a bind being picked last is a great way to be of service.
When it comes to being picked last this little strategy changed my mindset.
- First, I realized that being picked at all is an honor. As a matter of fact, when I think about the movies and stories I like the most they are all about the underdog coming through in the end. Rather than letting being picked last hurt me at an emotional level I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to write a bigger story for my life. To serve well when no one expects it – and then do my utmost to leave a great impression.
- Second, My desire in life has always been to be a person of character. In my heart, I long to be truly noble. The problem was in how I viewed nobility. I used to think nobility meant being the king of my castle. However, a person of character who is noble means they serve. Not for a little while but for a life time. This was a big idea to Jesus of Nazareth He always went around trying to teach us the essential charter traits needed to be truly noble. He said things like, “Who ever wants to be great must be humble like this child” “The first will be last” “Whoever wishes to be first among you must be a slave of all.” – Understanding these ideas have made me a better leader and set the stage for many great opportunities.
- Third, it’s not over until it’s over. Many times we do the right things by following proper protocol and then, simply give up. I am finding that life is worth a second effort. Reaching out to potential opportunities that rejected you gives them a refreshed opportunity to reconsider. It shows you care that you understand things don’t always work out and that you are humble enough and willing to step in and save the day.
Really I’m OK with being picked last.
Someday I would like to perfect my craft and be the king of the speaking circuit castle. However, I realize that no matter how far we go in life we must be prepared to peer across our walls of pride and add value by serving others. To lead in any area of life, we must remember that the first often times are those whose mindset allows them to remain last…and then over-deliver.
Do you have any stories about being last in life, and then coming through in the end? (Please share your ideas in the comment section below.)