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As women, as mothers, it’s natural for us to want to save people. To pour our time and effort into helping them make better choices, solve a problem, etc. But we both know that sometimes we wind up giving to people who aren’t really ready to hear what we have to say or receive our assistance. Then, we wind up feeling stressed, upset, drained. Am I right? To help you, and myself, not invest time and energy into people who aren’t ready for it, I’ve got this great visual.

Here’s the thing, as a leader, part of my job is to discover new people and help grow them into their roles. I’ve found that people are either hungry for what I have to offer – and they’re actions back it up. Or they say they’re hungry for it, but their actions show me otherwise. I’m sure you can relate…that boyfriend you just KNOW you could fix or that family member you just know you could help, etc. It’s natural to jump in and want to help when they say that want it and then feel confused and hurt when their actions don’t follow through.

So…this visual. I share this with everyone. Because it really comes down to how do you know who to save? Imagine you’re part of a life rescue crew. There’s been a shipwreck in the middle of the ocean and you’re the one on the rope being lowered down into the ocean from the helicopter. There are literally hundreds of people drowning around beneath you waiting to be rescued. So how do you know who to save? It’s actually simple. You save the people who are swimming towards you raising their hands. Waving their arms in the air yelling isn’t action – movement towards you is. And it’s that action that determines who you’ll save. Because the sad fact is we can’t save everyone…we can only save the people who WANT us to save them.

In life, this is the person who comes to you and says “Show me. I’ll do whatever it takes” and follows through on the action. It’s not the person who says “What should I do?” and then continues to make the same choices and not take your advice. Those people are waving their hands yelling, but they’re not swimming. Rescue the swimmers. It’s much more fulfilling for both of you!