Reverence. It seems like an old-fashioned word, a word often associated with religion or royalty. Deities and kings and queens deserve reverence, right?
Reverence means honor or respect felt or shown, especially, profound adoring awed respect (Merriam-Webster).
So yeah, it makes sense that we would reserve reverence for people in high positions, celebrities, deities or the like. They are the ones that deserve to be treated with reverence. The people we revere most often are movie stars, artists and athletes, successful businesspeople and – sometimes – politicians. After all, what they accomplish is frequently amazing.
But are they the only ones?
How could things change if we had a sense of reverence for our lives?
For instance, how would things change if you had reverence for yourself?
What would you do differently if you were in awe of the wonderful “machine” that is your body? If you adored your mind and all the ideas and memories and logic it produces? If you had profound respect for your heart and intuition and the information they give you about navigating life?
Would you treat your body differently? Eat better, exercise more? Would you get the rest you need? Would you be more appreciative of what you accomplish? Would you see more potential in yourself?
It’s not about feeding your ego or putting yourself above anyone else. It’s valuing yourself, your existence. Just the way you are now.
And how would things change if you had the same reverence for your family, your friends, and well, everyone?
Would you treat them differently? Would you listen to them more and criticize them less? Would you appreciate their presence more? Would you value time with them more deeply? Would you not take them for granted?
There’s a Josh Groban song I love called Granted. Part of the chorus goes like this:
“Our days are counted on this planet
Never take a single breath for granted.”
But reverence is more than not taking things for granted. It’s adoring your life and the people in your life, whatever that happens to look like.
Life is a miracle. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. It’s so easy to lose sight of that in our day-to-day world. But if we have reverence . . . that my friend has the power to change everything!
Reverence is on the critical path to Transcendent Leadership.
Because if we are not reverent about ourselves, others and life, how can we be reverent of the people we work with, be reverent about our organizations, our work, and our contributions? How can we be inspired and amazed at what people can really do? How can we see their full potential?
I know for me, being truly conscious of being reverent, of feeling a deep profound respect for myself, others, and life, shifts my thinking and feelings in significant ways. It’s easier to be open. It’s easier to be accountable to myself. It’s easier to see more of my full potential. It opens the door to a sense of wonder and of possibilities beyond what I can imagine.
Reverence is a wondrous thing. Try it on and use it wisely. Start with yourself.