pleasing others or serving others?

serving others with border (








Okay, I’ll admit it, I tend to be a bit of a people pleaser. And although I have come a long way, I still do certain things in an effort to make others happy. To make others like me. To save face. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, mind you. I mean, it’s nice to be nice to people. We all like nice people. And I do try to be a nice person. So, on a related note, I like to please.

That being said, it is important to look at the motivation behind our ‘wanting to please others’ actions.

Why are we wanting to please? To make others, or ourselves, happy? Are we doing things we don’t even really want to be doing sometimes merely to please? And are we ever going to be truly happy if we are always doing things thinking and hoping they will please?

Moreover, certainly we will never be able to please everybody. And if we are constantly striving for that, surely we are setting ourselves up for failure. And at what cost?

I think there is a big difference that needs to be distinguished between wanting to please versus wanting to serve.

  • Pleasing others elicits actions motivated by a desired outcome. Serving others elicits actions motivated by a desired behavior.
  • Pleasing others may elicit actions we don’t really want to do. Serving others more often elicits actions from a genuine want to do so.
  • Pleasing others may not stem from us being our most authentic selves. Serving others requires us to be our most authentic selves.
  • Pleasing others may not necessarily leave us, or others, feeling empowered. Serving others is all about empowerment.
  • Pleasing others may lead to exhaustion, burn-out, failure. Serving others is invigorating, energizing, inspiring.

If we are constantly operating from a place of wanting to please, how true are we being to who we are and what we are really trying to achieve? And our success is often dependent on others’ approval; others’ happiness and appreciation validating our actions.

On the other hand, when we are operating from a place of wanting to serve, we are dedicated to making a real difference. We are being true to ourselves, and sharing our authentic vision and voice because we have a genuine desire to do so.

When we are truly dedicated to serving others, we are operating from our highest goodness and left in our power, while leaving others in their highest goodness and in their power. Perhaps a more powerful place to operate from, no? Perhaps some food for thought.

(Or perhaps I’ve gone too deep here and the fresh seaside air is having an effect on me…)

Have a FAB week, everyone!

P.S. As I announced in my happy Friday newsletter last week, emspire has been launched! (well, the soft launch at least ~ only for the eyes of my nearest and dearest!) Emspire is the business initiative I am creating in an effort to come from a place of service… I would really welcome your honest feedback. Check it out at!)

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Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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