Lenny Ravich
Self-actualization by Serving

Self-actualization by Serving

November 25, 2022

Hi Dear reader. I’m Lenny Ravich the Humorous and Motivational Speaker in London and Hong Kong, and author of the bestselling book, “Everlasting Optimism.” I’m 86 and at peak performance….well, sometimes.

Self-actualization by Serving

A few years ago I was sitting in a restaurant in Hong Kong belonging to the hotel where I was staying. I had just finished presenting my Funny, Inspirational talk to top managers the evening before.

A waitress smilingly approached to take my breakfast order. I made my choice and as she turned to go she said “Thank you”

“No waiter had ever said “thank you” to me just for taking my request. I live in Israel and the best response you can get is, “I’m doing you a favor by even talking to you.”

When she returned with my meal I asked her, “Is it the policy of the hotel for the waitress to thank the customer for ordering a meal?” She smiled and explained, “When I was growing up, I was taught that to serve someone was to get closer to God. So I thank you for giving me the opportunity.”

This was the first time in my life that someone had taught me that service is a sacred task. I needed time to think about that since people who assist others sometimes feel subservient and dishonored to be in a servile position.

Our Purpose and Mission

Wasn’t this waitress giving me, all of us actually, the confirmation as to what our purpose and mission in life is? Isn’t it the reason we came into this world: To serve, to support, to help each other and improve each other’s lives?

I remember my first lesson in improvisation for the theater. Our teacher directed, “There is one unbreakable law in improvisation: Focus on making your partner a star. Give her all your concentration, attention, support and love.”

This was a great message for me. I had always thought that as an actor I would get all the attention and applause. Our instructor gave us a tool for life.

From Now On

Imagine waking up tomorrow morning with that kind of attitude: “Hey today I get to serve my spouse, my children, my friends, my customers, my boss, my team, my employees and in some way make them stars”.

I know this sounds naïve and unrealistic since we live in a world where there is some greed, abuse and corruption, but if you want to listen to an older guy like me, the best and most powerful, healthy and happy life is one of service and making other people’s life a bit better.


Victor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning” states: “Self- actualization is when a person forgets himself/herself by giving, be it through serving a higher cause than himself/herself or loving a person other than himself/herself. Transcendence is the essence of human existence.”

I try to keep this in mind during my humorous and inspirational keynotes in London and Hong Kong . “It’s not about me. It’s about them and how I can better serve their needs”. It’s a whole, different mindset.

On the flight back home I began to think of how I could serve and advance the lives of others. If our purpose and mission in life is to support others, then I had to know what people valued most in their lives. What is the most important thing to us as humans? If I could find that out I had a cracking good chance of serving others better.

What is it that people value most? I dug up some stuff that I would like share with you.

I will write about my findings in my next blog.

Let me know what you think.



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