“If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.” Anita Roddick (Founder of The Body Shop)
You know how it is - sometimes you just connect with another human being. You feel their energy – it inspires you, makes you smile and be joyful, and gives you such a positive jolt. The opposite is also true – how a rude or indifferent remark can sting you. These impacts can happen in a millisecond.
Which leads me to a question – what message, what energy are you putting out there to others? Do you realize that you affect others in unknown and unconscious ways? Just a tiny interaction - a smile, or a frown, a word of encouragement or scorn, has untold affects on others. Many times you never even realize what impact you have as you deposit your energy (positive or negative) on others. Your smallest behavior can be like that unseen mosquito which leaves a mark long after it leaves.
We are all so caught up in our own feelings and issues. I sense that we are moving towards such an inner focus that we miss so much around us. Our culture emphasizes ‘me’, and has a continuous stream of contests and competitions as to who is best and who is worthless. It becomes a lot about how does this affect me; how can I win at this; how can I outshine everyone else, without taking in to account how our actions and words affect those around us, people who could truly be helped by even the simplest thing that we say or do.
I am sure you have heard the quote “At the end of the day, I would rather be kind than right.” At our deepest level, it is kindness, and honesty and helping others that really makes a difference in all of our lives. So if you want to impact others in a positive way, It starts with awareness – get out of the space inside your head, stop playing your old records all the time, feel what energy you have and are giving off.
We complain about how no one listens to us, ignores us, blows us off. Do you do the same? We long for meaningful relationships with others – be it at the grocery store, our workplace, walking down the street or in our personal lives. To have truly authentic interactions, instead of asking “What’s in it for me?”, ask different questions of yourself:
- What does the other person need?
- How am I treating them – my voice tones, my eye contact, my attention?
- What message am I really conveying to them?
- How will they (and I) feel after our interaction is over?
My friend Starla J. King has a wonderful book called ‘Wide Awake Every Day’, which I so highly recommend and treasure. In one of her stories, she talks about being “In Uniform.” She asks, “ What do our emotions, facial expressions, thoughts and actions suggest about your inner state and your consideration of those around you?" Those words - ”in consideration of those around you” really caught my attention. Starting with today be ‘in consideration of others’.
Here is one of my favorite quotes in the world -“I've learned that people will forget what
you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget
how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou.
You can mechanically move on to something or someone else, or pause to be aware of how you impact others. I encourage you to be your best self. A tiny effort of awareness on your part will leave a lasting and wonderful effect on someone.
So go out today, and each day, and make them (and you) feel good.
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