Last week, Cindy and I were teaching at a factory where we do a week of training each year. She and I were chatting on a break when someone we’ve known for years came up and asked if we had lunch plans. I was about to explain that we couldn’t when Cindy gave me the look—the one that says, “Remember what it means for someone to be able to spend time with you.” So we went to lunch and had a wonderful time reconnecting.
You could say that I’m a “hang out with Cindy first” kind of guy or “be by myself.” We used to call people like me loners. Now I like to say quiet and reflective. Still, our first move in life isn’t often the best move given the circumstances. Honoring invitations from others is one place where I need continual reminding.
The key phrase here is “you matter to others more than you realize.”
This is simple. If you are aware of your importance to others, you stay more positive, have fewer bad days, make fewer mistakes with people, and say yes to invites more often.
Here is an exercise to remind you that you matter to people. Put some names after each of these questions:
Who would like to have a relationship with you?
Who would like more time with you?
Who looks up to you?
For whom are you a role model?
Who have you disappointed lately?
Who notices when you don’t say hello?
Who loves it when you check in with how they and their family are doing?
Who do you rely on?
Who do you really appreciate and haven’t told them lately?
Who do you consider a close friend?
Who notices and is impacted when you have a bad day?
The questions above are designed to pull up specific names and people for you and perhaps tip you into action—make a call, write a note, spend some time together.
Here’s another powerful inquiry to try. Pull out a piece of paper and answer this question for ten minutes: Who do I impact?
Here are a couple of threads that will show you how it might go:
You impact your kids. They impact their friends. Their friends impact their families who impact...
When you stop someone and ask them to share about their kids or their weekend, you make their day. They, in turn, touch everyone around them. Perhaps they listen to someone who will then go on and have a better day, influencing the next person...
Think of specific people and develop your own threads. You can think of yourself a bit like a pebble tossed into the center of a calm pond, causing ripples that just keep reaching out.
How many people do you impact directly and indirectly? Hundreds if not thousands. More reasons to be your best self with each person with whom you interact.
Making and renewing connections with others is always a gift—for everyone—but you already knew that. I realize you are busy, but carving out some time might just be the highlight of somebody’s week.
As they say in Ghostbusters: Who you gonna call?
Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. —Scott Adams, American cartoonist
Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes. —Joseph B. Wirthlin, American businessman