Little Things Add Up
Funny how people think making changes has to be 180 degrees from the direction they were headed in in their life. Often, it is the subtle shifts that make all the difference. For instance, I rarely say thanks. I say “Thank you very much.” It’s conveying the same thing, but it shows more caring. It shows that you aren’t language lazy. It’s a little thing but it shows you care. When I check out at a grocery store, I always say “Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day.” Why? Because I feel it is important to let that person know I appreciate them. Nothing pisses me off more than some rude moron standing talking on their cell phone while they basically ignore the cashier. You’re basically saying “I am more important than you so I needn’t give you the time of day.” Put down your damn phone and complete the call after you check out. If you can’t drop the call, get out of line until you can give the person the proper respect they deserve. It’s the little things that make a difference. How many people everyday act like they’re self important? Too many in my estimation. Just think how it is to stand there dealing with people like that everyday? Do you think friendly smiling faces who acknowledge the person serving them wouldn’t make that persons day much better? Just put yourself in that person’s shoes an ask yourself would you like to be treated like that?
Something as simple as a smile makes a huge difference in just daily interactions. I am amazed by how many people will be walking toward me on a sidewalk and just look down like they are trying to find loose change. Why not man up, look the person in the eye and smile? Heck, that alone conveys warmth, it conveys caring. This world can be a cruel, harsh place. Why not be a part of the solution instead a part of the problem? It’s funny because I am a pretty serious guy. I am also a big human being. I have been told numerous times that I am intimidating, that I seem mean. This is usually the comments of my female clients when I trained them. They would then tell me “you’re one of the sweetest people, not at all like I thought.” I think because I spent so many years protecting myself in my youth that I developed a pretty scary “screw off look.” So I have the challenge of trying to make sure I don’t let that natural tendency show on the surface. I have trained tons of athletes over my 20 years in personal training. The kids know that if I mess with them, razz them, that I like them. If I am all business, it generally means I don’t care for the person. I just stick to the plan, no fun loving jabs. The power of a smile is worth more than people know. Acknowledge someone with a nice smile today, I promise, they will smile back.
Get Off Your Tech
It blows my mind when I go out to dinner and watch a family of 4, noses all buried in their cell phones at the dinner table. I used to text back at dinner until I realized that it was rude and thoughtless of the other persons (peoples) feelings. My wife and daughter were worthy of my full attention for that hour.Seriously, people are losing the ability to talk, to interact. Just send an impersonal text! There is something lost in a text, the conveyance of true feelings. I am not saying don’t text, Just pick up the phone once in a while and let people hear your voice. It also robs you of valuable time with your children, your spouse, your friends. It’s funny because they call Facebook the social network while it’s quite literally the anti-social network. I know the world is fast paced and we are inundated with information everyday, but we all need to take time out to truly enjoy the little tings in life. All those little things add up to be massive things. Sometimes these little things can completely alter the way someones life turns out. The story below was relayed to me by a friend.
The Power Of Friendship
When I first moved to Troy, Michigan, I learned quickly who ran the school. There was a group of kids that were the “In” crowd. They treated everyone else like crap and did as they pleased. I came from Royal Oak, Michigan and we were tougher kids coming up. I didn’t play by their rules, I played by my own. I was like the King of the Underdogs. I would rally them to play against the “In” kids. They hated me because I showed no fear or respect of them. Pretty soon, they wanted me in their circle. I hung with them through the end of fifth grade, but I realized quickly that I didn’t like the way they treated people. I went back to my own path and made it my goal to be a pain in their asses the rest of high school. So back to the story of how a friendship changed lives. My friend went to a school with a kid who had cerebral palsy. He was ostracized from a young age and made fun of. One of the best athletes in the ended up befriending him in high school. All the other “cool” kids soon did the same because the one kid gave him “the stamp of approval.” From that point on, he was accepted and loved by all his classmates. They found out that his mind was quick, even if he was suffering from muscular dysfunction. Some 30 years later, my buddy ran into this guy and he tole him how awesome high school was for him after struggling in elementary and middle school. It made a profound impact on his life and likely altered the path he took and his self esteem. All because one kid cared to look past his physical limitations, they found this amazing person. Just think about those kids who everyday could be that kid, just given the chance!
The Vigilante In Me
I was more the guy who hated bullies and stood up against the people who liked to hurt other kids. I remember kids teasing a girl we went to high school with and they were saying in algebra class freshman year, “****, you are so ugly! “**** you are so stupid!”, etc. I was getting pissed off listening to it so I finally told everybody to shut up and leave her alone. Then I turned my laser tongue on the one girl who was teasing her who was grossly overweight. I teed off on her verbally, told her she had nerve seeing as she was “a fat s**b” and shouldn’t be making fun of her. I am sure those words stung, but they should have. It’s the old saying, people in glass houses don’t throw stones. I got suspended a few times for sticking up for others. I rarely started fights, but I never walked away from one. In my study hall, there was a kid who was in what was then considered “special ed” back then. He was in study hall around a group of kids and the one kid kept telling him to go home and call his Mom the “C” word. He had him convinced that she would love it. I told him to leave him alone. He told me to mind my business. I said “I am making it my business and if you don’t stop, I am going to punch you right in the face. Well, he kept it up, so I got up walked over to the table and punched him right out of his seat. His eye was already swelling shut and he said he was going to get the principal. Not 2 minutes had passed and he came back with an ice pack on his eye and Mr. Gaviglio in tow. Mr. Gaviglio motioned with his finger so I knew I was in for it. He ripped me a bit and I told “Joe(not his real name)”, why don’t you tell him why you got punched? He wouldn’t man up so I told Mr. Gaviglio what the coward said. He dismissed “Joe” and then told me to stay. He gave me a lecture about not being a vigilante. I said “No offense Mr. Gaviglio, I will not sit by idly and watch someone make fun of a person who can’t defend themselves. I said, “Just know that I will be suspended a lot if I have to listen to that.” He just laughed and said go back to class. He knew regardless of what I did that my heart was in the right place. I still make mistakes, but I realize my words, my smile, and my attention to people are all very powerful tools. We all have at our disposal to make anyone’s day better or worse, and they are free. I choose to make people feel better. You can too. Just try it, you will see, it feels good.