Last week I found this quote on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Instagram feed:
“Make it happen. Shock every single one of them.”
Think about it. What if we went through our day and thought how am I going to shock someone today? Much of the time we try to just make it through the day, but what if we raised the bar and made things happen? What if we went into each meeting or presentation and were completely focused and wowed folks because we pulled it off? What if we did the impossible? Or maybe it is not even impossible — maybe it is just something that left a wow factor. It could be the smallest, slightest moment that left a mark and was remembered.
The funny thing is the moments that are remembered are often the ones that are actually easy and often free to pull off. You might have made an effort to actually listen and remember key details from someone’s life. You asked about it the next time you see that individual. So easy, and just requires pure listening, and yet it has such an impact. I always notice when someone has taken the time to get to know me and then later (sometimes even months later) remembers a piece of our conversation. I try to do the same to others, but it is hard when you go from meeting to meeting all day. And yet, doing so shows true connection, relationship building, and care.
I am a get-it-done woman. I rarely let anything stand in my way. As Chris would say to me, “There is no changing your mind when you have made a decision you are going to do something.” He is right. I like to approach life with conviction, persistence, and, as I often say, by sucking the life out of each day. I want to bring that same zeal when shocking and wowing others. Think of all the times you have been wowed by amazing customer service, by friends and family who surprise you, or a stranger that does a random act of kindness. The key ingredient: someone showing you they care.
I remember back in the days of cassette tapes, my mom would often play stories of healing for us. Sometimes she played them when we were sick, and other times when we could not fall asleep at night. I cannot remember 95% of the stories, but I do know that after you listened to them over and over again, you almost had them memorized. One of the ones that continues to come to me to this day was the quote: “Go to give a good time, not get a good time.”
I was reminded of this quote last night while spending a little time catching up on Facebook, where I saw this quote posted on Marianne Williamson’s timeline:
Where ego asks “What am I not getting?” in a relationship, Spirit asks “What am I not giving?”
It made me think about how often we get upset, angry, frustrated when we do not get what we want, or things do not turn out as we expected. At times in my life when I have been more aware and taken the focus off myself and really focused on “giving” to the situation, I have found I am calmer, cooler, and more collected. Sometimes though, life throws us curveballs and we are not prepared for how fast they come at us. We may feel injustice that someone is not treating us right, or we feel left out and not included in a project, whatever the reason deep down the feeling that irks us is that we do not feel loved.
I can remember many times where I have gotten upset with Chris and as we discussed it later, the reason I might have reacted was because the situation (example: he did not follow through with something) makes me feel unheard. When I don’t feel heard, I don’t feel loved. At the end of it all, the matter up for discussion is mostly irrelevant. What matters most is how we feel. We act out, react, and get angry because we want to or even need to feel loved.
So my question is: why is it so hard for us to say to another – I need more love today – can you give that to me?
It is summer. Yesterday it was 99 degrees in Portland. A random day of heat. Even though it is the beginning of July, we are still catching up on our DVR from shows we recorded months ago. One of the shows we are a bit behind on is: Californication. A bit of a different spin to this season. They are trying to introduce new characters, and while I have not been much of a fan of this season, an idea was shared in an episode that has me pondering life.
“This is what defines you; how you deal with it.”
So often we think about the legacy we leave behind whether in our job, our family, our friendships, or community. Yet, maybe we are thinking about it all wrong. Maybe we care more about what others think about some impact we made. “I accomplished [insert project name] faster and better than anyone else.” In the grand scheme of things does it really matter? Would you rather be remembered for how you treated others, how you dealt with each obstacle, each challenge, and each triumph? Would it be better if someone said: “They rocked this project because of HOW they were faster, better, different, smarter.” It is more descriptive. It speaks more to the qualities that allow us to be leaders, drivers, and changers of the status quo.
How you react. How you handle situations. How you deal. It all matters, and often is what others remember about us most. Were you empathetic, passionate, reactive, passive aggressive? Did you listen to them? Did you follow through with what you said? Were you distracted? As with a recent blog post on listening, how you respond and handle yourself and the situation you are in is how you make others feel. That is what is remembered. That is what defines you.
How do you want to be defined? How do you want to be remembered?