"I feel blah." This universal proclamation came from a co-worker at a former job some years ago. We were sitting outside the company cafeteria on a concrete step. Our lunches were balanced on our laps and we faced the sun, warming ourselves up on an early spring day in Seattle.
"Why blah?" I asked, closing my eyes to take in more warmth. The feel of the sun was the perfect temperature, putting me in a state of cat-purring. I wasn't really in the mood for BLAH.
"I'm not doing anything meaningful in my life," my co-worker whined. "Look at everything going on in the world and I'm writing bullshit website copy."
KILL JOY! I just wanted to stare at the cherry blossoms, follow the happy birds flitting from branch to branch and eat my cup of soup filled with Gold Fish. But my co-worker needed some fluffing-up. I had to tell her all the ways she made a difference, and could continue making a difference, even if she spent her day writing snazzy headlines.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVEN IF YOU JUST WRITE WEB COPY OR. . .
We all want to make a difference. We all want a sense of purpose, to have meaning, to bring meaning to our lives and the world around us. Holy sh*t that sounds big and heavy and burdensome.
You can make a difference in the dailiest of life ways
If you go to a job, a place where you work with others, there's likely at least one person there who could use a little boost on any given day. Like today. A boost, or some kindness--some attention. A simple "How are you?" asked with eye contact and meaning can make someone feel seen and help them breathe again. We all want to be seen. Life is so frantic, most people experience a bit of an attention deficit.
Be kind to the person serving you your coffee. Give him a smile, say "good morning" with feeling and mean it! Ask a co-worker how she's feeling and then listen. See where you can help out. Reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while. Send a playful text. Write "I'm thinking of you" and add a heart emoji.
Pay attention--there's a lot of human-to-human love that gets passed along through the act of attention. In other words, when you talk to someone today pretend there isn't a phone nearby buzzing with texts, emails and whatnot. Stay present. Make someone laugh. Tell a friend or team member or partner or running pal that you think they're great. Tell them why. Say, "You're considerate and it inspires me, thanks for sharing that with me."
Tell your partner-lover-spouse "I love you, because ..." and give a reason.
Every. Stinkin'. Day. You can make a difference in someone's day. Imagine if we all step out into our day, with an intention to make one person feel seen, or better, or appreciated. Imagine all of us doing that, with one small gesture. Over and over, day in, day out.
If you want more ideas, email me. If you have some more great ideas send them here.
You make a difference. Don't you forget it.
This month is dedicated to Feeling Better in a Troubled World: Simple ways you can catch a breath and remember a bit of beauty when the news is getting you down. If you want to talk more about feeling better in troubled times, email me for a conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org . There's no need to feel alone! XO