A few years ago, I was working in a retail store of a cell phone provider and I was having a bad day. And I mean B-A-D! What I was feeling was clearly visible; you could see it in my posture and it was certainly all over my face. Seeing my distress, a customer asked if she could give me a hug. As she embraced me, she said something in my ear that I will never forget. She said, “Don’t let anyone steal your joy!”
I was dumbstruck by this statement! I had never heard anything so powerful. She was right; I was letting a temporary situation rob me of an otherwise good day. This stranger not only gave me good advice and an amazing mantra to live by, but she gave a new behavior. I started showing up for my “appointments”.
When I say appointments, I really mean opportunities. This woman caused me to remember times when teachers, friends, and family had shown up for appointments in my life to help me on my journey and/or inspired me to be a better person. I realized that I could do the same and so can you!
If we pay close enough attention, we can see when we have an appointment, an opportunity to be a positive influence and presence in someone’s life. Seize those opportunities in every arena. At work be specific in your praise of a co-worker, “You taking ownership of this project was a huge help to the team. We’re lucky to have you.” Thank your friends for stepping out of their comfort zone to be by your side, “You are the best for coming to Zumba with me! I couldn’t have walk in the door by myself!” Show a little extra kindness like letting someone stand under your umbrella on a rainy day while you both wait for the bus. You may think to say something difficult like, “You were really out of line today. That’s not like you- what’s going on?” Sometimes your appointment may be to not say anything at all and just listen. These little moments matter immensely and they change lives. Now shouldn’t you be going? I think you have an appointment!
To better illustrate my point please watch this TED Talks video.