Appointments and Lollipops

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.

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Flip the Script

Very often in our pursuit of happiness we say, “I want ________.”  We may go as far as to say,  “I will do ________ to get _________.”  But have you ever done or attempted all the “right” things, but you still cannot get what you want?

About a month ago, I was lamenting about my weight, AGAIN! I thought, “What’s wrong with me?! I know what I want!  I know how to get it! So WHY can’t I do it?!?!?”  I was asking the wrong questions. A quiet voice inside said, “What do you need to be successful?” The answer surprised me.

The answer wasn’t another diet plan, exercise machine, or more will-power.  I heard myself say that what I needed was peace.  I needed to find peace somewhere in my day – everyday.  Then more answers started to come, like that I only needed to please myself not some society standard of beauty.  I heard the voice say, “What would it mean to complete this goal?” Again, the answer was surprising.  I said that perhaps I would not have to be so brave all the time.  At this weight I always feel that I have to fight or stand up for myself even when it isn’t totally necessary.

I wrote down all of my answers to these 2 questions and reference them when I feel a little lost. And to answer my call to peace, I get up early.  I spend at least 10 minutes before I get out of bed to pray and meditate in order to prepare for the day; so when my feet touch the ground I am  ready for whatever comes my way.

If you are struggling to make progress on a goal/dream.  Perhaps you are asking yourself the wrong questions and therefore getting the wrong answers.  Flip the script and ask a new question! These fresh answers may lead you down the path you’ve been looking for!