In a rush to get from one experience to the next, we may miss the simple and seemingly superfluous opportunities to inspire greatness. Believing that inspiration only comes in oversized packages, we may forget to look for the tiny (barely noticeable, really) opportunities to inspire others into action.
Having an “off” day and needing a shift in scenery, I headed to the pool for a workout. The moment I pulled into the parking lot, I started talking myself out of swimming—“It’s been a rough day… I could just go across the street and grab a hot tea, read and relax,” I thought.
Has this ever happened to you?
Before putting my car into reverse and heading over to grab that tea, I made a promise to myself—“Just do a short workout… Get in and get out… a little something is better than nothing,” I thought, “and it might make me feel better.”
Just as I finished my short workout, the lady I had been sharing a lane with stopped and asked me, “What team are you training for?”
Considering I had unintentionally swum up on her back during that workout, I thought maybe she was trying to figure out why I had encroached on her space.
“No, I don’t train with any team,” I said, “I’m still new to this swimming thing… sorry I swam onto your back.”
“Your new? You look like you’ve been swimming all your life. You’re a very good swimmer,” she said, and then turned and walked away.
After I yelled out “Thank you,” suddenly I had an extra burst of energy, which I promptly used to add an extra thousand meters to my workout that day. Those words, from that stranger, fueled an extra thousand meters, plus a significant shift in my attitude. Image if she was someone I knew well and respected.
On my drive back from the pool that day, I saw a billboard—
See Something, Say Something.
While the intention behind the billboard is to get you to look for and call out negative behaviors, I’d like to suggest we use the same billboards as reminders to look for and acknowledge the good qualities we see in others. In fact, why not print off the graphic I’ve attached for you here and put it somewhere you’ll see everyday?
The simple act of witnessing and acknowledging excellence in others is one of the most powerful (and under used) ways to increase your impact.
Here’s to your greatness,