I was visiting with an individual the other day who asked, “What two or three things can I do that will enable me to make a difference in life?” While I feel there are many answers to this question and that we all would give different answers depending on who asked and when; here is what I shared: Learn to understand the value of another’s point of view, congratulate the accomplishments of others, and be active in serving your fellowman with your time and resources. I was thanked graciously. As I was pondering my words, this person smiled and began turning away, suddenly stopping mid turn, then hesitantly asking if I would explain a little deeper? Here is what I remember sharing…
Hear out others’ opinions. Have you met someone who doesn’t seem to care about your perspective? No one enjoys those who are overbearing, right all the time, or try to intimidate? Strength comes in the ability to listen to and understand another’s point of view. Our mental wellbeing comes from having compassion for an individual’s experience, listening and waiting to express what we heard only after we have tried to understand. If we get lost in their message, don’t assume, just ask more questions. We haven’t heard them if we are left to fill in the blanks. Knowing others’ opinions and experiences are what build our character and open doors of understanding. Knowledge is power, find value in learning differing views and new ideas.
Celebrate others’ successes. Have you spent time with people who seem to hold distain for those in the world who are doing well? It reminds me of the story about crabs who keep each other from getting out of a boiling pot by pulling down any who may be getting out. If I’m not going to succeed, you aren’t either— if I have anything to do with it is their attitude. You know how they make us feel. These jealous individuals, unfortunately, can often be those who are close to us. Be resilient and remove yourself from this negative influence of course, but even better; knowing the impact it has on us, never be found doing it yourself. The world has a way of rewarding those who rejoice in the success of others.
Give of yourself. Oh what a wonderful feeling we get when we receive the gift of another. Not objects necessarily, but emotional gifts. Maybe a simple smile, assistance, or an acknowledgement; however small it may seem, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is a thoughtful contribution from another. Knowing how these rewards personally make us feel, why wouldn’t you be the one giving? The more you appreciate yourself, the more you will appreciate others and their needs. There will be no time in your life you will be happier than when you enable the life of another.